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Legal Protections for Individuals Facing False Accusations


Being falsely accused of a crime can be scary. False accusations are unfounded or untrue allegations made against someone. These kinds of allegations can arise because of legitimate misunderstandings or malicious intent. Some common motivations for falsely accusing a person of a crime include revenge, cover-up, and financial gain. Regardless of whether you are falsely accused of committing a misdemeanor or a felony offense and the reason for the false accusations, false allegations can cause significant harm. False accusations can jeopardize your freedom, mental health, and financial stability. Fortunately, there are legal protections for those individuals facing false accusations. While even those who are guilty of the crimes they are accused of committing are protected by these same laws, these legal protections are especially important to those facing false accusations.

Legal safeguards for those facing false accusations may vary by jurisdiction. That said, these protections typically include the following;

  1. Presumption of Innocence

In the United States of America, criminal defendants, including those facing false accusations, have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This is what is referred to as the “presumption of innocence.” If, for example, you are accused of assault, it will be assumed you are innocent until the prosecution presents evidence showing that you are guilty. In a criminal case, the prosecutor is required to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest standard of proof. It entails convincing the jury that there isn’t any other reasonable explanation that can come from the evidence presented.

  1. Right to an Attorney

Another critical protection for those facing false accusations is the right to a criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, one may be appointed to you by the state. A criminal defense attorney can develop a defense strategy for challenging the accusations against you. They can protect your legal rights throughout the legal process.

  1. Right To Remain Silent

People facing criminal charges have the right to remain silent, also referred to as the right against self-incrimination. This right ensures that you cannot be forced to testify against yourself in criminal proceedings. It means you have the right to refuse to answer police questions or provide information that could potentially incriminate you.

  1. Due Process Rights

In the U.S., due process rights are guaranteed to all accused individuals, including those facing false accusations. These rights include the right to a speedy, fair, and public trial, the right to confront witnesses, the right to access and review the state’s evidence, and the right to present evidence in your defense.

Legal Remedies for Those Falsely Accused of a Crime

People falsely accused of a crime may have legal remedies available to them. You may have the ability to sue for malicious prosecution. Malicious prosecution arises when someone deliberately tries to harm another person by subjecting them to a baseless prosecution. You may also have the option to sue for defamation. Defamation occurs when someone makes false statements with the aim of tarnishing another person’s reputation. Victims of malicious prosecution or defamation can recover monetary damages.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing false criminal accusations, contact our skilled and dedicated NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 212-732-0002 for legal help.

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