false accusation of sexual abuse to a minor
Question Details: I am currently living and California and have recently found out that my wife's family member is accusing me of sexual abuse they have no evidence except her word against mine i have no criminal back round i have never been accused of any such thing and i am being told that the DA from Texas where the incident allegedly happened is going to issue a warrant for my arrest and extradite me to Texas is this possible?
Of Course it is possible. I am a member of the California Bar, representing criminal defendants and I can tell you that innocent people get charged all of the time. There are two issues here. First can the district attorney in Fort Worth get a warrant and second, can you be extadicted. To get a warrant the District Attorney needs probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that you committed the crime. Probable cause is a pretty low standard. It can be based on statements from family members or physical evidence. Certainly a statement from a victim will be sufficient.
To extradict you all the court must do is prove that you are the person wanted in Texas. This can be done in any number of ways. Often it is done with fingerprints. If there are no fingerprints it can be done through affidavits or testimony.
In any case, you need an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney you should contact the public defender in the county in which you live to work on the extradition matter.
Allegations of sexual assault are ripe with false accusations. However, it is not uncommon to see first time offenders on these type of charges, because alot of sexual abuse goes unreported. That being said, if Texas does file felony charges, extradition is quite likely. YOU SHOULD NOT BE SPEAKING WITH THE POLICE OR DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE. You should hire an attorney to act as your liason, most appropriately a Texas attorney in the jurisdiction where the charge is being considered. You may be able to avoid arrest and extradition if you simply voluntarily agree to appear in Texas on the charges. That way you can most likely post bail and avoid an extended period of incarceration while awaiting extradition.
I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area of the law. it is possible to be extradicted. After the charges are filed you need he fact that you have no record and there is no evidence other than the family member's accusation is helpful. you need to take this seriously and get a lawyer if charges are filed.
Although I do not practice law in the States of Texas and/or California, here are my initial impressions. I generally concur with my colleague's advice; however, I'd like to add an additional perspective. I suggest that you do not wait until charges are filed to hire an attorney -- rather, I suggest that you hire an attorney IMMEDIATELY. Things can happen, even pre-arrest, that can have a very negative effect on the potential resolution of this matter. Therefore, since this is a very serious allegation, you need legal representation as soon as possible. Good luck.