What Can I Do if I'm Falsely Accused of a Crime?
Unfortunately, it isn't uncommon for someone in Orlando or anywhere in Florida to be falsely accused of a crime. Whether related to sexual assault, a drug crime, or any other criminal offense the first step you should take is to contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney. If you've been wrongly accused of a crime, what else can you do to protect your freedom, reputation, and career?
Most who are wrongly accused of a crime have endless questions. What are the next steps to take? How can you possibly prove you didn't commit the crime? What are your legal rights and options? An experienced defense lawyer can answer all of your questions and provide legal guidance and direction. If you have been falsely accused of a crime in the Orlando area, there are several things you can do in an effort to protect yourself from the beginning.
First and foremost, realize it's a serious situation even when you've done nothing wrong. Don't think it's best to do nothing; after all, you're not guilty. You're the only one who knows this at this point, so prepare to defend yourself.
Next, educate yourself regarding criminal matters. Know all you can about your legal rights, how the criminal justice system works, what you must do to defend yourself, and how a competent defense lawyer can be your best ally. You can learn a lot by searching online, consulting a lawyer, and asking every question you can possibly think of.
Get ready to defend yourself against the allegations. This may seem unnecessary, however innocent individuals are found guilty every day in the U.S. It's important to prepare for defense costs, make a list of possible witnesses or those who can provide you with a solid alibi, and write down every detail you can recall during the time the alleged crime took place including your whereabouts, anyone who was with you, and other details. Even the details you feel are irrelevant could be crucial should your case go to trial.
Know your rights. Every person is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have the right to remain silent, so NEVER answer questions posed by police other than to provide your name, address, and other identifying information. Regardless of whether police pressure or threaten you that not answering their questions will only result in trouble for you, do not believe them. Under the United States constitution you are guaranteed the right to competent legal representation. When police try to break you down, calmly explain you will not provide any explanation or other information without the presence of your defense attorney.
The two most important things you should keep in mind when you have been falsely accused of a crime is to REMAIN SILENT regardless of the pressures of law enforcement, and to contact a capable Florida criminal defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer should be present when police are asking questions or interrogating you. The fact that you have obtained legal guidance and representation is no indication of your guilt, and in fact it is those who have been wrongly accused who often need legal help the most.
Consider filing a civil claim. When you have been falsely accused of a crime it can result in devastation to your life in a number of ways. Legal fees, damage to your standing in the community or reputation, ruin of your career - the list goes on. When you are wrongly accused of a criminal offense you did not commit, the accuser may be held responsible for compensation of related costs including mental anguish, lost income if you were terminated from your job, and more. False imprisonment, slander that damages your reputation, and the impact to your career are things you want to consider if you have been found not guilty of the allegations against you.
Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you will not be convicted of criminal charges, even when you were falsely accused. The most important step you can take is to protect your legal rights immediately by consulting with a defense attorney who can provide you with insight regarding what steps to take, the legal process, and other information to mitigate the damage and work toward a positive result.