If you are falsely accused of a crime, your actions and behavior can be the deciding factors between freedom and jail time. This type of situation can be emotionally overwhelming, especially if the accusation is brought on by a loved one or someone you trust. If the accusation becomes public knowledge, being tried in the “guilty until proven innocent” court of public opinion can be difficult. While it is critical to obtain legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you must also do other things to protect your rights and future.
The following steps should be taken if you are falsely accused:
- Avoid saying anything to law enforcement – You have the right to remain silent and anything you say can get used against you in a court of law. If you wish to explain your innocence, do not. Additionally, do not say anything to anybody else, especially your loved ones and peers.
- Get help from an attorney – The only individual worth speaking to about your case is a criminal defense lawyer. He or she can evaluate your case and determine all of your available legal options to get your case dismissed.
- Document your case – Write down as many details as you can about your case since this information can be helpful to your attorney. Furthermore, you can create a timeline of events that can prove your innocence.
- Compile a list of potential witnesses – Once you create a list of possible witnesses, your lawyer can choose which ones will help strengthen your alibi.
- Sue for defamation – Since false allegations can destroy your personal and professional reputation, you may file a civil suit for defamation.