The importance of motions in child sex abuse cases in New Jersey
Most defendants and their families simply cannot appreciate the amount of work that goes into the defense of a child sex abuse case in New Jersey. One of the reasons why there is so much work is because of the amount of motions involved. A motion is a legal request of the court to do something. The jury is the finder of fact but the judge controls the law. There are many requests that both sides can make in a child sex case, far more than just about any type of case.
These motions are important for a number of reasons. First, the Defendant’s life is on the line. A conviction will change his or her life forever. Second, the law on these case favors the prosecution. Because these cases could be so difficult for the State to try, the Constitution has been bended (some would say thrown out) to put both sides on an even playing field. However, I think the playing field is far from even. Thus, these motions are needed to help shape the trial for both sides. What evidence will be left in and what will be left out? All of this will be decided by way of motions.
Other motions help the defense gather more ammunition for trial. The State will rarely perform a full investigation. For example, we had a case where the child denied any wrongful contact with her father, our client. An hour later, after having access to her mother and a DYFS case worker, the child completely changed her story. You would think that the detectives would want to know why the story changed so dramatically and so quickly. Of course, such questions were never asked. The detective was seemingly pleased that the child made this disclosure period and she just acted like the first statement never happened. The motions unique to these cases will help the defense exclude testimony or gather new evidence to help destroy the State’s case.
It is these unique rules and the motions the accompany them that make it very important to find a lawyer that has experience with these cases. A lawyer can handle 1000 robbery cases successfully and still not be prepared for a child sex case. Unfortunately, some people base their decision on who had the lowest price and not who is the most qualified. Often times, the results are disastrous. If you or your loved one is facing a serious child sex abuse case in New Jersey, you want the case to be expensive! You want that lawyer to be compensated fairly. You want the lawyer to fight for you or your family member. Always remember that you get what you pay for. I don’t know too many lawyers that are going to file a ton of (quality) motions if they are not compensated accordingly or if they don’t even know what they are doing.