Interviewer: It seems that prosecution is 100% dependent on the environment in which the crime occurs. How difficult is it to defend a case like this? Does it often come down to a “he said/she said” scenario?
Chris Cazares: Often times that’s the situation you’re going to encounter. You will see a female or male, whoever’s making the complaint, with their word against another individual’s word and usually there is alcohol involved.
Military Members Face Harsh Consequences for a Conviction of a Sexual Assault Crime
There’s tremendous stress and there’s a lot of pressure defending these cases because the stakes are so high. If your client is convicted of anything involving a 120 case, oftentimes they’ll have to register as a sex offender.
Their whole life will change from that moment on. Their career is likely over. So in that sense the stakes are extremely high.
Interviewer: So it is, essentially, a he said/she said type thing. I know you can’t supply exact percentages but how successful have you been at defending these kinds of cases? Is it possible to put together a viable defense?
Different Sexual Assault Cases Have the Same Essential Elements
Chris Cazares: No, I think that experience dictates results. In my defense of these cases I have had success in defending sexual assault charges. I think what it comes down to is understanding that you’re seeing a lot of the same elements occurring frequently.
Even though each case involves different individuals and different circumstances, when you look into the fact pattern, you realize that you have already seen this premise dozens and dozens of times before.
So you know the jury that you want, you know exactly what the prosecution is going to go forward with, you know whether or not you have to call your client to the stand, you know how to prepare your case.
The Defense Attorney’s Experience in the Defense of These Cases Is a Valuable Component
There really, at that point, not many aspects that you have not encountered previously. In the defense of sexual assault cases, I strongly feel that your experience is going to dictate your success.