10 Critical Steps To Prove Your Innocence When Falsely Accused
Your reputation can be ruined and your professional license revoked when falsely accused.
You also risk experiencing stigma and difficulty integrating yourself into society, especially if the case goes public.
Common reasons someone would falsely accuse you include misrecollection of events, misidentification of their attacker, or false forensic evidence.
Some people are malicious and could falsely accuse you of a crime out of spite or jealousy. False accusations are common in child custody cases and divorce, where one party tries to bring the other down to gain the upper hand.
If you find yourself in this predicament, there are steps and strategies you can use to clear your name. This article will discuss what to do when someone accuses you falsely.
1. Understand the gravity of your situation
A common mistake people make when faced with a false accusation is to be in denial.
The longer you wait, the harder it becomes to clear your name.
Denial could also prevent you from understanding the potential penalties and taking proactive measures to increase your chances of a favourable outcome.
Even though you are innocent, remember the jury and the police don’t see things the same way you do.
2. Save enough money
The bitter truth is that a court case will set you back thousands of dollars.
First and foremost, you need to hire a strong defence and pay for the investigation costs and polygraph tests.
We understand it might feel unfair to spend so much money when you know you are innocent. However, since your life is at stake, you are better off setting some money aside for the case.
3. Take a polygraph test
A polygraph, commonly known as a lie detector, is a device that measures biological changes in a person’s body when they answer questions.
A polygrapher attaches this device to a defendant and can tell whether or not they are being truthful during the interview.
You could opt to take a private polygraph test, which will not hurt your case even though you fail since the results are not admissible as evidence during the trial.
Your defense attorney and prosecutor will only release the results if they both come to an agreement. If you pass two polygraph tests, the defense might have too weak a case and be forced to drop their charges.
4. Take proactive measures before you are charged with a crime
In some cases, the defendant could withdraw their accusations, or the test results could exonerate you from false charges.
However, not everyone is lucky enough to walk away from such a charge without a scratch. You might be dealing with a relentless accuser who will not stop until you are behind bars.
Therefore, it would help to act proactively to prevent them from filing charges against you.
Your attorney could request a meeting with the prosecutor or police and convince them they have the wrong person and provide evidence to support their claims.
5. Avoid posting on social media
Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. This statement applies to your verbal comments and your social media posts.
Remember, the one who falsely accused you is watching your every move and can’t wait for you to make the slightest mistake.
Therefore, it would be best to refrain from posting anything about the case on social media.
6. Hire an attorney to fight for your rights
A false accusation is not a case you can handle on your own.
For instance, if you are falsely accused of sexual misconduct, you will need to seek a sex crimes attorney to help you get the best outcome.
A good attorney will listen to your situation and offer the right counsel. The attorney will help clear your name if possible or get you a lighter sentence.
7. Gather evidence to prove your innocence
Once you have consulted with your attorney, you can gather physical evidence such as photos, receipts, and documents.
For instance, if you had gone shopping when the alleged incident occurred, you could provide the receipt indicating the date and time you were at the store.
It would also help to keep emails, text messages, and phone recordings that can prove you are innocent.
Since we are in the technological era, GPS data could help establish where you were before, during, and after the incident.
8. Find witnesses who can vouch for you
The next step after gathering viable evidence would be to draft a list of potential witnesses you know can vouch for you.
Witnesses can also confirm your whereabouts at the time the alleged incident occurred.
Ensure you indicate their full names, address, and contact information for easy access when the authorities reach out to them for questioning.
9. Cooperate with the authorities during the investigation
Since law enforcement won’t take your word for it, they still have to conduct their research to confirm your claims when you’re falsely accused.
Acting defensively and hindering the investigation could get you in more trouble and make you look like you have something to hide.
Ensure you cooperate by answering any questions with the help of your attorney.
10. Turn the charges around
In most states in the US, a false accusation charge is categorized as a class B misdemeanour and is punishable by law.
If you manage to prove that you are innocent of the crime the defendant tried to accuse you of, you could turn the charges around and sue them for defamation.
Your attorney could help you get maximum compensation for the financial and emotional trauma the accuser caused you, not to mention ruining your reputation.
In a nutshell
If you know you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about, as the truth will set you free.
However, when facing false accusations, several actions could worsen your situation and lead to incarceration.
Avoid destroying evidence that you think is incriminating or talking to the police or press without the green light from your attorney.
Remember, don’t consent to a DNA test without your attorney being present. It would also be wise to avoid contact with your accuser.