Being falsely accused of any crime is incredibly upsetting. Depending on the type of allegations a person is levying, you could be facing jail time, loss of custody, orders to register as a sex offender, or massive fines and penalties. Your reputation, job and family could also be at stake.
Considering all the ways a false allegation can affect an accused person’s life, it is vital to know that there are ways of defending yourself against a false accusation.
Potential legal strategies can include:
- Challenging a witness’s credibility – Does the accuser have a history of lying? Does he or she have ulterior motives to accuse you of a crime? What does this person stand to gain by making false statements against you? These questions can reveal issues with a person’s credibility that makes them unreliable in the eyes of judges and juries.
- Finding your own witnesses – Just as an accuser may have witnesses against you, you may have witnesses that can attest to your innocence or the misconduct of someone else.
- Presenting evidence of your side of the story – There are at least two sides to every story. And even if you do not have a chance to give your side of the story right away, you have the right to defend yourself, which includes presenting your own evidence. Upon learning of the accusations against you, retain documentation, take note of critical times or dates, and consult an attorney right away.
- Turning the charges around – Making a false report is a crime in Pennsylvania. Having an attorney inform an accuser of this could be all the motivation a person needs to withdraw their claims.
Keep in mind, however, that these and other defense strategies can fail if you make certain missteps. Losing your temper, assaulting someone, confessing to something you did not do, or talking to police without an attorney can all be ways of compromising your argument and your position.
As such, when confronted with false allegations, focus on staying calm and securing legal guidance right away. This is undoubtedly an upsetting experience, but criminal defense attorneys like those at the Quinn Law Firm can help you get through. Call our firm at 814-833-2222 to discuss your case.