Nobody likes to think that they will be falsely accused of committing a crime at any point in their lives. But sadly, it happens more than you might think.
Up to 10% of convictions are wrongful convictions, which may not sound like a lot. But when you consider the millions of incarcerations that occur every year in the United States alone, 10% equates to hundreds of thousands of people.
Often, false accusations are based on a misunderstanding but they can also be caused by misidentification, contaminated evidence, or forced confessions.
It’s natural to deal with anxiety if you have been the victim of a false accusation, especially when you know that you are innocent and had nothing to do with the crime you’re being accused of. You don’t know what’s going to happen to you and you are left to wait until a decision is made by the police or jury.
Despite things being out of your control, there are a few things that you can do to ease your nerves during this worrisome time.
Here’s what you should do when you’ve been falsely accused of a crime.
Contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer
One of the first things to do when somebody has made a false accusation against you is contact one of the Edmonton criminal defence lawyers.
Attorneys that are specialists in criminal defence law will know exactly how to win the court case against your advisor. Their job involves collecting all of the necessary evidence and using it to prove your innocence in front of the judge and jury.
You will work closely with your attorney to go through the details of the past events that have led to your false accusation. They may collect further evidence and conduct interviews with witnesses to strengthen your case.
Criminal defence lawyers can provide expert guidance at every stage of the criminal process, from the start of the investigations to the trial in court. They will act as a helping hand when you’re worried or confused to calm your nerves and make the process as easy as possible for you.
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, it’s very tempting to try and prove your innocence to everybody. However, it’s often best to remain silent and allow the process to run its course.
When you start telling everybody in your life what happened in the days leading up to your accusation, it’s easy for small inconsistencies to appear in your story. Your memory can start to fade or you might begin to get confused about what actually happened.
Small inconsistencies may seem insignificant but they can easily be misconstrued in court by the victim’s defence lawyer.
It’s much better to stay quiet and avoid telling people your side of the story. Trust your attorney to deal with the situation and fight your case.
You have a legal right to remain silent, so put this to good use and keep your mouth shut until you have managed to speak to your criminal defence lawyer.
Gather Your Own Evidence
Your criminal defence attorney will collect evidence when they start working on your case but it does no harm to start collecting your own evidence too.
If you have strong evidence that could be used in your favor, this may be used to prove your innocence in court. One piece of evidence can make the difference between incarceration or walking free.
Every piece of evidence that you collect should be given to your attorney as soon as possible. Don’t try to present any evidence directly to the Police without running things by your lawyer.
On a similar note, never destroy any evidence, even if you think it might make you look guilty. If law enforcement realizes that you have destroyed key evidence in the case, it will make you look even more guilty.
Try to Stay Calm
As nerve-wracking as it can be waiting for a verdict after a false accusation, you must try to remain as calm as possible.
Of course, this is easier said than done but with the sophisticated DNA technology that is now available, you’re more likely than ever to walk free when you are genuinely innocent.
Leave things in the hands of your professional criminal defence attorney. Cooperate with law enforcement as much as possible and let the process run its course.