What is a Forensic Interview for a Child Victim in a Sexual Assault Case?

What is a Forensic Interview for a Child Victim in a Sexual Assault Case?

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If sexual assault against a minor is suspected, the alleged victim may undergo a Child Forensic Interview. During this interview, a trained professional asks the child questions to uncover details about any possible abuse.

If you’ve been named as an alleged perpetrator in a Forensic Interview, you may be looking for more information. Know that these are serious allegations. It is in your best interest to seek legal counsel right away.

Forensic Interview for an Alleged Child Victim in Texas: FAQs

Below is a general overview of how most Child Forensic Interviews are conducted in Texas. A criminal defense attorney is your best source of information, as the details of each case are unique. 

Who Can Request a Forensic Interview in TX?

Forensic interviews are generally carried out at the request of local law enforcement or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

Where Do Forensic Interviews Occur in Collin County, TX?

These interviews typically take place in a therapist’s office or a similar setting. In Plano, McKinney, and surrounding cities, Forensic Interviews can take place at the Children’s Advocacy Center.

Is a Forensic Interview Recorded?

Yes. There are several reasons why forensic interviews are recorded. One is so that the alleged child victim does not have to undergo multiple interviews. The second is that the interview may later be viewed by parties who have an interest in the case, such as law enforcement and attorneys. Lastly, parties other than the interviewer can contest if the interview was not conducted legally or ethically.

Is a Forensic Interview With a Child Admissible in Court?

The information gathered during a forensic interview, along with other evidence, can be used to bring forth criminal charges. However, the video itself would likely not be played during a trial as it could be deemed as “hearsay”—the legal term for inadmissible statements made outside of the court.

What Criminal Sexual Assault Charges Can Result from a Child Forensic Interview?

The Texas Penal Code, Chapter 21. Sexual Offenses & Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses, cover many criminal charges that can arise after a Child Forensic Interview. 

  • 21.02.  Continuous Sexual Abuse Of Young Child Or Disabled Individual
  • 21.11.  Indecency With A Child
  • 21.12. Improper Relationship Between Educator And Student
  • 22.011.  Sexual Assault
  • 22.021. Aggravated Sexual Assault

Note that Texas law defines a “child” as a person younger than 17 years of age, whether or not the alleged perpetrator knew the child’s true age at the time. 

Facing Child Sexual Assault Allegations? Here’s What You Need to Know

Being under investigation for child sexual assault can turn your world upside down. Your reputation, family, and career could all be at stake. Here are three important facts you need to know.

It’s Never ‘Too Early’ to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney 

You do not need to wait until you face formal criminal charges to consult with an attorney. If law enforcement or CPS asks to speak with you, they are likely collecting evidence to build a case against you. Obtaining legal representation at the first inkling of an allegation protects your legal rights.

Agreeing to a Voluntary Search and Seizure Won’t Help Your Case

Law enforcement may ask to search your home or take your computer or phone. You are not required to do so UNLESS they have a search warrant. Don’t be intimidated and don’t make the mistake of thinking that voluntarily agreeing to a search and seizure will help your case. Say “no” politely and firmly, then contact an attorney.

You Shouldn’t Communicate With the Alleged Victim or Their Family

It’s a natural reaction to want to defend yourself against these types of allegations. However, you should not contact the alleged victim or their parents/guardians—even if they are the ones who initiate the communication. Don’t respond to their emails, phone calls, or texts. 

What to Look for in a Child Sex Abuse Defense Attorney

Several criminal defense attorneys in Plano, TX take on clients facing child sexual assault charges. However, not all have the experience, determination, and client-first approach that Attorney Kent Starr has. Listed below are three important qualities every defense attorney should have.

Trial Experience in the State and Federal Courts

Some law firms encourage their clients to accept plea bargains. Accepting plea bargains could be out of inexperience, a heavy workload, or just plain laziness. Simply put, these lawyers are not trial attorneys and do not wish to step foot in a courtroom.

Mr. Starr sets himself apart by not being a “plea bargain” attorney. If he believes that putting the facts before a judge or jury could result in a favorable outcome, he will let you know. 

Overwhelmingly Positive Client Reviews & Case Outcomes

Attorney Starr pursues the best possible outcome for his clients, no matter how long it takes. Please take a moment to read through his client reviews and testimony. He has a proven track record of dismissals and “not guilty” verdicts, and he is happy to share these public records with you. He uses his knowledge and skill to represent clients in Federal and State courts. 

Offers Bail Bonds Services

There are advantages to working with a bail bonds attorney. Time spent in jail is time away from your family, job, and other responsibilities. One phone call can secure your freedom and start your legal representation. 

Mr. Starr is available to clients 24/7, even when the courts are not in session. He may be able to petition the court on weekends and holidays to secure your immediate release. Attorney Starr can also petition for a lower bond amount.  

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Kent Starr Today

Anyone facing sexual assault allegations deserves competent legal representation. If you were named in a Forensic Interview or are facing criminal charges, then you need to speak with an attorney. Invoke your right to remain silent and contact Starr Law P.C. to schedule your free consultation.

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