Police Lack Probable Cause to Make Arrest in Volusia Sexual Battery
The Florida Rape Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton work relentlessly to protect the legal rights of those accused of sex offenses throughout the state. In a typical sex crimes case, the police or sheriff’s office perform an investigation and send a report to the district attorney or state attorney who then decides which crimes should be charged. If the prosecutor decides the case is legally sound and there is adequate evidence against the accused, then formal charges will be filed. Additional factors can influence a prosecutor’s decision whether or not to file charges, so it is imperative for anyone under investigation for a sex crime to consult with a skilled Sex Crimes Defense Attorney after any accusations are made.
DeLand police are asking the State Attorney’s Office to review a reported rape case today saying there are “too many conflicting statements” to currently make an arrest.
A woman supposedly reported she was raped Sunday by a man who offered to give her a lift to church. The victim was allegedly walking to church when a man she reportedly knew pulled up in a dark-colored car and offered to drive her to church. She claims that after she got inside the vehicle the man drove passed the church to a park and raped her.
DeLand police said that they do not have enough probable cause to make an arrest. The supposed victim and alleged assailant have apparently given police similar statements that have minor inconsistencies.
DeLand police will not be making an arrest in the case, but did allow the woman to sign an affidavit that will be passed along to the State Attorney’s Office so they can decide if charges should be filed.
The DeLand police have decided to pass this case along to a Florida prosecutor through what is called a non-arrest investigation. The prosecutors will investigate the case and determine whether to proceed with making an arrest or to drop the case entirely. This time period when a State Attorney is deciding what avenue to pursue can be a point when a good criminal defense attorney familiar with the local prosecutor’s office can persuade the prosecution to dismiss the charges or at least file a lesser criminal charge.
Police do not need to witness a crime such as rape to make an arrest. They just need to honestly believe that the suspect was more likely than not involved in the crime.
It is extremely important to be aware that even if you have not been arrested for a crime you are accused of committing, your case can be re-opened at any moment before the Statute of Limitations run out regardless if the prosecutor’s office has decided to drop your case. Some sex offenses have very long periods of time before they expire and some may never run out.
If you are under investigation for rape or any other type of sex crime in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online or call us toll-free at 866-608-5529.