You’ve heard it before, “Innocent until proven guilty.” Nevertheless as soon as we hear details about an incident, we often are quick to attribute blame and assume the worst of the person accused, contrary to the rights crafted to protect us all. The truth of the matter is that a sizable number of reports turn out not to be true. Not all accusations are equal and many fall short of the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt which is enshrined in our constitution.
Consider the unfairness and life altering consequences to which a person is subjected when assumed to be guilty merely upon an accusation of criminal conduct or only because of an arrest.
Being falsely accused can have devastating consequences that can negatively affect a person emotionally, personally, and financially. Inherently it takes a toll on relationships in particular and reputation generally. Loss of employment can occur and even employability over the long term severely restricted.
What to do if you are falsely accused of a crime?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime that you did not commit, it can be a disheartening and destructive experience. Even though we prefer to think that the legal system will protect us and that truth will emerge, those who are wrongly convicted and imprisoned are more common than we imagine.
It is of critical importance that you do not attempt to represent yourself if an accusation of criminality is made against you, or you are actually arrested. Denials and protestations of innocence are not sufficient if you became embroiled in the criminal justice system. You require a lawyer to stand between you and the awesome power of the State, one experienced and dedicated, one who self identifies as liberty’s last champion, who can plan to coordinate and present your viable defense. A person who sustains a serious, perhaps life threatening injury, rushes to the emergency for medical treatment. Likewise, if you are arrested, you must immediately seek the advice and protection of an attorney. In neither instance are home remedies adequate. Both situations are rife with danger. The patient is in danger of bleeding out without expert care and the client, in the earliest stages of prosecution may inadvertently condemn himself to imprisonment.
Retain the services of a qualified and experienced lawyer who can represent your best interests and vigorously protect your rights. They are called rights for good reason. They are not favors or gifts, not giveaway or bonuses, they are the bulwarks of freedom to which you are entitled.
Remain calm. Do not respond with anger, apologies, regrets, or aggression. Responses can be manipulated or misinterpreted, they can insinuate the appearances of a guilty conscience, or be interpreted as an indirect acquiesce of quilt. Always exercise your right to remain silent without the presence of your lawyer. Do not suppose that you are capable of talking a law enforcement officer out of what he already believes. The one who represents himself has a fool for a client.
· Anticipate the costs of your defense. Expert witnesses, private investigators, psychological tests, and other evidence may be needed for your effective defense.
· Do not post to social media.
§ Post photos, status updates, or videos of the scene or your injuries
§ Accept blame, express regrets, or apologize for the situation
§ Comment on anything related to the case
§ Accept new friend requests or follows (these requests may be from individuals who are trying to gain information that could hurt your case)
§ Respond to messages from strangers
§ Attempt to “set the record straight”
· Even if you did not commit any crime it is not unusual to engage in self- blaming. Recognize that your feelings are human responses to pressure situations which you must avoid to escape intimidation
· Do not resort to toxic behavior such as substance abuse.
· In accord your attorney’s guidance, you will document all of the details surrounding the incident. Sometimes you will be asked to compile a chronology of events, maintain a diary, or provide the details for an alibi defense.
· At your attorneys direction you will compile a list of potential witnesses who could testify to the incident or supply evidence of your good character..
· Your attorney may utilize the services of professionals, such as counselors and private investigators, to join the legal team and act in your best interest.
· Always refrain from giving public statements to news reporters and do not talk about or discuss your case with anyone other than your attorney, including family friends and, if you are in custody, your cellmates.
Being falsely accused and charged with a crime is extremely stressful, gut wrenching and nerve wracking. If you find yourself in such a predicament, consult a criminal defense lawyer in Connecticut immediately.
Thanks to The Moynahan Law Firm for their insight into criminal law and false accusations.