There are many instances when law enforcement arrests the wrong person, or an innocent defendant gets convicted in court. While it can be difficult imagining that type of situation happening to you, anybody could be falsely charged with a crime they didn’t commit.
It is imperative to take the following steps to guard against any type of crime and penalties:
- Do not say anything. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you. Do not try to explain your innocence to police and tell “your side of the story” to anyone else.
- Contact a lawyer. The only person you should definitely speak with is a criminal defense attorney. Your conversations with your lawyer are protected under attorney-client privilege. Your attorney can deal with the accuser’s treats, protect you from incriminating yourself, determine if charges have actually been filed, and negotiate with prosecutors.
- Document your case. Writing down as many details as possible about your case provides ample help to you and your lawyer Keep track of any events or information related to the false accusations.
- Compile a list of potential witnesses. As soon as you make a list of possible witnesses, your attorney can decide which ones will most strongly bolster your case.
- Sue for defamation. Since a false accusation can ruin your personal and professional reputation, you may have a claim for defamation. You need to demonstrate that the other party harmed your reputation and caused you damages.