What to Do if You’re Falsely Accused of a Crime
It is an unfortunate reality that false criminal accusations can and do happen. Even though they aren’t a rampant problem, they do happen frequently enough that it is important for you to know what steps to take if it happens to you. A victim or witness could accidentally identify the wrong suspect, or circumstances of a crime could lead police to suspect an innocent person rather than the actual perpetrator.
The first step you should take when falsely accused of a crime is to retain an attorney. He or she will be able to guide you through the ensuing criminal process so you can clear your name. After that, some of the steps you’ll want to take include:
- Collect as much physical evidence as you can related to the incident as is available to you. This could include photos, videos, clothing or other objects. In some cases, you might have access to more physical evidence than others—this varies depending on the circumstances and nature of the crime.
- Collect as many documents and records as possible that relate to the case, including emails, letters, text records, financial records, legal records, phone and GPS records or any other documentation that could prove where you were at the time the crime occurred.
- Develop a list of potential witnesses. This could include people you believe have information about who actually committed the crime, or witnesses that can prove your alibi. Make sure you have all witness contact information and an idea of the evidence they can share.
- List any other evidence you know was at the crime scene but will not be able to collect yourself. This will be of interest to law enforcement.
For more information about steps to take if falsely accused of a crime, contact experienced Reading, PA criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.