“TAKE EVERY POSSIBLE MEASURE TO DEFEND YOURSELF”
(Apr. 20, 2020) — Being accused of a crime you have not committed can be a scary experience. There is a looming apprehension that you could end up in prison for something you haven’t done. And unfortunately, there are ways people can implicate you and get you punished despite being absolutely faultless. The more serious the crime is, the bigger the punishment could be. Without any doubt, you must take every possible measure to defend yourself. Hiring a seasoned criminal lawyer is the obvious thing to do because they can get you out clear by proving that the allegations are false. But there is much that you should know about such cases before taking the legal recourse.
Understand the possible reason for false accusation
To start with, you need to understand why the allegation has come up against you in the first place. Here are some common reasons why people get accused falsely of a crime.
- Mistaken identity: When an accuser misidentifies you for committing a crime you have not committed
- Misrecollection: When an accuser makes a mistake while remembering and recalling details about a crime
- Official misconduct – When police or prosecutors abuse their power or commit some type of misconduct while charging or arresting an innocent person for an offense
- Malicious false accusations – When an accuser lies intentionally when telling the police that you committed a crime
- Misleading forensic evidence – When forensic experts exaggerate the statistical claims for making their statements more impactful while providing a hair or DNA analysis
While some of these reasons may be intentional, others are not. For instance, the cases of mistaken identity and misrecollection are attributed to human error while those of official misconduct and malicious accusations are intentional. Those involving misleading forensic evidence are case-specific.
Defending yourself against false accusation
It is natural to feel shocked and betrayed when you encounter serious accusations, but defending yourself or arguing with the police is the last thing you should do. Rather, you need to be exceptionally careful about anything you say or do because they may use it against you later. You should have the best Anchorage criminal lawyer available to represent you during an investigation. Do it immediately after your arrest and exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is present.
The defense attorney will be responsible for conducting an independent investigation of the allegations as well. From reviewing the charges to searching supporting evidence and refuting criminal charges, they will handle the entire steps during the case. In fact, they can even get solid evidence to clear the accusation against you. Maybe, you have a strong alibi or witnesses who can testify to support your innocence. Or maybe you acted in self-defense in the face of danger.
Taking a legal recourse against false accusations
Apart from proving your innocence, you may take legal recourse against the accuser if you were accused intentionally and falsely. This could be in the form of a malicious prosecution or civil defamation lawsuit. You can sue the accuser in civil court if you can prove that the defendant was responsible for instituting or participating in criminal proceedings against you without a probable cause and with malicious intent. Further, the criminal proceedings were resolved favorably, with a dismissal or acquittal for you. Apart from this, you should also be able to prove that you suffered from damages in some way as a result of the proceedings.
A criminal defense lawyer can show damages in the form of emotional suffering, injury to your reputation, loss of your job or wages, economic losses in terms of court costs and attorney’s fees and emotional suffering. On proving these damages in the court, you can get compensation for the injuries incurred in the false accusation case. These damages could be economic and non-economic. While economic damages include attorney fees and loss of job or wages, the non-economic include loss of reputation, emotional stress and embarrassment caused by the false allegations.
Although being falsely accused of a crime you are not guilty of is unfortunate, the good news is that you can still protect yourself. What you would really need at this juncture is the services of an expert criminal defense attorney who has good experience in handling false accusation cases. Apart from proving your innocence, they can also help you get compensation for the suffering and economic losses you may have borne because of the false allegation. Further, you can also get solace that the person who implicates you falsely is punished for their wrongdoing.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.