Oregon Sex Crimes Criminal Defense - for Marion, Polk, and Linn County

Being accused of a sex crime is an overwhelming and traumatic experience that can devastate a person’s reputation.  The unfortunate reality is that the accused is often viewed by the public as guilty until proven innocent.  Our firm understands how distressing it is for a person to face such serious charges.  The legal consequences and social ramifications of a sex crime conviction can be severe, and last your entire life.  Prison, sex-offender registration, Internet posting, extreme fines, stigma, social ostracism, supervised parole and probation, loss of voting rights, restriction on military service, limits on the right to possess firearms, employment ramifications, and loss of parental rights are just some of the potential consequences of conviction.  If you are accused of a sexual offense, an experienced, knowledgeable, and well-respected defense attorney is critical to protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future. - View Rape Case Acquittal Case Study >

Prosectution and Defenses
Is Consent a Defense?
Experts, Investigators, and
Physical Evidence

If I Am Accused, What Should I Do?

Often, sex crime allegations have no witnesses and result from a he-said / she-said situation.  Prosecutorial decisions are generally made on the strength of physical evidence and the credibility of the parties.  Due to the nature of the crime, false accusations can occur for a variety of reasons.  The available defenses vary greatly depending on the situation, and your state of mind, intentions, surrounding circumstances may affect the landscape of your case. 



Consent can be a defense to a sex crime.  However, some people under the law cannot consent to sexual activity.  For those people, even if they explicitly agree to the sexual activity, their agreement is not legally valid.  For example, minors, the mentally disabled, unconscious, or intoxicated people generally cannot give legally valid consent, which can result in criminal prosecution.


More information on types of sex crimes, Measure 11, and other information. <open page>

In your case, we may use professional investigators to uncover evidence that has been overlooked or purposefully omitted from the state’s case.  Expert witnesses can help contradict the state’s theory, assist in the development of trial strategy, and offer testimony that is competent and credible.

Polygraph Examination

When investigating a sex crime, it is not uncommon for police to ask if the suspect will consent to a polygraph examination.  As a general rule, never consent to participate in polygraph examination requested by the police.  It is likely the investigating officers will pressure you by stating something like, “If you are innocent, then why won’t you take it?”  Polygraph examinations are not admissible evidence in court for a reason – they are not reliable.

If you have been charged with a sex offense, or the police are investigating your potential involvement, it is critical that you not discuss the matter with anyone or answer any questions prior to speaking with an attorney.  Anything that you say, or any question you attempt to answer, can and will be used as evidence against you.  Police officers, detectives, and other law enforcement representatives are trained in the art of interrogation, and can induce you to make statements that implicate your guilt.  If approached, politely decline to answer any questions, and assert your right to an attorney.  Never assume you can simply explain the situation to the investigating authorities.

Gig Wyatt , Attorney at Law, Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC , 5778 Commercial Street SE , Salem OR 97306
(503) 378-7744, (503) 378-1013 Fax

NOTICE: The purpose of this website is to provide basic and general information about Criminal Defense laws in Oregon.
This publication should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.
Copyright 2010 - Harris, Wyatt, & Amala LLC
Crimial Defense services in Marion County, Polk County, and Linn County, Oregon