Florida has a crime rate of 384.9 incidents per 100,000, with a lot of people being convicted of crimes. Many have to hire criminal defense lawyers and hope for the best when they are accused of a crime. Anyone who is ever dealing with such a stressful situation can visit this site to learn more about hiring criminal defense attorneys.
But what happens when you are falsely accused of a crime? While being wrongfully accused of a crime is rare, it’s something that still happens. Sure, one may think that if you are innocent, the truth will always come out, but in reality, things are not that simple. Until proven wrong, you’ll be seen as guilty. You’ll also have to go through various legal procedures and efforts to prove your innocence.
So, what can you do when you were falsely accused of a crime? Here are a few things you should consider if you’re ever in this situation.
1. Stay Silent
The accusation might lead to you being arrested or questioned. But while you may be very tempted to say something and try your best to convince everyone of your innocence, talking may do more harm than good.
Although you may be innocent, it does not necessarily mean that the jury/judge will also find you innocent. This is why you should make sure you do not unintentionally help the police, media, accusers or anyone else who is not on your side.
So, you should stay silent instead. You actually have the right to remain silent. Do not say anything to the police or even to your friends. If you do, you may end up saying something that connects you to the crime and makes you look guilty instead.
This should also apply to social media and other digital means. Do not send anyone texts or direct messages talking about the accusations, and do not talk about this on phone calls either.
It is possible to have emotional reactions due to the stressful nature of the case. You could make a comment without properly thinking it out, say something during emotional moments, or send messages that make you seem guilty.
Do your best to stay in control and do not say or do anything that could be used against you, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
2. Don’t Contact the Accuser Directly
When someone accuses you of a crime, you may be thinking of contacting them directly and solving this personally. Also, you may want to explain to the accuser why you are not guilty.
But just like in the previous situation, your attempts to contact the accuser may be used against you. Law enforcement may see this as harassment, and it can be used against you.
Make sure to stay away from the accuser and do things the legal way.
3. Hire a Good Lawyer
To build your legal defense, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer. Without an attorney to guide you through the process and give you advice, you will have a difficult time proving your innocence and you may even be unable to prove that you have zero guilt.
So, find an experienced and skilled attorney who will work hard to help you prove that you are innocent. Your attorney will handle all communications with the other parties, get and examine important records, look over your evidence in the case to see if there are holes or flaws, represent you and your best interests in and out of court, and answer all legal questions you may have.
4. Do Not Tamper with Evidence
Tampering with evidence can hurt your case a lot, and you do not want that. You will certainly look for evidence that shows you in a positive light, but there may also be evidence that does not make you look the best.
However, you should not try to get rid of it or tamper with it in any way. Doing so might make you look more guilty than if the evidence was found.
5. Stay Calm
It is normal to panic when you are falsely accused of a crime. Even if you know you are innocent, the situation is a stressful one and it can completely change your life. Everything becomes about proving your innocence in an instant.
But you should try to stay calm and not react in the heat of the moment. Your approach to the defense should be relaxed. Acting based on your emotions could hurt your case.
6. Don’t Accept Testing or Searches
Police may come to you in order to search your property, which may include your house, car, or others. They may also ask you for DNA samples and fingerprints. But you have the right to refuse the searches or testing if the court did not give an order for this.
So, even if you think that the sample may prove your innocence earlier, the police may end up digging something during searches or testing, and you don’t want that.
7. Take a Private Polygraph Test
Another thing you can do is take a private polygraph test. If the results are good, they might help you when you are falsely accused of a crime.
You can keep the results private, at least until you decide to share them. This way, if you fail the test, nobody will know about it.
If you decide to share the results, then your attorney will do so on your behalf with the prosecutors. The accusers may then ask to do another polygraph test at their office or they will dismiss the charges.
If you end up taking the polygraph test again and you pass, this will look very good for your case. The prosecutors may even decide that they shouldn’t keep prosecuting as their case is too weak.
The Bottom Line
It can be very stressful to deal with a situation where you are falsely accused of a crime. However, stay calm and talk to a qualified attorney regarding the next steps. This may help you prove your innocence.