People are falsely accused of crimes all the time. Regardless of the crime – theft, rape, fraud, etc., an innocent individual's life is torn apart. Here are three things that you should do when you are being falsely accused of any type of crime:
#1 – Remain Silent
If police begin to question you, it is in your best interest to remain silent and avoid answering any questions. You may think that you must answer their questions, and they may make you think that you are required to answer their questions, but you don't have to and you aren't. Don't try to explain anything, and don't try to assert your innocence.
Keep in mind that police also do not have to read your Miranda rights to you until you are actually in custody and are being interrogated. However, just because you haven't been read your rights does not by any means mean that you shouldn't exercise your individual right to remain silent. Anything that you say at any time can and will be used against you, even if it is hearsay – a statement that you made to someone outside of court – and potentially inadmissible.
#2 – Consult with a Criminal Lawyer
Luckily, you don't have to remain silent forever. There is one person that you confidentially talk to about your situation – a criminal attorney. Any conversations that you have with an attorney that you have retained is privileged and protected. The more information that you can provide to your attorney, the better your attorney can defend you.
Your attorney has multiple jobs. For example, your lawyer will work to help you from incriminating yourself, such as by being with you when police want to ask your questions. This is something you should never do alone. Your attorney should always be with you. Your lawyer will also work to determine whether charges have officially been filed, for what crime and the extent of that crime (misdemeanor or felony). In addition, your criminal attorney will be able to negotiate with prosecutors, especially if there is very little to no evidence showing that you did anything wrong, and possibly get your charges either reduced or dropped.
#3 – Consider Suing for Defamation
If your attorney is able to get your false accusation thrown out, you may be interested in suing the accuser for defamation. You went through a lot due to the false accusation – jailtime, a dent in your reputation, potential deterring of your future career, and legal fees.
False accusations are serious, so it is important to speak to a criminal attorney as soon as you have been falsely accused of a crime to ensure that your rights are fully protected and to assess your individual situation. To learn more, contact a law firm like The Law Offices Of Jesse P Duran.