Being falsely accused of a crime can be one of the scariest and most confusing times in your life. Your life changes from normal everyday activities to finding yourself in a police interrogation room being asked horrible questions about an event that you are clueless about. The way you react, and what you do to protect your rights in this critical time can mean the difference in the outcome of the charges. The following steps should be taken if you are ever falsely accused of any crime:
Remain Calm – While this may seem impossible, according to some of the best criminal defense attorneys, when you are being questioned by the police they are trying to work up your emotions and make you upset. A person that is upset is more likely to admit to a crime. The truth is, however, a falsely accused person that becomes upset is more likely to say something that can be taken in the wrong way, creating more trouble for themselves.
Ask If You Are Under Arrest – If the officer says “No,” refuse any additional questioning, excuse yourself and leave the police station. Immediately seek legal counsel for what just happened. If the answer is “Yes,” request an attorney and stop answering any questions until your legal representation arrives.
Request Legal Counsel – If you cannot afford an attorney, you are entitled to a Public Defender. Once you notify the authorities that you are requesting legal counsel, they must stop all questioning and allow you to have private counsel with the attorney before questioning can resume.
Stay Honest With Your Attorney – When you have an attorney representing you it is important to answer all questions to them openly and honestly, regardless if the answers are embarrassing. The lawyer has an obligation to you, and many of these details will never be revealed again. In fact, unless it is needed for your defense and you approve of its use, anything you tell your attorney is kept strictly confidential.
It Is In The Details – Once you are away from the police station or have bonded out of jail, go home and document everything you can about the event that is in question and about the experience with the police. Look for any evidence that can support your claims such as receipts and work schedules. Make copies of all this information and submit the originals to your attorney. It is very important to remember, however, not to do any of this while in the custody of the police, either in the interrogation room or jail. Either place in the eyes of the court does not protect your privacy and anything you write becomes possession of the police/District Attorney.
Make Yourself Available To Your Attorney – Work with your attorney as best as you can. Make all appointments, provide all information they request, appear at every meeting they schedule. Working with your attorney helps to show you have nothing to hide.
False accusations are probably more common that you would imagine. Many law enforcement agencies find that it is much easier to “blame” several people for a single event and weed out the wrong ones than to search for the person who committed the crime individually. Knowing what to do and how to respond to this type of accusation will make all the difference in the outcome of those charges.
The vast majority of criminal cases in Arizona require an aggressive Arizona criminal defense attorney on your side. Your choice of attorney can make all the difference in the world. If you or someone you know is facing an Arizona criminal charge, CONTACT US today! We will fight hard to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome on your case.
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