People get falsely accused of things all the time, some of which are minor everyday things but major accusations that don’t ring true such as accusing someone of a serious crime could end up in a lawsuit.
Being falsely accused of a crime that you did not commit or have never even heard about can be truly damaging for yourself and your family as not only will some people presume that you did commit the crime but it may also be difficult to prove that you’re innocent in this scenario.
Sometimes being falsely accused may be a simple case of mistaken identity or it could be something more serious like the person accusing you is the perpetrator of the crime and is trying to pervert the course of justice.
If someone’s made false accusations against you or you’re just curious as to what would happen if someone did, then this article will answer any questions you may have.
So, what do you do if someone makes false accusations against you?
There are various procedures to take if someone has falsely accused you of a crime which will depend on what the crime is that you’ve been accused of.
Come To Terms With The Situation
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, then you’re going to have to come to terms with the fact that this is a very serious situation and even though you know you are innocent, you cannot presume that everyone else will think you are.
So you’ll need to make smart decisions and take action to avoid being wrongly sentenced to a crime you didn’t commit. Do not try and run away from the situation as you’ll make yourself look guilty even if you’re innocent.
Hire A Good attorney
One of the first things you should always do is to hire a good attorney to advise and help you through this difficult time, you should ideally find one who specializes in these sorts of cases.
You should try to find an attorney at the earliest opportunity as they may be able to tell you not to take any action or try to fight the accusations to start with as the prosecutor may not have any evidence to charge you with the crime.
You should not try and move forward without legal representation as they’ll be the key to securing your acquittal at the end of the process.
Legal representation costs may add up so you’ll need to be prepared for the fees and bills you’ll have to cover to prove your innocence, which may seem unfair but you may be able to press charges and recuperate some money if you’ve been a victim of slander (we’ll cover this a bit later).
If your attorney does decide to take action to prove your innocence, then you’ll work together to gather evidence to prove it.
Evidence could be in the form of documents, photographs, GPS data, receipts, emails, or anything that will prove you could not have committed the crime.
For example, if you were at work at the time the crime was committed, there should be CCTV footage that will be able to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime.
You may be able to get witness statements from people who know or saw the incident in which you are accused of a crime.
No Police Interviews Without An Attorney
Do not give any police interviews without your attorney present as police may be able to coerce you into saying something that affects the outcome of the case negatively.
No Contact With The Accuser
You should always avoid any contact with your accuser for the sake of the case. Due to high emotions you may do something that you will regret and may harm your reputation in the future, even if you walk away from the case as being proved not guilty.
Can you press charges against someone for making false accusations?
Yes, if the charges against you have been dropped or you have been proven innocent in your case, you can begin to go forward with proceeding to press charges against someone for making false accusations against you.
You can get the person done for defamation of character, which can come in two cases slander, libel, or maybe both.
You may be able to seek compensation for monetary losses caused by being falsely accused of a crime, this includes attorney fees and also any loss of salary if you got fired or had to give up your job because of the accusations.
You may also be able to file a lawsuit for malicious imprisonment which holds the person accountable for filing a criminal charge against you even though they knew you were innocent.
The best way to receive justice for being wrongly accused would be to go through a criminal attorney as they’ll be able to guide you through the process and make sure that the person who accused you gets punished for character defamation and bringing so much stress into your life.
How can I prove my innocence when falsely accused?
Don’t take any false accusations lightly, whilst you may seem in denial about the seriousness of them because you know you’re innocent, not taking any action may result in you being put behind bars because you couldn’t prove your innocence on your own.
Don’t speak to the police until you’ve hired an attorney and they’re by your side in the interviews, so you don’t accidentally say anything that they can use against you in court.
Your attorney will then work out the best way forward in proving your innocence whether that be gathering evidence and witness statements or remaining silent.
You should not get in contact with the accuser as this will make matters worse and aid the prosecution to build a stronger case for the accuser.
Is it against the law to falsely accuse someone?
Defamation of character is not a criminal offense but is a civil offense and you can receive compensation if you win a case against someone for defamation of character whether that’s libel or slander.
Repercussions for falsely accusing someone of a crime may differ from state to state, but if you are planning on taking legal action against someone who has wrongly accused you then we recommend hiring an attorney.
If you want to hear a bit more on this topic - head over to the Ask a lawyer Podcast where in episode two - Blaine Clooten and Andrew McGuire discuss false accusations in more detail.