5 Things to Do If You’re Accused of a Crime You Didn’t Commit

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Being accused of a crime you didn’t commit can be a terrifying and confusing experience.

Aside from managing your stress, there are few important things you should consider.

The consequences of a criminal charge can be severe, affecting your reputation, livelihood, and personal life.

Knowing how to respond tactfully is key.

Here are some important steps that you can take…

5 Ways How to Respond When Charged With a Crime You Didn’t Commit:

things-to-do-if-youre-accused-of-a-crime

1. Stay Calm and Composed

The first step is the simplest to say yet most difficult to put into practice: You have to keep your cool.

If you lose composure, it will do nothing but hurt your situation and make it even more difficult to prove your innocence. 

Panic and emotional reactions can lead to poor decision making or statements that could be used against you later.

Remember, anything you say or do can be scrutinized in a court of law, so it’s important to think carefully before you act or speak.

If you find it difficult to do this, surround yourself with people who are more removed from the situation but care about you.

They will help you avoid making rash decisions that can come back to bite you.

2. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

One of the most fundamental rights you have is the right to remain silent. Use it! 

Contrary to what it might feel like, remaining silent doesn’t imply guilt.

Instead, it’s a protective measure to ensure you don’t unintentionally incriminate yourself. 

When approached for questioning, politely but firmly state that you will not discuss any details without a lawyer present.

This is not just your right but a form of defense under the law.

As soon as you invoke this fifth amendment right, investigators and law enforcement are required to stop questioning you and allow you time to find an attorney.

If you are not under arrest, they must let you go.

3. Lawyer Up

As soon as possible, hire a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense.

An experienced attorney will guide you through the legal process, help protect your rights, and build a strong defense on your behalf.

They can also handle all communications with law enforcement and the legal system, ensuring that you don’t make any missteps that could adversely affect your case.

Every lawyer has a slightly unique approach, so make sure you find one that aligns with your needs and expectations.

For example, Bamieh and De Smeth, a law firm in Ventura County, California, really prioritizes digging deep into cases.

As they explain, “We can conduct thorough, extensive investigations into the circumstances surrounding your alleged offense, your arrest, and your booking to ensure that your rights were consistently upheld and were never violated or abused.”

This is the kind of defense you need and want.

Don’t settle for a cheap lawyer who promises the moon but doesn’t actually put in the work.

This is a moment in your life where you need the best.

4. Don’t Confront the Accuser

It might be tempting to try to resolve the issue directly with the person who has accused you, but this can lead to further complications and may even weaken your defense.

Avoid any form of contact or confrontation, as this can be misinterpreted or lead to additional charges such as harassment or intimidation.

While circumstances are always unique, and wrongful accusations obviously involve a lot of heated emotions, you have to follow this suggestion.

Your lawyer will do all of the talking and confrontation for you.

Your only job is to remain quiet and consult with your attorney.

5. Gather and Preserve Evidence

Start compiling any evidence that can support your innocence.

This could include texts, emails, photographs, and videos or testimony from witnesses who can vouch for your character or whereabouts at the time of the alleged crime.

Present this information to your lawyer, who can determine the best way to use it in your defense.

Take the Right Approach…

There’s a right way to approach your response to criminal accusations and a wrong way.

This article gives you some of the correct steps you can take to put yourself in the most positive situation possible (considering the circumstances).

But when it’s all said and done, the best thing you can do is follow the third tip and hire a skilled attorney.

Your lawyer will spearhead your response and show you exactly how to proceed.

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