As hard as our police and legal system works, it’s not impossible for somebody to be wrongly accused of a crime – or worse, for an innocent defendant to be convicted in a court of a crime that they did not commit. Although it’s difficult to imagine that happening to you, anybody can find themselves in a situation where they are being accused or even charged for a crime that they’re innocent of.
Whether you’re being accused of a crime related to your business or something in your personal life, going through this kind of ordeal can take a massive toll. Read on to discover what to do next if you’re being accused of a crime that you did not commit.
Insist on a Search Warrant:
If your home, car or person needs to be searched, you should always insist that the cops get a search warrant before going ahead. You might be worried that this will make you look guilty of a crime that you didn’t commit but in reality, it’s the best way to make sure that the police play by the rules. And, you’re just exercising your rights.
Remember Your Right to Remain Silent:
Always remember that you have the right to remain silent. If you feel that you are being pushed into a situation where you could end up being framed for a crime that you had nothing to do with, then you can always exercise this right. Remember that you are not legally obliged to say anything until your lawyer arrives, and even after they are by your side. Of course, if you have information that immediately exonerates you of the crime, you should always speak up.
Get a Good Lawyer:
If you’re being questioned at the station, you will be given an opportunity to have a legal representative. It’s always worth getting in touch with a good criminal defense lawyer who has the experience and training necessary to help you prove your innocence. Whether you’ve been accused of a white collar crime, fraud, or a violent crime, the lawyers at this website can help you fight your case, so get in touch as early as you can. If you can, spend your money to get a good lawyer. This doesn’t mean that you look guilty; you’re simply being smart. In most cases, the innocent need legal help more than the guilty.
Be the First to Call 911:
Have you witnessed or gotten caught up in a crime through no fault of your own? Then, always make sure that you are the first person to call 911. The first person to make this call is usually the victim or witness, and rarely ever the perpetrator of the crime. If a situation seems threatening or dangerous, you should always dial first and then ask any questions later. Not only could this protect your safety, but it could also prevent you from being wrongfully accused.
Reach Out for Support:
When you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime, it can often feel like you’re all alone fighting against an impersonal, uncaring system. Reaching out to a strong support network of family, friends and work colleagues will be essential to keep you focused on fighting your innocence, along with making sure that you stay sane. Surround yourself with people who are convinced of your innocence and willing to defend your character. However, don’t be surprised if certain friends, relatives or acquaintances withdraw from you during the process. This doesn’t automatically mean that they believe you are guilty; they could simply be uncomfortable with the situation.
Look After Your Physical and Mental Well-Being:
Although strong legal representation is an absolute must, your lawyer won’t be able to help you if you’re unwilling to help yourself. Make sure that you establish or keep up a healthy routine and lifestyle and focus on looking after yourself. Get enough physical activity, find stress relieving techniques that work well for you, and spend quality time with your family and other people who support you. Be wary of using alcohol or recreational drugs to excess – they won’t help your problems go away and can mean that you’re less effective in assisting your defense.
Avoid Using Social Media:
Prosecutors will often troll through social media sites in order to find anything that they can use against you. Any incriminating posts, photographs, or other material can and will be used against you. Deactivate your social profiles if possible and resist the urge to discuss your case with friends and followers. However, avoid deleting any past posts as this could be misconstrued as an attempt to hide damaging information.
Don’t Talk to the Media:
Since arrest records are generally made public, you may be contacted by media representatives and asked to comment on the charges made against you, particularly if your case has a perceived audience appeal. Although it can be very tempting to tell your side of the story to a broadcaster or journalist, it’s best to avoid doing so. This is because it will usually do more harm than good; your lawyer will be able to recommend the best course of action to take in these circumstances.
The Presumption of Innocence:
From an early age, Americans are taught that the main goal of the criminal justice system is to find the truth and ensure that only the guilty are punished for their crimes. But, once you’re swept up in the system, your perception of this is most likely going to change. Many jurisdictions have court dockets that are massively back-logged and police, prosecutors, and judges are often under pressure to get cases resolved as quickly as possible. In many cases, this could mean that there is less interest in finding the truth and more towards closing your case, often with a plea bargain. Agreeing to plead guilty for a lesser charge can be tempting for an innocent defendant, however, bear in mind that this will result in a criminal record and potential consequences.
Have you been wrongfully accused of a crime? We’d love to hear your story in the comments.