Handling False Accusations
The thought of going to jail or paying fines for a crime you did not commit can be scary. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for innocent people to end up paying hefty fines or in jail after being accused of committing crimes they did not commit.
A false accusation can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, an accuser can intentionally lie about you committing a crime. A false allegation can also happen when a witness or victim identifies the wrong individual leading the police to arrest an innocent person.
Unfortunately, when you are falsely accused of a crime, you cannot be sure that the court will dismiss the charges once they are filed. Therefore, you must understand the steps you need to take after being falsely accused of a crime to increase your chances of successfully preventing charges from being filed.
Below is a look at how you should handle a false accusation.
Generally, an individual has the right to remain silent during an arrest. Therefore, if falsely accused of a crime, remain silent and avoid arguing with the police or resisting arrest. The things you say during your arrest can be used against you.
Hire a Lawyer
Apart from remaining silent, the other most important thing you can do for yourself is to get legal representation. Just because you know you did not commit the crime you are being accused of committing doesn’t mean you don’t need a lawyer. In such a situation, you may need an attorney to help you deal with false evidence, hostile accusers, among many other things. Because of this, it is crucial that you only hire an experienced attorney.
Understand the Seriousness of the Allegations
Even if you know you are innocent of the crime in question, you must understand the potential consequences associated with the crime in question. For instance, if you stand accused of assault in the first degree, it would help for you to know that such a crime holds a potential jail term of up to 25 years. When you understand this, you’ll take your case seriously and work closely with your attorney to prevent charges from being filed.
Gather Evidence Relating To the Incident/Conduct a Pre-File Investigation
Once you hire a lawyer, you and them should conduct a “pre-file investigation.” This is an investigation that happens before formal criminal charges are filed.
During the pre-file investigation, you and your attorney should gather physical evidence to help your case. Your attorney should help you gather documents or records that can prove where you were during the incident. Additionally, your attorney should interview witnesses and find expert witnesses if they need to.
Now you know some of the crucial things you need to do after being accused of committing a crime you did not commit. Nonetheless, it is also vital that you understand some of the things you should avoid doing in such a situation. If you stand accused of committing a crime you did not commit, don’t;
- confront the accuser
- destroy physical evidence
- give any evidence to law enforcers without first consulting your attorney
Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you currently stand accused of committing a crime you know you did not commit and need expert legal help, contact experienced NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, today to schedule a consultation.