August 27, 2019
Falsely Accused of a Crime? Here’s What You Need to Know
Practically speaking, anyone facing criminal charges should seek out the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. That said, if you’re falsely accused of a crime, you shouldn’t think that exempts your need.
No doubt the threat of any type of criminal conviction can result in sleepless nights. Of course, it’s even worse when you’re falsely accused. Depending on the nature of the offense, you could be facing jail time and a record for something you didn’t even do.
More than likely, you’re already familiar with the words “innocent until proven guilty.” In order to win a case against you, Pennsylvania law requires that the prosecution prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the meantime, there are all kinds of reasons that you could be wrongfully charged with a crime. Among them, are the following:
- Case of mistaken identity
- Evidence intentionally planted leading to your arrest
- Accusations of sexual assault after a nasty breakup
- Implicated by the actual perpetrator
As you might already know firsthand, you could be accused of a small offense or one that carries severe penalties. For example, what happens if you face distribution charges for large amounts of controlled dangerous substances? What if you’re falsely accused of murder?
The truth is that even if you’re innocent, your own words could ultimately indict you. It’s an important point to keep in mind.
What to Do When You’re Falsely Accused of a Crime
Truth be told, it’s one of the first things that happens when someone faces an arrest. The tendency to speak out and declare your innocence may seem to make perfect sense. However, it’s truly a bad idea.
You have the right to remain silent. Surely, you’ve heard something about your Miranda Rights. The United State Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona not only says you have the right to keep quiet, but also that you have the right to an attorney when the police question you.
You may not realize it, but self-incrimination happens even when innocent people decide to speak up. Resist the temptation to speak until your attorney advises you otherwise.
If the police ask to go through your phone or your house, don’t be so eager to cooperate. Even if you have nothing to hide, insist that they show you a search warrant that authorizes them to do so.
A suspicion of guilt isn’t a reason to send you to jail. However, the police and prosecution will look for as much evidence as possible to prove your guilt. It’s not up to you to unwittingly provide them with anything that works against you.