Being falsely accused of a crime creates a scary scenario, and it can happen to anyone. Witnesses may come forward and identify the wrong suspect or police may be led to think someone who has nothing to do with a crime is a person of interest. However, as with any emergency, thinking calmly and rationally will help the process. Although a sentiment of anger and resentment is common and normal, it is best to focus on the factors that one can control. The first factors are establishing your innocence and formulating a defense strategy. For this, a lawyer is indispensable.
Hire a Lawyer Immediately
Many people believe they do not need a lawyer because their innocence seems obvious. Furthermore, there is a general belief that hiring a defense attorney makes a person seem guilty. In a criminal case, parties will be looking out for their own best interest, so if you hire a defense attorney, they will work your best interest only. Government officials and the police often have different priorities and might not be working toward proving your innocence. Therefore, those accused of a crime need to hire an attorney immediately and begin the task of building their defense. Do not say anything, attempt to proclaim innocence, or provide reasons or explanations to law enforcement for why the incident might have occurred. Understand your right to remain silent and wait for your attorney to arrive.
Gather Evidence and Seek Witnesses
Gather any items related and relevant to the incident. These materials may include receipts, clothing, pictures, and videos, among other things. The pieces may also include financial records, emails, correspondence, phone records, or computer records. The idea is to create a timeline to establish your whereabouts. Write all the details that you can remember about the incident and make a list of possible witnesses. Share these items with your attorney. Also, avoid talking to victims or witnesses. Think about the possibility of being falsely identified and ensure that objectivity is part of any procedure to identify the perpetrators. Therefore, request that a lineup be performed blindly to prevent an officer from tainting the identification process. Furthermore, ask for everything to be recorded.
Be Diligent and Force Procedure
Just because you are innocent does not mean that you should volunteer evidence. This is something you should discuss with your attorney. Do not provide DNA or allow any searches without a warrant. There is always a possibility that someone planted evidence. Regardless of innocence, certain evidence might be used to portray you in a negative light and may be incriminating. Even so, do not destroy anything that appears suspicious, as this action may lead to new criminal charges and can make a person seem guilty. Simply force all proceedings and processes to be legal and require warrants. Furthermore, ask that everything be recorded and conducted in the presence of an attorney.
Criminal charges or accusations are a serious matter and can affect the rest of your life. Having trust in the criminal justice system is not negative; however, hiring professional assistance with experience in legal affairs is not a statement on trust but will provide peace of mind and tranquility. In such times, preparing calmly and diligently can be the difference between solving a problem quickly and enduring a complex and terrifying experience. Even if the crime involves a simple drug possession in a state with drug-friendly laws such as Colorado, consult a Denver criminal attorney immediately to ensure that the situation does not extend beyond a police inquiry.