Edgett Law Firm | October 17, 2020 | Criminal Defense
False accusations in court are common. A spouse may use false allegations of domestic violence to gain the upper hand in a divorce or child support case. A person accused of a drug crime might falsely accuse another person to obtain a plea deal.
Revenge is another common reason for false accusations in court. A person might claim that their ex-partner committed a sex crime because they are angry that their ex-partner broke off the relationship.
Unfortunately, false allegations have real consequences. We want to believe that the truth will prevail in court, but that is not always the case. A person falsely accused of a crime could face jail time, fines, and other consequences of a criminal conviction.
If you are the victim of false allegations, you need to aggressively fight the allegations to protect your legal rights, freedom, and best interests.
Fighting False Allegations in Court
Five things you need to remember when someone falsely accuses you of a crime are:
1. Remain Calm
Control your responses. Do not panic or lose your temper. You cannot think clearly about what you need to do next when you are angry and upset.
It is understandable that you would be angry that someone is accusing you of a crime you did not commit. However, your reactions can be very telling, especially if you do or say things that make you appear guilty even though you did not commit the crime. Also, you could say something in anger that could be misconstrued and used against you.
2. Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
Do not assume that your innocence will avoid a guilty verdict. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the best way to fight false accusations in court.
Regardless of the charges, you need legal advice. Do not assume you can defend yourself against white collar crimes, fraud, assault, or DWI. An attorney has more resources to investigate the charges against you and uncover evidence that can help prove you are falsely accused of a crime.
Facing criminal charges is intimidating. The thought of going to jail frightens anyone facing criminal charges. Knowing that you have a legal advocate who is aggressively fighting to prove your innocence can relieve some of your stress and anxiety.
3. Do Not Talk to the Police
You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right. It is natural to want to explain your side of the story, especially when you know you are innocent of the criminal charges. However, talking with the police without an attorney is never a good idea.
Once the police arrest you, their only interest is in gathering more evidence and information they can use to gain a conviction. You are guilty in the officers’ opinions. Therefore, talking to them could make matters worse.
Instead, focus on what you need to do to prove your innocence. Ask for an attorney and then stop talking. Police officers and others may continue to ask you questions, but you are not required to answer the questions without an attorney present.
4. Begin Gathering Evidence
It is not a good idea to investigate the charges against you. However, you can help your lawyer by gathering evidence that could help prove the allegations against you are false.
For example, print all emails and messages between you and your accuser for your attorney to review. Create a list of potential witnesses who might offer testimony that could help your case. Also, make a list of witnesses that might offer testimony that could damage your case.
Create a timeline of events. For example, if someone accuses you of theft, write down where you were and who you were with when the theft allegedly occurred. If you and your accuser have a history, write a brief summary of your relationship for your attorney.
5. Do Not Talk to Your Accuser
Never contact your accuser or ask someone to talk with your accuser on your behalf. While you might think you can “work things out” if you talk to the person, contacting an accuser is never a good idea.
You could face additional criminal charges if you contact the accuser. You might be accused of harassment, stalking, or violating a restraining order.
Let your criminal defense lawyer handle all communication with all parties involved in the case. Your lawyer will take the necessary steps to protect your best interests. Your job is to stay out of trouble, listen to your attorney, and follow your attorney’s advice.