Do not speak to law enforcement or social services workers without first consulting or having present legal counsel (an attorney).
Do not take a polygraph through any government agency. You may, if you wish, take one privately. If you pass, take the results of the polygraph to your attorney: Polygraph examinations record only the physiological changes in your body. Such changes can be due to the extreme stress you are under because of the sensitive and horrifying nature of the charges. Polygraphs are not acceptable as evidence in court because they are not reliable or scientifically confirmed as stable tools of proof.
Do not speak to anyone (including inmates and jailers if arrested) about the allegation against you or your case. Anything you say will be used against you in court.
Do not attempt to speak to the alleged victim or any witnesses and their family. It will be deemed by law enforcement or social service agencies as being coercive, threatening, and your attempt to manipulate witnesses against you.
Do not turn to alcohol or drugs (prescriptive or otherwise). Both are depressants, and drugs are habit forming and some are illegal. Do not complicate an already deadly circumstance by contributing via personal weakness or breaking the law.
Do hire a private investigator. VOCAL has references to investigative services. Note: your attorney may have an in-house private investigator. If he needs assistance in his investigation, have him call VOCAL for such assistance. Do keep as physically and mentally active as possible. You're about to embark on the most devastating event in your life-time. To become idle will allow you to become overwhelmed with helplessness and despair. This can lead to depression.
Do keep active and communicate on everyday issues with your family. Remember, it becomes easy for the system to prosecute you if you stand alone. Together as a family, the system has a more difficult time.
Do practice your religious belief or your own personal choice of inner strength. Never in your life will you need such inner peace, strength and faith.
Do rally family members around you. If your child has been taken by child protective agents, contact a relative or close family friend immediately who is willing to take temporary custody of the child until your ordeal is over. Make certain that this relative does not voice an opinion of your innocence or guilt, but represents a neutral setting by stating to the effect of, "I do not know what has happened or has been happening. That is up to the investigation of the case. I only want the children in a secure family setting. I can provide that for them." This relative (or even close family friend) should go to the juvenile dependency court and speak at your hearing. If you have already had a hearing, have them contact your caseworker.
Do keep a daily journal. Keep a record of where you go, who you see, and receipts. This enables you to provide proof in court (via your attorney not the police) as to your activities. You should also reconstruct as much as you can during the year of the alleged incidents. Be honest. Go through old checks, receipts, notes, letters and photos. Do seek evidence. If the accusing child lived in your home, strip-search their room for anything that will show where they obtained explicit sexual information. In some cases, families have uncovered diaries, notes, photos of their children's sexual activities with friends. They have also uncovered diaries that detail plans for false accusations. Such cases usually involved children ages 10 to 16.
Do become vocal by going to VOCAL meetings. "Contact persons" provide emotional support and information to the falsely accused.
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