What to do When You’ve Been Falsely Accused of a Crime
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, it is crucial to take immediate steps to protect yourself and work with a trusted criminal defense attorney who can represent you so you don’t end up getting wrongly convicted by a judge or jury.
Unfortunately, it is incredibly easy to convict an innocent person, and the rate of wrongful convictions is estimated to be between two and ten percent in the United States. While that percentage may seem low, think about the fact that there are approximately 2.3 million people currently in prison. This means that there are 46,000 to 230,000 innocent people who have been locked away.
In today’s post, we will be going over some of the main ways that innocent people are accused of a crime, as well as the steps to take if you have been falsely accused in order to help prevent you from getting convicted and protect your rights. If you have any further questions or are seeking a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami, give the Law Office of David Howard a call today.
Common Ways Innocent People are Wrongly Accused of a Crime:
1. Poor police work
Most police officers in our country are honest and hardworking professionals — but unfortunately, there are a select few who have been known to hide exculpatory evidence and even encourage witnesses to commit perjury, lie to jurors, judges, and criminal defense lawyers. There have even been cases where police officers have used the testimony of faulty experts and ignored relevant information that is beneficial to the individual who is being accused of the crime.
2. Poor lawyering
When an individual is wrongly accused of a crime and does not find a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them in court, it can be a recipe for disaster. Many accused individuals end up with court-appointed lawyers who have little to no experiences, and because the complexity of the case can vary drastically, it isn’t uncommon for these court-appointed lawyers to be in over their heads, leaving them unable to handle high-stakes situations that can impact that innocent individual’s life forever.
3. Faulty witness detection
More often than not, witnesses to criminal acts often have trouble recalling accurate facts about the situation and identifying those who were involved. The human memory is malleable, and we are biased to notice and exaggerate some experiences and minimize or even overlook others, which can lead to faulty eyewitness testimony.
Steps to Take if You Have Been Falsely Accused
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, don’t wait to take action. Follow these steps in order to protect yourself:
1. Realize the seriousness of your accusations.
First and foremost, it is important to realize that being accused of a crime is not something that should be taken lightly, and there are serious penalties that you could face by getting convicted. Even though you are innocent, you cannot just assume that the prosecutor, police, jury, or judge will agree with you and see your case the same way. By taking these accusations seriously from the start, it will allow you to make decisions and take actions that will increase your chances of receiving an outcome in your favor.
Like we discussed above, court-appointed lawyers often do not have the experience or knowledge to handle many complex criminal cases. When you are placed in a high stakes situation where you could potentially be spending years in prison, you need to retain a reputable, aggressive, and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you like David Howard, P.A. in Miami. Not only will a professional and trustworthy criminal defense attorney help you throughout the entire process and guide you through steps that will help your case, but they are also extremely knowledgeable and often have built relationships with judges and other key players in your case.
3. Gather any physical evidence and/or documents.
If there is any physical evidence that could help your defense, you will want to collect them as soon as possible and give them to your criminal defense attorney. Be sure to collect any documentation that could also help you, such as emails, receipts, text messages, correspondence, GPS data, or other information to prove where you were during the time that the crime was committed.
4. Obtain contact information from witnesses.
Be sure to make a list of potential witnesses who could provide helpful information about the incident, accusations, and the victim that you can provide your criminal defense attorney.
5. Work with your criminal defense attorney every step of the way.
You hired your criminal defense attorney to help you, so be sure to keep them in the loop and inform them about all evidence, witness information, and other information that arises. Your criminal defense attorney will need to conduct an in-depth investigation of the crime, the prosecutor’s evidence, your evidence, and interview witnesses. They may even need to retain expert witnesses if necessary. This investigation can help to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case as well as your defense.
Throughout this process, be sure to keep in mind that when you hire a trusted criminal defense attorney, they always have your best interest in mind. After they have concluded their investigation, they will formulate a plan for you that has your best outcome in mind, and be there to support you throughout the entire process. If you have any further questions or are looking for a reputable criminal defense attorney in Miami to represent you, give the Law Office of David Howard a call today.