Those in Springfield who have been charged with criminal offenses are afforded the benefit of being considered innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, actually ensuring that this benefit is delivered upon may be an uphill battle. News regarding the circumstances surrounding an alleged offense can often serve to prejudice those who may ultimately be called upon to decide the outcome of a case. Thus, it remains important to ensure that a rush to judgment does not occur prior to the facts of a case being presented.

Avoiding that is often easier said than done, especially when a case generates any degree of notoriety. Such was the case involving a St. James teen. The girl was recently reported missing. Authorities ultimately traced her to a residence in Kansas. Two of those found to be with her (both of whom were over the age of majority) were arrested and charged with sexual exploitation and contributing to a child’s misconduct.

While the circumstances regarding the girl’s disappearance (as well as her condition upon her recovery) were not reported, the nature of the charges facing those who were with her may suggest an element of cooperation on her part. In such a scenario, it may be argued that no criminal intent was present on the part of those charged with her abduction. While such a lack of intent may not excuse all criminal activity, it should certainly be considered to ensure that one is only charged with those crimes that their supposed action merit.

This is important because certain charges (particularly those that address sexual activities involving minors) can inflame people’s passions. Thus, those embroiled in cases that involve them must fight to ensure that their rights are respected. Such respect may be easier to ear if one as an experienced attorney arguing for them.