5 Things to Do If You’re Being Falsely Accused in Court
Sometimes people are falsely accused of misconduct or criminal behavior. In some cases, those false accusations can result in criminal charges. Other times, those allegations can adversely affect rights pertaining to your children and family. Those are some serious consequences for something that’s untrue. If you’re facing false allegations in court, it’s important to know what to do. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you’re up against false allegations.
Talk to an Attorney
The very first call you make after you learn that you’ve been falsely accused of something is to an attorney. If you’ve been accused of a crime – such as theft, domestic violence, or rape – call a criminal defense lawyer in your area. Your attorney can help to make sure that your rights are protected. Among other things, your defense lawyer can:
- Reach out to possible witnesses
- Consult with experts who might be able to provide evidence to counter the claims against you, and
- Challenge the validity or substance of evidence the state might have against you.
When you have a lawyer on your side, prosecutors lose any advantage they might have had. Your lawyer can force them to toe the line and prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – that you’re guilty of the charges. If the allegations are false, that’s something they’ll have difficulty doing.
Gather Evidence of Your Own
So, you’ve been falsely accused of something. Many times, false allegations arise in situations involving sexual misconduct. Sex crime cases often boil down to he said/she said matters.
If the allegations against you are false, there won’t be any direct evidence that you’ve done something wrong. Everything will be circumstantial. So, you’ll want to make sure that you have evidence on your side to counter the allegations asserted against you.
You’ll want evidence to disprove what’s being said. To gather evidence, you should consider:
- Seeing if you have an alibi that can be supported by a witness
- Preserving phone calls, texts, emails, or other documentation to prove that the allegations are false
- Taking photographs to disprove specific allegations, and
- Reaching out to witnesses who might be able to provide a different story.
Anything you can do to gather evidence in your defense can help.
Don’t Engage Your Accuser
It’s probably tempting to approach the person who’s accused you and have a few words. Whatever you do – don’t. You might make things worse. Your conduct following the allegations might be used to substantiate the claims that have been made. Instead, steer clear and keep quiet. Direct any communications to your lawyer.
It’s easy to understand why false allegations of a crime would get you upset. However, it’s important to take a step back, breathe, and remember that you haven’t done the things of which you’ve been accused.
Remember that you’ve hired a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling these delicate cases. Flying off the handle now or getting upset might paint a picture that does more harm than good. Let your attorney do what they do best. Try to focus on other things and remain calm, cool, and collected.
Do What the Court Says
If you’ve been falsely accused of a crime of domestic violence, your accuser might be able to secure a restraining order against you. In California, courts are often quick to issue temporary orders in case there is a legitimate threat.
Follow the order to the letter – even if you’ve done nothing wrong. You’ll have an opportunity to contest the order and tell your side of the story. If you violate a protective order, even slightly, you can face serious criminal charges. Those criminal charges – and potential conviction – can have serious repercussions, including the possible loss of custody. Reach out to a Los Angeles domestic violence attorney to discuss your legal options.