Falsely accused? What to do if this happens to you

handcuffed person arrested or charged of an offence

Falsely accused of a crime you didn’t commit?

Falsely accused of a crime?  There is no greater injustice than being found guilty of a crime that you didn’t commit.

Unfortunately, innocent people are falsely accused and charged with crimes they didn’t commit every day. They may be identified by a victim incorrectly, police investigations go wrong and in some cases, someone with a vendetta or desire for financial gain might accuse someone of crimes they didn’t commit.

The impact on the accused lives and on those around them when this happens is astounding.  While the legal system may consider you innocent until proven guilty, the opinions of the public, the media and your loved ones do not always follow the same process.  They may assume that you are guilty of the things you are accused of simply because you have been accused of them.

This is why we fight vigorously for our clients who are victims of fallacious and false allegations. We do everything in our power to restore their reputations and return their lives to the way they were before being accused or charged by the police.

So, what should you do if you have been accused and/or charged with a crime you didn’t commit?

What to do if you are accused of a crime you didn’t commit

If you have been falsely accused or charged with a crime you didn’t commit, you need to take immediate steps to protect yourself.

Get legal assistance

The first thing you need to do is get legal representation. Whether just being accused of a crime or actually being charged with a crime, a legal expert will be able to guide you through the process to ensure the best outcomes for you.

The legal system is tricky and difficult to navigate.  The right legal representative can help you to develop your case, obtain the appropriate evidence to prove your innocence, and help you navigate the tricky minefield that is the media and the legal process.

Being accused and being charged with a crime are two very different things. The right legal representative can help you get in front of any charges before they happen.

A qualified criminal lawyer can help you avoid having charges laid.  They can liaise with the police on your behalf to ensure the investigation is done so in accordance with the law and that your rights are protected.

Watch what you say and do

It’s important to understand that just because you are innocent, doesn’t mean that you will be found innocent.  It is a serious matter if you have been wrongfully accused.  So, it is imperative that you do not give the accusers, the police, the media or anyone any ammunition that can be used against you.

Often those who have been wrongfully accused become their own worst enemies.  Just one emotional reaction, poorly thought-out comment, or text message can make you appear to be guilty and/or help your accusers build a case against you.

The best thing to do is to let your legal team be your voice and to take their expert advice to ensure the best outcome for you.  Your solicitor can advise you of the right steps to take to ensure the best damage control.  It is important, however, that you do not make matters worse for yourself.

Ensure that you stay away from your accuser both in person and via social media.  Do not contact them or attempt to communicate with them in any way.   And do not speak to the media about your matter.  It is imperative that you do not provide your accuser with any additional fodder to use against you.

Gather witnesses and evidence

Make a list of potential witnesses who may be able to support your claims of innocence.  Those that may have third-party information about the incident, accusations, and the victim.  It is important that you provide this list to your lawyer.  Do not contact witnesses yourself.  Let your legal representation handle all communications with any potential witnesses you can identify.

If there is any evidence that may support your claims of innocence or undermine your accusers’ claims, you want to collect them as soon as possible and give them to your lawyer.   This includes anything from clothing, photographs, emails, receipts, GPS data, and text messages.  Anything that may be able to help in your defence.

Do not destroy any evidence no matter what the evidence may be.  It is critical that you give all evidence to your solicitor.  Your lawyer will draw on their expert knowledge and experience to determine the best course of action.   Whereas destroying evidence can actually throw your entire case down the toilet.

Listen to your legal defence team

Being accused of a crime is stressful and the legal system can be a minefield to navigate.  Allow your legal team to be your voice and follow their direction where possible.   The right lawyers will know what to do to ensure the best outcome for your case.

If you become the subject of a false accusation please get in touch with us immediately.  Submit a web form here or contact us on (02) 8815 8167.

Australian Criminal Law Group are based in Sydney, Parramatta and Blacktown and represent clients from across the broader Sydney area.

With over 60 years of combined legal experience in Australian criminal law, we have the legal expertise, empathy and commitment needed to get you the result you want.

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