Have you been accused of a crime you didn’t commit? It can be stressful and frustrating simultaneously, and this type of problem isn’t going away independently. Depending on the allegations against you, a conviction could be anything from a fine up to jail time or even being put on a sex offender registry.
How can you avoid this and clear your name? Let’s go over how to defend yourself against false accusations.
Handle the False Accusations Calmly
The first thing you should do when falsely accused is to take a few deep breaths. This is just to give yourself time to calm down instead of reacting to the information and potentially causing more damage.
You can’t control what other people say, and going on the attack, will only make you look bad in the eyes of the court. Keep a level head, remain calm and remember, the accuser has to prove that you are at fault.
Get Legal Counsel
You will need help because these cases can be complicated, and understanding the law may not be your strong point. An experienced criminal lawyer is well-versed in this type of defence.
The lawyer can give you advice on how to proceed and deal with these charges. They will get you organized with the next steps and act on your behalf in any negotiations or trials.
Even though you are just finding out about your false accusation, there has already been working done by the accuser to build their case. You are starting from ground zero, but that doesn’t mean you are at a disadvantage. To mount a successful defence, you need some ammo. Any information that can prove your innocence needs to be gathered and given to your lawyer. This includes:
- Video surveillance
- Witness statements
- Physical evidence
You should also get background records and other information to attack the accuser’s credibility. They may have a history of lying or could have a vendetta against you or someone you know. Dig as deep as possible to find anything that would indicate a motive for them trying to trap you in this charge.
You have the right to remain silent. You hear this line in the movies, and it may be the most important advice you’ll ever hear in this situation. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you say things that may come back to haunt you.
Any language that can be turned against you and support their case damages you, so keep calm and don’t say a word. This goes for if you are arrested, detained or questioned regarding false accusations. It probably goes without saying but never admit to anything you think you are guilty of.
Take a Private Polygraph
This is a bold move and one your lawyer may or may not agree with. You can set up your test to provide proof of your innocence. Polygraph providers are trained to ask the right questions to prove your innocence or guilt.
If for some reason you fail the test, it doesn’t have to be brought forward as this is confidential and your property. Once you pass the test, your lawyer can use the results to approach the prosecutor and get any charges dropped.
Things Not to Do
As important as what you do, there are things you shouldn’t do. Things that are detrimental to your position include:
- Destroying Evidence: Chances are this will surface later and make you look guilty for trying to get rid of it.
- Speaking With The Police Without Counsel: The police are trained to gather evidence and know how to steer a conversation to their advantage. Don’t have any communications with them unless your lawyer is present and then have them answer for you or give you advice on what you should and should not say,
- Making Contact With The Accuser: Once accused, cut off all communication with the person. This can be a heated situation; you may say something that incriminates or can be considered threatening. Then you will make matters worse.
Common charges that are often based on false accusations are:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse
Accusers sometimes are motivated to make false accusations based on revenge, jealousy, anger or to gain leverage on another matter like a child custody case.
Understanding how to defend yourself against false accusations is empowering. Follow these steps and get professional legal assistance to dismiss these allegations and return to your life unburdened by the threat of legal action against you.