Many times, clients are perplexed by how little evidence the police rely on in criminal sexual conduct cases. How much evidence is enough to convict someone of a sex crime? Is DNA evidence required?

Unfortunately, in Michigan, if a person or child is making allegations, their words alone will be enough. Because of television shows and stories we hear about people exonerated through DNA evidence, many people expect that it takes something more than the words of a person to turn someone’s life around and accuse them of a crime. This is not the case. The police and prosecution do not have to have corroborative evidence or DNA evidence. The law does not require it. In fact, in criminal sexual conduct trials, the jury may be instructed that the statement by a child or an alleged victim is enough. The police and prosecution do not need DNA, eyewitnesses or any other kind of proof to support the allegations. In some cases, the only evidence is what the complaining witness is saying.

This is especially true in cases where the suspect is innocent. Of course there is not corroborating evidence — if the crime never happened, how could there be?

It does not even matter that the complaining witness may be your miserable ex-girlfriend who is mad at you, your child who has been manipulated by their other parent or someone who is making the allegations for secondary gain (i.e. hopes of a monetary settlement). Finding this bias or motive is critical to your case and your defense. Helping a jury understand the motive and bias is also as important.

While this is frustrating….seeing your life hinge on what another person says, there is a way to overcome the “he said – she said” types of allegations. Many of the cases at Smith Blythe, PC involve just this — one person’s word against another person’s word. To schedule a consultation with Shannon Smith or Gail Benson, call today.

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