Being falsely accused of a crime is a serious matter. If you are accused of a crime that you did not commit, you can fight back. Any charges arising from allegations of wrongdoing that are untrue should be dismissed or tried in front of a Jury if the prosecution is not willing to dismiss the case. But what steps should you take to begin fighting the charges?
You should bear in mind your Constitutional rights. The First Amendment of the US Constitution grants American citizens the freedom of speech. The right to free speech very generally means that Americans have the right to express whatever they want, at any time, and in any location. However, there are limits and exceptions outlined by the US Supreme Court; examples of what is not protected as free speech include inciting actions that would result in harm to others, true threats to commit a crime, provocative personal attacks, etc. Further, having the freedom of speech does not mean you have freedom from the consequences of that free expression.
Knowing that a false accusation is a claim or allegation of wrongdoing that is untrue and unsupported by facts or sufficient evidence is key. Consider the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. This amendment limits the power of law enforcement to seize or search people, their personal property, and their homes—usually, there is a call for a warrant allowing such action. However, there are several exceptions. For instance, you should understand that the police can search your car, detain you on the street, and conduct a search or seizure in an emergency without going to a judge for a warrant. But you also should know that there is such a thing as an illegal search and seizure; this usually occurs when the conduct of the law enforcement officer(s) involved is in question and/or if errors were made.
The Fifth Amendment is yet another consideration when you are falsely accused of a crime. One of the other most important things for a person to do if falsely accused of a crime is to remain silent, so that your normal human emotional responses via statements (e.g., fear, anger, denial of the accusation) are not misinterpreted and viewed as evidence of guilt. The Fifth Amendment, which guarantees your right to remain silent and protects you against self-incrimination, is the foundation of the Miranda warnings police are required to state when someone is taken into custody. In most cases of custodial interrogations, if the police do not advise you of these warnings, your rights might have been violated.
You also have the right to counsel, guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. Securing legal representation to protect your rights is important to your case; you should hire an experienced, competent defense attorney if false accusations have been made against you. Because it is difficult to prove such accusations to be false, (the need to undo the damage to reputation that has been done notwithstanding), having a qualified attorney on your side is key. Proving the extent of harm or damage done is challenging and time-consuming; so, having a knowledgeable, reliable attorney will help you achieve the best possible result in your case.
The compassionate and competent team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law understands the stress and worry of being falsely accused. If you find yourself in need of professional legal representation due to false allegations, they can answer your questions and provide legal guidance as to how to proceed in your case. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available from the experienced team at Jarvis, Garcia, & Erskine Law, contact them online or call 512-359-3030.