Most people never give being falsely accused of a crime a second thought. Yet the existence of many organizations, and charities that help with exonerations show that it does happen. Indeed, some statistics suggest that up to 10% of the current prison population are innocent. With that in mind, knowing how to deal with the situation if you ever find yourself falsely accused of a crime is essential. Keep reading to find out more.
Falsely Accused – Assert your Miranda Rights
Often the problem with folks that get falsely accused of a crime is that they are not prepared, and they come from a position of innocence and so don’t think about how what they are saying will sound in court. However, many legal experts are adept at making anything you do say sound bad, or even like an admission of guilt.
That is why it’s best to stay silent when you are arrested, even if you are innocent. Be sure to wait until you have spoken with your legal counsel to make a statement too. Also, it is your right to stay silent if you choose, as written in the constitution.
Find an attorney
Most people use the faulty line of thinking that because they are innocent, they won’t need the help of an attorney. They even worry that hiring one will make them look guilty! However, because of the way the justice system works here in the US, this is not the case. Indeed, you only need to watch or listen to a True Crime show or podcast to realize that everyone guilty or innocent needs to hire an attorney if they are arrested.
Without going to the trouble of hiring outstanding criminal defense attorneys when you are arrested you could leave yourself vulnerable to coercive tactics such as lying by investigators which is completely legal for them to do. Remember you will already be scared and vulnerable, so it’s best to make sure you have someone who understands your rights and the law in detail on your side as soon as possible.
Falsely Accused – Do not volunteer for tests
Next, it is crucial to remember that unless ordered by the court you do not have to agree to any tests or searches that the Police ask for. This means you do not have to take a lie detector test, (these are not admissible as evidence in court anyway). You also do not have to provide any DNA to be tested against the evidence they have, unless ordered by the court to do so.
Finally, without a warrant issued from the court, the police cannot search your home. Unless you agree to it. To that end, holding off until court orders are issued is always best in such situations, even when you are innocent.
Stay off of social media
While it may be very tempting to jump onto Twitter to profess your innocence or criticize those that have accused you, it is not a good idea. First of all, social media posts are routinely used as evidence in court these days, and your social media profiles will be one of the first things that law enforcement officers check and monitor if you are under investigation.
Secondly, any contact with or post about others involved in the case could backfire horribly. This is because it could be seen as harassment, defamation, or liability. All of which could impact your own trial, and lead to additional cases as well.
Falsely Accused – Do not destroy anything that you think could make you look bad
Last, of all, be sure to not destroy anything that could show you in a negative light. It may seem like the best course of action at the time, but it can make you look guiltier, and even land you in trouble as destroying evidence is a crime.
Although, collecting evidence that helps to show your innocence and giving this to your attorney is a very good idea, indeed.
Accept that you will need to fight to show you are innocent
While in theory any accused person should be regarded as innocent as proven guilty, the reality is that this rarely happens. Instead, if the Police have found enough evidence to charge you, they likely already believe you guilty and will treat you accordingly.
However, remember just because they believe you are guilty does not mean that you are. Instead, be sure to do everything you can to fight for your innocence, even if your first trial did not end in your favor. That means going through appeals, and such but in the end, it will be worth clearing your name.