What To Do If You’re Falsely Accused of a Crime
It is extremely frightening to face accusations for a crime you did not commit. When it happens, it can feel like everyone around you suddenly treats you like a criminal. Most law enforcement officials have the best intentions, but often both police officers and prosecutors are overrun with cases, leading to errors that can harm your reputation and your well-being. You have a right to tell your side of the story. If you are facing a false criminal accusation, follow the following steps.
Your first reaction to a false accusation is probably to proclaim your innocence by sharing as many details as you can. This reaction can actually harm your case. You are most likely in a desperate and panicked state, and irrelevant details that are fuzzy to you in the moment or small inconsistencies can look suspicious to the police. You have a right to remain silent, and it is best to take advantage of this right. Attorneys can use everything you say in court, so it is best to take the time to think about exactly what you want to say.
In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Nevertheless, being able to provide documents, physical evidence, photos, videos, or any other evidence related to the incident can greatly help you prove your innocence. Also, try to remember if any other witnesses at the scene could help you and try to obtain their contact information.
Keep To Yourself
You should decline any voluntary searches or tests, such as DNA testing. The court often treats these tests as foolproof, even when that is far from the case. Additionally, do not contact anyone related to the case, whether it be the victim or the person accusing you of the crime. You may just be trying to set the record straight, but law enforcement could interpret these actions as you trying to intimidate a witness.
Contact a Lawyer
It can be easy to think that if you are innocent then you do not need a lawyer, or that hiring an attorney will make you appear guilty. This thought is exactly the opposite of the truth. Criminal defense lawyers are trained to defend the innocent against false accusations. An experienced attorney will work with you to take the proper steps to prove your innocence.
If you were falsely accused of a crime, you need a skilled attorney by your side. At Horst Law, our Nashville criminal defense attorneys will do everything in our power to defend your rights and tell your side of the story. Please do not hesitate to contact our knowledgeable lawyers at (615) 403-2971 to discuss the details of your case.