Being falsely accused of a crime can be a terrifying and isolating experience. Even if you are completely innocent, you may feel powerless and alone as you work to clear your name. An accusation of wrongdoing – especially serious criminal offenses like sexual assault or domestic violence – can turn your life upside down.
If you have been wrongly accused of a crime in California, it’s essential to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A skilled defense lawyer can help protect your rights, gather evidence to support your innocence and build a strong case on your behalf.
10 Strategies an Attorney May Use to Prove Your Innocence:
1. Remain Calm and Avoid Making Statements Without an Attorney Present
The shock and anxiety of being falsely accused can make you want to explain yourself and declare your innocence immediately. However, anything you say to the police or others can potentially be used against you in court.
No matter how confident you may be in your innocence, it’s critical to avoid making any statements about the alleged incident without your attorney present. Even minor inconsistencies could damage your credibility. Let your attorney handle communications while you focus on remaining calm until your name is cleared.
2. Present an Alibi With Supporting Evidence
One of the most powerful ways to prove your innocence is to provide an alibi corroborated by evidence showing you were somewhere else when the alleged crime occurred.
Cell phone records, receipts, security footage, eyewitness accounts, and other evidence can demonstrate you could not have committed the crime. Your attorney will work diligently to gather all relevant alibi evidence.
3. Challenge the Credibility and Motives of Your Accuser
In some cases, discrediting your accuser can create enough reasonable doubt to avoid conviction. Your attorney will investigate whether the accuser has made false accusations in the past, has a grudge or ulterior motives, or has given inconsistent accounts of the alleged event. Any evidence impeaching the accuser’s credibility can undermine the prosecution’s case.
4. Contest Any Forensic Evidence Used Against You
Today’s sophisticated forensic technology can sometimes lead to inaccurate results implicating innocent people. Your criminal defense lawyer will thoroughly examine any forensic evidence being used against you – including DNA, fingerprints, digital evidence, and more. If flaws or contamination are identified in the collection or testing processes, your attorney can possibly get the evidence thrown out.
5. Present Witnesses to Support Your Good Character
Bringing forward witnesses who can attest to your good character and law-abiding history is another component of building a strong defense. Testimony from those who know you well carries significant weight in criminal proceedings and helps create reasonable doubt surrounding the charges.
6. Highlight a Lack of Evidence Against You
In some cases, a lack of convincing evidence may be the best avenue to pursue in proving innocence. Your attorney will carefully comb through the prosecution’s case to identify any evidentiary gaps, inconsistencies, hearsay, or weak links in the chain of custody. Poking holes in the evidence presented against you can prevent the prosecution from meeting their burden of proof.
7. Conduct a Thorough Independent Investigation
Do not rely solely on the police and prosecution’s investigation, which may include tunnel vision or confirmation bias. Your criminal defense lawyer will launch an independent investigation looking at all aspects of your case. They may interview key witnesses, visit relevant locations, and hire experts to re-examine forensic evidence to bolster your defense.
8. Negotiate an Alternate Resolution with the Prosecutor
In some instances, it may be strategically advantageous to negotiate a plea deal or diversion program to avoid the risks of trial. This decision depends on the specific circumstances of your case. Your attorney can provide guidance on whether pursuing an alternate resolution with the prosecutor could lead to a dismissal of charges or a lighter sentence.
9. Seek Suppression of Unlawfully Obtained Evidence
Let’s say that the police collected evidence improperly or violated your civil rights. In that case, your attorney can file a motion to suppress that evidence so it cannot be used against you. For example, any admissions made without Miranda warnings or evidence seized without a warrant could potentially be suppressed.
10. Take Your Case to Trial
If attempts to resolve the case fail and there is strong evidence supporting your innocence, your criminal defense lawyer may recommend taking your case all the way to trial. At trial, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution to demonstrate guilt beyond reasonable doubt. A skilled defense attorney can hold prosecutors to that high standard.
Being falsely accused of a crime in California can have devastating personal and professional consequences if not handled strategically with experienced legal counsel. If you believe you have been falsely accused, do not hesitate to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. The sooner you engage trusted representation, the better your chances of full exoneration.
Facing Crime Accusations? Contact an Experienced Oakland Criminal Defense Attorney Now
The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at The Nieves Law Firm have successfully defended countless innocent California residents against false allegations. From false accusations about driving under the influence to domestic disputes, their attorneys have seen it all.
Their lawyers can evaluate the details of your unique situation, answer all your questions, and start crafting a customized strategy to prove your innocence. With skilled representation on your side, you can move forward with confidence.