To be falsely accused of a crime means that someone claims you were involved in criminal activity when you did not do anything wrong. False accusations often arise because of mistaken identity, faulty recall of facts, malicious intent, or officer misconduct.
If you’re facing an accusation, the prosecutor has likely not filed charges against you, and law enforcement officials are still investigating. But that doesn’t mean you can sit back and see how things play out. Even at this early stage, actions you do or don’t take can substantially affect your case. Following certain practices can prevent the situation from getting worse.
Some of the things you can do after a false accusation include:
- Avoiding your accuser,
- Refraining from speaking with authorities,
- Documenting evidence, and
- Hiring an attorney.
At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C., we protect the rights of those facing criminal accusations and charges in Norman, OK. Please call us at (866) 590-8173 or contact us online to discuss your case.
Handling False Accusations
People under criminal investigation because of false accusations often feel confused, upset, and frustrated. Wanting to clear things up, they might do something they believe will fix the situation. Unfortunately, their actions end up doing more harm than good.
If you want to decrease the chances of hurting your case and increase the chances of pursuing a favorable outcome, keep reading to learn about actions you can take after false accusations.
Avoid Contact with Your Accuser
It’s natural for you to want to try to reason with your accuser and get them to correct their story. However, talking to the individual may not have the desired effect. It could have the opposite.
Your accuser could take anything you say back to the police. Investigators may then use your statements to build a case against you. Even something as benign as telling your accuser you’re sorry that they’re going through a hard time might be misconstrued and used as evidence. You can also make matters worse if the conversation starts to get heated.
Avoiding contact goes not just for your accuser but also your accuser’s relatives and friends. Anything you say to anyone may be used against you.
Protect your best interests by not talking to anyone other than your lawyer.
Refrain from Speaking with Law Enforcement Officials
During their investigation, law enforcement officials may ask you questions about the alleged offense. They are not looking for information to prove you didn’t do it. Quite the opposite. They are trying to gather as much evidence as possible to link you to the crime.
Investigators will then hand their findings to a prosecutor who determines whether to pursue the case. If the prosecutor believes probable cause exists that you committed the crime, they will file charges against you.
Whether you’re being investigated or have been arrested, you have the right to remain silent. Let law enforcement officials know that you are invoking this right and will not provide any statements without a lawyer present.
Be proactive about your case if you’ve been falsely accused of a crime. Start preserving anything that can serve as evidence.
This can include:
- Contact information of potential witnesses,
- Documents or reports,
- Videos, and/or
- Messages between you and your accuser.
You can give the information you collect to your criminal defense attorney, who can determine how to use it to craft a legal strategy.
Hire a Lawyer
Some people might feel that because they didn’t do anything wrong, they do not need legal counsel. If they just explain themselves, they can avoid criminal charges. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. As noted earlier, even seemingly harmless statements made to an accuser or law enforcement officials can lead to charges and even a conviction.
Retaining legal representation is one of the first things you should do when facing false accusations. An attorney can take steps at the beginning of your case to prevent you from doing or saying something that could hurt it.
A lawyer can help you understand and invoke your rights. They can also talk to investigators, witnesses, or even your accuser on your behalf.
Additionally, an attorney can conduct a pre-file investigation. A pre-file investigation involves reviewing information concerning the case before the prosecutor files charges. If the lawyer identifies evidence in your favor, they may be able to convince the prosecutor not to move forward with the case or pursue lesser charges.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Criminal accusations, even if they are false, should be taken seriously. You can protect your case, rights, and future by hiring an attorney and refraining from engaging in conduct that could worsen matters.
To speak with a member of our Norman team, please contact the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. by calling (866) 590-8173.