Being falsely accused of a crime is a serious matter, but anyone who is in this position can follow certain steps to ensure that they will not make matters worse. One of the most important steps to do is to remain calm. Even if someone is questioned by the police, that person has the right to remain silent. Saying too much at this juncture could give the police evidence that could be used against the accused at a later time.
Problems with Police Reports
Prosecutors make filing decisions based on police reports, which are often misinterpreted. Preliminary police reports do not contain a great deal of information, and the facts can be wrong. This could be due to police biases, witnesses not telling the truth, misstatements, and simple errors. When the charges are false, the accused has the option of trying for an acquittal in court, but this can be stressful, costly, and risky. Another choice is to contact an experienced lawyer who understands criminal law.
How can a Lawyer Intervene?
If there is a factual basis, a defense lawyer might contact the arresting or investigating police officer or reach out to the prosecutor before the decision to file charges is made. This may work if the charges are not as serious, but it does not always work. Once criminal charges are filed, it may still be possible to avoid a trial. Innocent defendants who have had charges filed against them oftentimes have their cases dismissed.
Case dismissals require work on the part of defendants and their lawyers. There needs to be an investigation and evidence gathering phase, which includes speaking with witnesses. Then, the lawyer could contact the prosecution and try to prove that the incident did not occur in the way that was alleged.
What Circumstances Lead to Dismissals?
Prosecution cases can also fizzle out when defense lawyers initiate pretrial motions, such as ones to suppress illegally seized evidence. If the defense wins a preliminary hearing, the prosecution might decline to re-file the case. Other in-court proceedings can end the charges, but it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case.
On the other hand, doing nothing could be the right move. Sometimes, the prosecution takes months to find out that there is not enough evidence for a conviction. This could be due to a witness not being credible.
How can I Prepare for a Defense?
Many innocent people are forced to go to trial. After being falsely accused, one should prepare for the possibility of a trial. All of the details of the incident should be recorded, and any physical evidence should be carefully preserved. If there are any potential witnesses, their contact information should also be noted.
It is not a good idea for people to represent themselves in criminal matters. Reaching out to a qualified lawyer is a proactive way to prepare for a possible case.
Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Provide Experienced Legal Guidance to the Falsely Accused
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, turn to a knowledgeable Haddonfield criminal defense lawyer at Agre & St. John. Complete our online form or call us at 856-428-7797 for an initial consultation today. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.