Falsely Accused of a Crime – What Should You Do?

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Although being falsely accused of a crime is something that doesn’t happen all the time, it’s quite a frequent error. What makes it so bad is that not only is it possible for the real criminal to get away with what they did, but also that the falsely accused individual’s life will be affected significantly by this matter. 

When you are wrongfully accused of a crime, you hope that the charges will be dismissed or that you won’t be found guilty. Sadly, the opposite can happen sometimes. This is why you should do everything in your power to avoid having your life ruined over something you’ve never done. 

Keep reading as we tell you what you can do to protect yourself. 

Things to Avoid When Falsely Accused of a Crime

Before we get into what you should do, let’s address what you should avoid when you’re wrongfully accused of a crime. There are some things that you may be tempted to do, and while it’s understandable under stress, these things can make things worse for you. 

That being, said, you should not:

  • Try to contact the victim or witnesses or talk to them
  • Destroy evidence that you think could be used against you
  • Consent to taking any DNA or similar test for the police without having a lawyer present
  • Talk to a criminal investigator, prosecutor, or the police without your lawyer being present

Things You Should Do When Falsely Accused of a Crime

There are several steps you should take when you’re falsely accused of a crime. Even if you’re innocent, you should do these things and think about your legal rights. Here are the steps to take following a false accusation:

  • Hire an Attorney

First things first, make sure to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience and a good reputation. You may also want to consider someone who has a license to operate in the state the case takes place in. 

In New Mexico, where the crime rate is among the highest in the United States, you can find many attorneys to help you. Just search for a New Mexico criminal lawyer with good reviews and you’re good to go from there. 

  • Understand How Much Defense Costs

While defending yourself is crucial, you must understand that creating a strong defense can be very expensive. There are expert witness fees, investigation costs, and attorney fees that you must take care of. 

These costs can quickly add up, and while you may not be excited about paying them, it’s more important to prove your innocence. 

  • Realize How Serious the Accusations Are

Even if you are innocent, you must realize how serious the accusations are. Depending on how bad they are, you may face more penalties. Now, while you may not be guilty, the police, judge, jury, or prosecutor will not see you the same way – they may have reasons to suspect you. 

So, always be very careful with what you do or say and listen to what your attorney is telling you. It can help reach a positive outcome. 

  • Get Contact Information from Witnesses

If there are any witnesses, you can always ask them to offer some helpful information. Make sure you get their contact information so they can help you prove your innocence.

  • Collect as Much Evidence as Possible

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have physical evidence that proves your innocence. This could be any object, such as photographs, clothing, or anything else. 

If you have any, collect it and give it to your lawyer. Any documentation should also be offered to the attorney, like emails, GPS data, correspondence, receipts, and more. 

  • Stay Silent

You should remain silent if you are under investigation or if the police call you in for questioning. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer who can accompany you and can tell you when it’s okay to say something and when it isn’t. 

Without an attorney, anything you saw might be used to harm your case. For instance, the investigators may take your words out of context or they may try to intimidate you.

Final Thoughts

Being falsely accused of a crime is anything but fun. It can ruin your life if you cannot prove your innocence. Therefore, it’s very important to hire a good attorney, gather necessary evidence, stay silent, and understand the costs and seriousness of the case. If you do everything right, you may be able to get out of this without being convicted.