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Has a child been coached to testify against you?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Children who accuse an adult of abuse should be listened to and their allegation investigated. However, in some cases, sadly, an adult tells a child to give an untrue account to investigators and in court. Adults are not supposed to do this, of course, but they may engage in the practice because they know children are impressionable and likely to follow instructions. It can turn the entire case against you.

For instance, maybe you have been accused of abusing a child under your care. You know you didn’t do it, and you expect the child to give an accurate account. Then they get on the stand and tell a fictional story that sounds plausible even though it never happened. You know the child likely did not concoct the story on their own, so you suspect they were coached.

Will they be believed?

Your largest concern is likely whether or not a judge and/or jury is going to believe the child. There are a lot of factors that go in to this. For instance, adults are more likely to believe girls than boys. It feels unfair, but the gender of the child who is the alleged victim could drastically change the outcome of the case.

What can you do?

What if you’re watching a child (your own or someone else’s) relate a fictional account that you believe an adult had them memorize and repeat to the court? In some cases, adults can even convince a child that something happened to them when it didn’t. You want to know what you can do to combat these accusations. Remember that your guilt has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case.

You have legal options that you can use to combat the allegations and show that the testimony against you should not be trusted. Your attorney can do just that.