Know that when you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, you have options when it comes to how you want to proceed.
If you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, you may think you can rely on the police or the courts to prove your innocence. But unfortunately, wrongful convictions make up 2-10% of the U.S. criminal justice system—meaning 46,000-230,000 innocent people are currently in prison.
There are countless scenarios where a person could be wrongly accused of a crime, from rape and assault to arson or murder. This could happen due to a case of mistaken identity, intentional false accusations, misconduct of the police, or misleading science. Studies show that more than half of all wrongful convictions are due to government misconduct, which could be intentional or unintentional.
Whether you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime or are seeking help for a loved one, you may feel a loss of hope and confusion about where to turn for support. Luckily, there are actions you can take to gain justice. Here’s what to do if you’re falsely accused of a crime in the U.S.
1. Hire an Attorney
Hiring an attorney is the most important step to take when you’ve been falsely accused of a crime. An attorney will be there to inform you, support you, and look out for your best interests throughout the process.
2. Gather Evidence
With the help of an attorney, you’ll want to gather any evidence you can that is related to the supposed crime. Some examples of evidence might include:
- Video or photo evidence to support your alibi
- Clothing or other objects for fingerprinting
- Emails, financial statements, or other documents
- Lists of witnesses and contact information
- GPS or phone records
- Computer files
Avoid destroying any evidence you believe may hurt your case. This could cause even more suspicion and end up hurting you in the long run. It’s best to avoid talking to the victim or accuser during this period, too. Anything you say could be used against you.
3. Consider Your Options
Know that when you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, you have options when it comes to how you want to proceed. Your attorney will help you consider all of the options and determine which course will be in your best interest. You may want to consider:
- Conducting a pre-file investigation
- Impeaching your accuser
- Filing a lawsuit for malicious prosecution
- Taking a private polygraph test
Looking for More Assistance?
It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re falsely accused of a crime. Don’t face the courts alone—hire an experienced attorney to help fight for your rights. If you’re looking for a reliable lawyer or have more questions about your situation, contact the Law Office of Bradley Corbett. As a reputable criminal defense attorney in San Diego, Bradley Corbett is ready to help you get the justice you deserve. Learn more today.