Unfortunately, false allegations are more common than people realize. People falsely accuse people of crimes for a variety of reasons.
A partner may use false allegations of domestic violence to gain the upper hand in a custody or divorce case. The partner may want to obtain a restraining order, which can hurt the other person’s career and social life. False allegations may also be used in the workplace to hurt someone’s career.
Revenge may be enough for someone to file false allegations. Sadly, accusing someone of a crime that they did not commit has criminal, civil, and social implications.
Fighting Back Against False Allegations
If someone accuses you of a crime that you did not commit, there are five things that you need to remember as you deal with the situation.
Yes, we understand that this advice is easier to say when you are not being arrested on false allegations of assault, trespassing, or sex crimes. However, panicking makes it more difficult to think clearly, and you need to think as clearly as possible right now.
Do not resist arrest. Resisting arrest could result in additional criminal charges. Ask the officers to inform you of the charges.
Do Not Talk to the Police
You will likely feel the urge to tell your side of the story. Many people believe that if they cooperate with the police, they can get out of the charges. It is just a mistake because they did not commit a crime.
The police officers can lie to you. They may pressure you to make a statement or answer questions. They may even tell you that if you are innocent, cooperating with them will look better for you in court.
Do not believe these statements. The police officers are asking questions to gather more evidence that can be used against you. Regardless of whether the police officers read you the Miranda Rights, do not answer their questions.
The best thing you can do at this point is to exercise your right to remain silent, except for asking for an attorney. You have the right to have an attorney present during all questioning and to consult with a lawyer. Ask for a lawyer and then stop talking until you meet with a criminal defense lawyer.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Innocent people go to jail. They pay fines, and they have criminal records. Do not assume that your innocence will prevail in court.
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible is in your best interest. Some crimes carry the potential for significant prison sentences, including some weapons charges, white collar crimes, and child endangerment.
If you are facing a felony, there could be other consequences for a guilty verdict. You could lose your right to vote or to own a firearm. A felony conviction could negatively impact your career and custody cases.
Protect yourself from false allegations by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges. A criminal lawyer understands the law and how to use the evidence in the case to develop a defense strategy that gives you the best chance of beating the charges.
An attorney also has access to numerous professionals, investigators, and experts that can help you fight the false allegations.
Do Not Contact the Accuser
It is tempting to contact your accuser to find out why he or she is falsely accusing you of a crime. Regardless of your relationship with the accuser, do not contact the accuser. Do not contact anyone related to the accuser, including mutual friends and family members.
You do not want to have any contact with the accuser. Your attorney takes care of investigating your accuser and the allegations he or she made. Focus on following your lawyer’s instructions and gathering evidence to help your lawyer prove your innocence.
You do not want to investigate the false allegations, but you do want to gather as much evidence as possible to assist your criminal defense lawyer in your defense.
For example, make a list of all potential witnesses who might have information about the false allegations or your relationship with the accuser. Include witnesses that could potentially offer damaging testimony. Provide a brief explanation of the information each witness might offer.
If you and the accuser traded emails, text messages, or other forms of communication, print copies of the messages and give the copies to your lawyer. Make sure that each copy clearly shows the date and time of the communication and the form of communication.
Write a detailed narrative describing your relationship with the accuser and your history with the person. Provide as much detail as possible about the events that led to the false allegations.
Your criminal defense lawyer may ask for additional information. Try to get the information or documentation to your lawyer as quickly as possible. You are facing a challenging and frightening situation, but your attorney can provide the legal advice, guidance, and support you need as you fight the false allegations against you.