Although wrongful accusations are unexpected, they do happen more than you can imagine. This is the last thing you would want to face is being accused of a crime that you didn’t do. A victim or a witness may identify you as a criminal because of your resemblance to the actual criminal or when you are a suspect in an investigation and the circumstances may lead police to think that you are a criminal.
Whatever the situation that leads you to be accused wrongfully, you should know the ways to clear your name. When you don’t know the right steps to take when falsely accused of a crime, you can even be formally charged with a crime you did not commit. Here is a list of some essential things you must-do if you are accused of a crime you know you didn’t do.
1. Get The Best Legal Representation
You are probably not aware of the legal matters involved in a criminal case. When you are falsely accused of a crime, educating yourself regarding criminal matters is a must. You must be well aware of your legal rights, and the ways to defend yourself if you are innocent. You need the help of a criminal defense lawyer, as he is already well aware of how the criminal justice system works, how to defend you, and prove that you are wrongfully accused. You can ask your lawyer every question you can possibly think of and learn about your rights.
2. Know Your Rights
The most important thing you should keep in mind when you are interrogated by police, due to the wrongful allegation, you have the right to remain silent. Never answer any questions other than your name, address, and other identity-related information. You should have your defense attorney present when the police ask you questions. If you try to explain that you are wrongfully accused without having a lawyer beside you, there are good chances that you may misrepresent some facts, or your statements be taken out of context. Remember that you have the right not to answer the questions of the police, so you should not talk without a defense attorney present.
3. Go Dark On Social Media
Prosecutors love to stroll the social media profiles of the accused person in search of incriminating photos, posts, or other information. You should resist the urge to discuss your case with anyone outside your circle of supporters and Facebook friends. It’s better to go dark on social media and do not share your updates on your profiles. However, don’t delete any existing posts as it may be perceived as an attempt to hide information.
4. Gather All The Information That Can Support Your Alibi
Get ready to defend yourself and gather all the information that can support your defense against the false allegations. Gather all the possible evidence, witnesses, documentation, and testimonies that can provide you with a solid alibi. If you were present when the alleged crime took place, write down every detail you can recall, including anyone who was with you, your whereabouts, and even the details you think are unnecessary. Although your lawyer will be handling your court proceedings, having your alibi in writing can help your lawyer formulate a strong defense on your behalf.
5. Don’t Defend Yourself Alone
It’s best to avoid the independent approach to defend yourself in court, as it can make things more complex while exposing you to a higher risk of facing a guilty verdict. So, if you think you can represent yourself in court alone, you are wrong. That is because you are not a lawyer and unaware of the many details necessary for your legal defense. Therefore, you must have legal representation, if you want the best odds of proving yourself innocent.
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