How I Defend Sex Crime Cases

I'm criminal defense attorney Gene Barton. In the 40 years I've been defending people in the Tupelo area who have been charged with crimes, I have handled almost every type of criminal case, including sex crimes.

Note: I cannot defend cases in counties where I am a prosecutor, in the 3rd Circuit Court District (Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Lafayette, Marshall, Tippah and Union counties). I can defend cases in all other counties in the state jurisdiction, including Tupelo-area counties such as Lee, Pontotoc, Monroe, Itawamba, Prentiss, Alcorn and Tishomingo counties and anywhere else in Mississippi, as well as in federal court.

Protecting Constitutional Rights Of The Accused

I am frequently asked why I would defend someone facing such a horrible charge. I have even heard other lawyers say, "I wouldn't represent someone on a charge like that." I have always taken the position that in the American system of justice, everyone is presumed innocent until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That's a high standard of proof to require. The reason for this burden of proof is so that innocent people do not get imprisoned because someone "thought" they might be guilty.

In my criminal defense practice, I have always maintained the highest standard of ethics. I will not ethically allow a client to commit perjury (to lie under oath). I will not ethically enter perjured testimony into a court proceeding. I follow the rules of ethics. However, every individual deserves a defense, even in the worst of sex crime cases such as child molestation. Sometimes these defenses are based on mental impairments or other impairments. Sometimes there are mitigating circumstances.

A Nonjudgmental View Formed By Experience

My undergraduate degree in psychology, my years of working as a commitment lawyer for people who were mentally disturbed and my work with alcoholics and drug addicts have all made me less judgmental and more understanding of the fact that criminal conduct is not so black and white. No one is all good or all bad; human behavior is complicated. Sometimes the reasons for bad behavior date back many years. I didn't walk in my client's footsteps for the past 40 years. Perhaps if my circumstances had been like theirs, God forbid, I might have gotten caught up in the same mess.

In the handling of a criminal case, it is the job of the prosecutor to present the law enforcement side of the case. It is the role of the judge to be neutral and to facilitate the hearing. And it is the role of the defense attorney to bring out the best side of the defendant's case. It is not my job to judge.

I give it my very best, whether I'm defending a client who is falsely charged or in a case where there is overwhelming evidence of guilt. I work to minimize the damages through plea bargaining or in court. Guilty or not guilty, it doesn't matter. Everyone is entitled to the best available defense as long as the rules of ethics are followed.

Why You Should Hire A Private Defense Lawyer

If you or a family member has been charged with a sex crime, you need to spend the money necessary to get the best available defense counsel on your case. Your reputation, your employment, your liberty — everything is at stake.

To properly defend against sex crime charges, it takes fortitude, determination and empathy. It often requires the use of experts, such as social workers, private investigators, psychologists, experts in forensic interviewing, medical experts and others. Building an adequate defense against a sex crime charge is not cheap, but the alternative is not cheap either — prison time and life on the sex offender registry.

Polygraphs: Although polygraph testing is not admissible in court, as a private defense counsel I have found them helpful in investigating cases and convincing the government of the innocence of my client.

Consequences Of A Sex Offense

A sex crime conviction carries penalties that usually involve jail or prison time, extended probation and registration as a sex offender. Your reputation may be damaged even if you are found not guilty, so if it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to get charges dropped or reduced prior to the charges being made, that is always the best option.

If you are convicted of a sex crime and sentenced to the sex offender registry, you will have to register with a sheriff each time you change your address. Your name and address will become public information. Failing to re-register is itself a felony and you could find yourself back in prison if you do not promptly re-register.

Contact Me If You Are Facing A Sex Crimes Charge In Mississippi

If you are facing any criminal charge for a sex crime, I will stand by your side. It's not my job to judge you; it's my job to defend you, and I will do that vigorously, using every resource at my disposal. Call my Okolona law firm at 662-260-6646 or contact me online for a free initial consultation regarding any criminal charge you face in the Tupelo, Mississippi, area.