Getting accused of a crime can be a terrifying experience, especially if you know that you’re innocent. False accusations and convictions aren’t uncommon, and it takes more than pleas of innocence to clear one’s name.
If you are facing false accusations, it’s important to act rationally and embrace the legal process.
Here are some practical tips for navigating the turbulent waters of a false accusation
First and foremost, you must remain calm when falsely accused of a crime. Unfortunately, staying calm can be incredibly challenging when faced with this accusation. You’ll likely feel angry and outraged, which can lead to strong reactions that can damage your case.
Take some breaths and clear your head before engaging in any conversation about the accusation. Know that regardless of your innocence, being accused of a crime is a severe allegation. While you are innocent until proven guilty, skilled professionals will work against you to try to prove your guilt. Staying calm and controlled will help avoid making any potentially devastating missteps.
Tread Lightly With Law Enforcement
The police are never going to take your word that you’ve been falsely accused. Keep in mind that some of the most notorious criminals of all time maintained their innocence until the bitter end. Law professionals deal with liars every day, leading to a general belief that most people they interact with are being untrustworthy.
You may think that being cooperative will help clear your name. The police officers you speak with may tell you that you can help them clear things up and that you have nothing to hide.
Remember that you have the right to remain silent. Doing so won’t make you seem guilty; it will prevent you from saying something that gets twisted and used against you. There are also other rights to remember when dealing with law enforcement. You can ask if you’ve been arrested. If you’re not under arrest, you have the right to leave at any time. If you have been arrested, you should not speak until a lawyer is present.
Hire a Lawyer
The moment you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, you should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer, even if you haven’t been charged yet. A skilled lawyer can review your unique case and help you plan the road ahead. They can help prove your innocence and even help prevent charges from being laid by taking proactive measures.
Look for a lawyer with proven results and experience in the types of the crime of which you’ve been accused. This focused expertise will provide invaluable insights and resources when building a case.
Start To Build a Case Immediately
While a lawyer can help you build your case, you can get started before your initial meeting together. Start by brainstorming everything you can about the crime, from the date and time you allegedly committed the crime to your alibi. Consider the people who were around you and can speak on your behalf. Think about other things that could prove your innocence, like a receipt or a timestamp on your phone.
Depending on the nature of the crime, you might have to go back a ways to build a timeline of your relationship with the accuser and how this accusation came to pass. Have as much information as possible ready to submit to your lawyer to start building your case.
Understand Your Rights
In addition to understanding your rights when dealing with law enforcement, you should also slow down and understand your legal rights throughout the entire process. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. That means the accuser’s team will have to prove that you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
You also have the right to challenge the evidence that’s being used against you. Again, a skilled attorney can help navigate this process.
When you’re falsely accused of a crime, stay calm and hire an attorney to prove your innocence.