What to Do if You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime

A false allegation can ruin your personal and professional reputation. Sometimes those responsible for causing a devastating accident try to avoid liability by falsely accusing a victim for the accident. They may attempt to provide false information that can have serious consequences if you are unprepared to defend yourself. It is common in car accidents for drivers to blame each other for causing an accident.

This is the reason why it is so important for victims to thoroughly investigate the details of the accident immediately. If you have been falsely accused of an accident or event caused by someone else, start gathering relevant evidence as soon as possible. Evidence like photographs, witness statements, closed circuit video surveillance and more will help you to rebut any false allegations of negligence or wrong doing on your part. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you should contact a DUI Lawyer immediately. The consequences are too great to go it alone.

What are false allegations?

A false allegation is a claim or accusation of negligence, recklessness, criminal activity, or other wrongdoing that is untrue or unsupported by facts and evidence. A false claim can harm the reputation and livelihood of the individual who is being accused. When someone is arrested or charged with a crime that they did not commit, they may suffer embarrassment, loss of employment, loss of status in the community, and other harmful damages.

Here are some examples of crimes and situations where people commonly blame others falsely:

  • Theft or stealing
  • Accidents caused by negligence or recklessness
  • Drug use, possession, and sales
  • Sexual misconduct, assualt, or rape
  • Homicide

Here are five common reasons why a person may be falsely accused:

  1. Mistaken identity – When eyewitness to a crime mistakenly believe that they saw (or intentionally misidentify) a defendant, when in fact the person seen by the witness was someone else.
  2. Mistaken recollection – A false recollection is a memory that seems real in your own mind but is inaccurate or incomplete in part or in whole. Most mistaken recollections are unintentional but some can have significant consequences, such as when false memories may convict someone wrongfully in court or legal proceedings.
  3. Maliciously false accusations– Sometimes accusers purposefully lie to authorities, including during legal proceedings under oath. This tends to happen when the individual shares some level of guilt or otherwise has something to gain by lying.
  4. Official misconduct – Also known as malfeasance, this occurs when a public official intentionally commits an act of wrongdoing. For example, it would be illegal for a prosecutor to fail to disclose a piece of exculpatory evidence about a defendant that proves their innocence.
  5. Misleading forensic evidence – Fingerprints, hair, and DNA can all be tampered with or degraded, leading to false reports and bad data. The credibility of evidence, its handling, and its source are all relevant.

Steps to take if you are falsely accused of a crime

False accusations can have adverse consequences. Not only will your reputation suffer, but you may be found guilty of a crime you did not commit or liable for damages you did not cause. You may struggle with maintaining social relationships and find that your professional life suffers. If you know that you are innocent, you should consider taking legal action. Consult with an attorney who will help you protect your rights.

  •     Understand the seriousness of the allegations:You need to understand the severity of the crime or accusation and its possible penalties. If you are not guilty, you should fight to defend yourself. You should take the legal proceedings seriously. A competent attorney can help you. They may be able to get the case dismissed or represent you in court. Improve the likelihood of a favorable result by contacting an attorney today.
  •     Understand the cost of defense: There are common defenses to common criminal charges and other legal actions. An experienced attorney will know what they are and how the facts of your case may apply. A criminal charge can ruin your life. You should aim at building a solid defense that proves your innocence.
  •     Intervene before charges: An attorney can discuss your case with the police and provide them with the correct information. The police and prosecutor may decide not to file charges if they have strong evidence of your innocence up front.
  •     Avoid taking any wrong steps:It is important to have a solid understanding of the legal process. There are specific court deadlines, pre-trial conferences, depositions, discovery, and many other aspects to the legal process that most laypeople are unfamiliar with. Therefore, you should consult an experienced professional that knows the best strategy for handling a complicated court case.
  •     Gather different types of evidence and documentation: Collect evidence that helps your defense. Evidence may include bloodstained clothing, photographs, witness statements and expert opinions. Not all evidence is admissible. You should start investigating and gathering information as soon as possible.
  •     Obtain witness contact information: Start looking for potential witnesses who can provide helpful information about the incident. Eye witnesses can make your case even more robust.
  •     Start investigating: A proper investigation will help you to obtain crucial evidence that can help you protect your rights. You can consider contacting a lawyer who has professional staff capable of assisting with an investigation.
  •     Plea bargain: Negotiating with the prosecution is another common thing that people do when the evidence is stacked against them and they are facing serious consequences. Negotiating a plea bargain may decrease the level of punishment you face but you should not be forced to accept responsibility for a crime that you did not commit. An attorney can discuss your options, the available evidence, your likelihood of success, and the risks of accepting a plea bargain. You should not allow an aggressive prosecutor to pressure you into admitting guilt without legal representation.

The United States legal system attempts to provide every citizen a fair trial. While that may be true of the institution, it is not always true of individuals who work within the institution. Contact an attorney to represent you so that justice is served. A false allegation could lead to a false conviction.

Consult a reputable Philadelphia Criminal Attorney today. Experienced legal professionals know criminal law. They can assist you with investigating and gathering evidence. Legal representation improves your odds of a favorable outcome.