Nobody suspects that they’re ever going to be accused of committing a crime that they had nothing to do with. Unfortunately, false accusations happen more often than many of us would like to think.
In fact, millions of people are falsely convicted every year and thousands are sent to prison to serve time for crimes they didn’t commit.
This is pretty scary to think about. If you’re a law-abiding citizen, being wrongly accused of a crime can have detrimental consequences. It can completely change your life, and not in a good way.
Here are some important steps to take if somebody has made a false accusation against you.
Contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer
One of the first steps that you need to take when you have been accused of a crime is contacting a criminal defence lawyer, such as those at Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey.
Professional lawyers know the ins and outs of the law. They will be able to take the details of your situation and create a strong claim that works in your favor.
Hiring an expert attorney means you have the best chances of proving your innocence and avoiding any unfair consequences.
You will have their expert input and guidance at every stage of the criminal process, from the investigations to the trial to the appeal. Knowing you’re in the best hands will calm your nerves and make the process less stressful for you.
Conduct a Pre-File Investigation
A pre-file investigation aims to gather evidence that is in your favour. It occurs before any criminal charges are filed.
During this process, your defence lawyer will undergo a range of their own investigations. They might
- Interview any witnesses that have been in touch with the police or find new witnesses
- Perform background checks on those involved by searching their records
- Collect any physical evidence
The pre-file investigations can lead to the charges being dropped or the sentence being less severe, so it’s definitely a process worth going through.
Do Not Contact the Accuser or Witnesses Yourself
It might be tempting to reach out to your accuser or anybody else who is acting as a witness in the trial. However, this is not advised and doing so can actually make things worse. The accuser could claim that you are trying to intimidate them or persuade them to drop the charges.
Instead of reaching out to them directly, you must talk to your defence lawyer first. They will then contact the accuser’s attorney and organize things from there. They will know the best plan of action to take.
Try to Remain Calm
This is easier said than done but if you are truly innocent and you did not commit the crimes that you are being accused of, it’s likely that you will not be convicted. With the advent of sophisticated DNA technology, it’s much easier to find the real criminal and allow the innocent to walk free.
Hiring a strong defence attorney and collecting as much evidence as you come through witness statements or physical documentation is going to be key to proving your innocence. Remain calm and cooperate as much as you can!