What to Do If You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime

No one likes to think they could be charged with a crime they didn’t commit, but the truth is, it happens. A victim or witness could identify you even if you were not involved or certain circumstances could lead police to believe you committed a crime.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to convince someone — a victim, a witness, the police — of your innocence. At the first indication that you have been falsely accused, your first step should be to contact a criminal defense attorney. He or she will be your lifeline when navigating the criminal justice system and you should never try to go it alone.

Your next step should be to gather any evidence that could possible exonerate you. Make a list of possible witnesses that can verify your whereabouts when the crime occurred. Find receipts with time stamps that could show you were elsewhere at the time. If you are accused of a white collar crime, gather up computer records or files that could help prove your innocence. Turn all this over to your attorney as soon as possible.

If you have evidence that you think could possibly hurt you, do not destroy it. This can lead to additional criminal charges and make you look guilty. Don’t try to talk with the victim or any witnesses about the case. Don’t talk to the police unless your attorney is present. Don’t volunteer for DNA or other testing or give any evidence to police without talking with your lawyer first.

Even if you have not been charged with a crime, you should still consult with an attorney so they can provide you with the right counsel and be available in case you are eventually charged. If the victim is someone you know, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can straighten everything out on your own. If you try, you could be accused of trying to intimidate them.

Being falsely accused of a crime can be highly stressful. Protect yourself from the outset by consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney and preserving any evidence in your possession that could help your case.

Whether you are facing a serious federal white-collar prosecution, a state murder charge, or misdemeanor charges, The Cogdell Law Firm has the experience, knowledge and reputation you want for your legal team. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.