Being accused of a criminal offense is a serious matter. From the arrest, the mug shot to the arraignment through to the trial period, the whole ordeal can be harrowing, to say the least. But what if you did not commit the crime in question in the first place?
Facing charges for a crime you had nothing to do with can be incomprehensible. Unfortunately, false accusations do happen for a variety of reasons. And worse still, there are no guarantees that the court will realize the mistake and dismiss your charges.
So what should you do following a wrongful accusation?
You know you are innocent. But how do you prove it and get out of trouble? Well, here are important steps you need to take to build a defense strategy if you are wrongfully accused of a crime:
Appreciate the seriousness of the matter
Whether it is a malicious partner who is trying to gain an upper hand in a child custody case by accusing you of domestic violence or a case of mistaken identity, it is in your best interests that you understand the seriousness of the crime in question and the potential consequences should you be convicted. Just because you know you are innocent does not mean the police, the prosecution and the court will see things your way. In taking the charges seriously, you will make decisions that will help you defend yourself and increase the likelihood of an acquittal.
Prepare your defense
Once you are formally indicted and arraigned, you will go to trial. To effectively build a defense strategy, you will need evidence. If there is anything (documentation, photos, surveillance footage or GPS data) that you can use to establish your innocence, be sure to collect and make them available. Likewise, if you have eyewitnesses that you can call upon to testify in your defense, then you need to obtain their contact details. The worst mistake you can do when facing a wrongful accusation is to sit back and do nothing hoping the charges will simply go away.
Knowing your legal options when charged with a crime can help you protect your rights and boost your chances of getting justice. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty.