This week, Travis County Commissioners and the Travis County DA, met for a press conference to say that “Survivors” of sexual assault will be believed.
Now, just like many things these days, no one defined what a “survivor” of sexual assault is–but it appears to be anyone who claims they were sexually assaulted. That’s it. You are now a survivor–and you will be believed. It does not matter that there is another person, the one who is being accused who may adamantly deny the allegation. It apparently would not matter what the other person has to say at all. Indeed we gained a verdict of Not Guilty from a jury in Travis County in a sexual assault case where the Austin Police Department stated that the motto of their Sex Crimes Unit is, “We Believe.” Many Assistant DAs were in the courtroom for that testimony. In fact, they wanted a copy of the transcript of our cross examination to presumably train the Sex Crimes Unit of the dangers of that kind of a policy.
Now, the DA and Commissioners Court have heralded that policy, because the political climate is just right in which to do so. Innocent unless proven guilty of every element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt is a cornerstone of our system of justice. Lady Justice may be blind, but not deaf. She has heard loud and clear what Travis County is saying. If you are accused of sexual assault, they will presume you are guilty because they will believe their “survivor.” They have not mentioned this for any other crime. They have not declared they will believe “survivors” of bar fights or thefts or burglaries. But they will believe “survivors” of sexual assaults because they know people will click the little “Like” thumbs up on their screen (maybe even a heart), because that’s how people react nowadays.
We are happy to be the fighter, the defender in your corner to fight against a system which will believe the accuser in an allegation without speaking with a single other witness or inspecting a shred of physical evidence. We believe too–but what we believe in is a system of justice that is built to withstand the vagaries of popular opinion and politicians. We are proud to defend YOU!!!
From your first meeting in our firm, we know you will recognize this is more than what you expected out of a law firm. We pride ourselves on professionalism in and out of court, our accessibility (our clients know they can set up an appointment and speak with us when they would like and will often email us directly about any questions or concerns), and our passion for the law. Contact our criminal defense team today by calling (512) 494-4070 or requesting a free consultation online now.
Steven Brand is a Board Certified criminal defense lawyer who graduated cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, achieving distinction there as a member of the Order of the Coif. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. During law school, Mr. Brand studied under attorney Barry Scheck, a nationally renowned death penalty lawyer and founder of the first innocence project. Mr. Brand is admitted to practice law in the states of Texas and New York and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York (New York City), U.S. Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces, Navy/Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.