How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Marsha411JD Your Own Question
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19671
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Marsha411JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My uncle was arrested a few days ago and is in jail. Hes being

This answer was rated:

My uncle was arrested a few days ago and is in jail. He's being accused of molesting my cousin's babysitter around ten years ago. Can they just arrest him on this accusation? Isn't there supposed to be some forensic evidence? or evidence at all? And what about the statute of limitations?

How old was the alleged victim at the time of the alleged molestation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Around 15, I believe.

If this is being charged as a Class B Felony, then there is a 5 year statute of limitations after the alleged victim turned 18. So that generally means charges may be filed as long as the victim is 23 years old or younger.

As for evidence. In order to arrest someone for a crime there must be probable cause to believe that the crime occurred and that the person being arrested was the person who did it. So, if the alleged victim is credible, police could arrest just based on allegations. That said, it is fairly unusual for the State to file charges without more evidence, which doesn't have to be forensic (like on TV) but could be other indirect evidence that supports the victim's story.

Ultimately though someone can't be convicted of the crime unless there is evidence that convinces the trier of fact beyond a reasonable doubt. Which is usually more than a victim's testimony from an event that is 10 years in the past.

I, like the other Experts on this site, am here to assist customers like you. However, we do so in anticipation of being paid for our efforts, just like other professionals do, since this is our livelihood and not a hobby. To that end, I am more than happy to clarify my answer to you and answer any related follow up questions that you might have for the value that you have offered for the question. In return, I ask that you show good faith in compliance with the TOS by accepting my answer, whether the news is good or bad, so that I will be paid for my efforts. Please let me know if you experience technical difficulties when attempting to ACCEPT my answer by clicking on the green button. That way I can notify customer service.

Marsha411JD and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
What kind of indirect evidence do you mean?
It could be all sorts of things. Statements from witnesses, statements from someone who said your uncle admitted what he is accused of to them. Could be someone who the alleged victim at the time made an immediate statement of what happened to her to. Or it could be proof that he was there alone with her at the time she alleges this happened and he has something in his background that shows a pattern of this behavior. I can't second guess what the evidence might show, but it isn't like TV and there isn't always forensic evidence to prove a case. It certainly helps the prosecution if there is forensic evidence, but it isn't always necessary. However, without it the defense has a much easier time and trying to create reasonable doubt in the jury's mind.