Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer When You're Wrongly Accused
Being wrongly accused of a crime is no laughing matter. In a worst-case scenario, you might end up in a maximum-security facility sharing a cell with a psychotic mass murderer. That probably won’t end well. Unfortunately, innocent people do sometimes fall victim to miscarriages of justice. It would be nice to think it didn’t happen, but the criminal justice system is deeply flawed on many levels.
If you end up being wrongly accused of a crime you didn’t commit, what happens next is critical.
Reasons Why People Are Wrongly Accused
There are many reasons why someone is wrongly accused of a crime. The first is mistaken identity. For example, if your face bears a startling similarity to someone on America’s Most Wanted list, there is every chance your name will come up at some point. Second, you could be the subject of a malicious accusation. For example, if you rejected an ardent suitor, they might decide to accuse you of sexual impropriety, resulting in a charge of sexual assault. You could end up losing your job, your reputation, and more, even if the charges are dropped; mud sticks.
Call a Lawyer
Anyone accused of a crime is entitled to legal representation in the form of a public defender. As a last resort, a public defender is better than nothing. But the truth is that public defenders are overworked, and you are unlikely to get the defense you deserve. The more serious the accusation is, the more you need an experienced defense lawyer.
You can find a good criminal defense lawyer here, but it is worth asking for recommendations too. Speak to family and friends to see if they can recommend someone with the right experience. Even if you can’t afford a good lawyer, don’t lose heart. Lawyers are often willing to work on a pro-bono basis if a client is in genuine need and the case ticks the right boxes.
Dealing with the Fallout of a Wrongful Accusation
With a good lawyer on your side, you have every chance of beating the charges against you. After all that stress and upset, it’s only natural that you want recompense against the person or persons who put you through this terrible ordeal. Even if the charges were a case of mistaken identity, you may be able to pursue a case for damages.
The outcome of such a case will depend on your state’s laws, as well as the details of what happened, but it is worth talking to your lawyer. Compensation for damages, humiliation, loss of earnings, and more won’t make it all go away, but it could help smooth things over and help you move on with your life.
Remember, you have the right to remain silent and you don’t have to submit to searches of your home. Police officers need just cause and an official search warrant to search your vehicle or home. You also have the right to a phone call, so use it and call a good lawyer.
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