Being accused of a crime you didn’t commit can be a horrible experience, especially if you’re worried about how you’re going to prove your innocence. Even if you have a decent alibi that shows you weren’t even at the scene of the crime, coordinating the details and witnesses in a manner that convinces a judge or jury to rule in your favour can seem like a challenge in and of itself. After all, the world is full of criminals who claim to be innocent, so how do you set yourself apart from the crowd? For starters, here are five steps you should take after being accused of a crime that you didn’t commit:
Contact a criminal lawyer immediately
You may be tempted to respond in a variety of ways to express your innocence to all of the parties or authorities involved, but doing so won’t necessarily help your case. Instead, gather your thoughts and contact a criminal defence lawyer who has a solid track record of winning cases for their clients within your geographical area. It’s important to choose a lawyer who is experienced in handling local cases. You can find nearby attorneys by searching for “criminal lawyer” preceded by the name of your city (i.e. – Toronto Criminal Lawyer).
Vent about the situation at home, not in public or at court
Obviously, it’s easy to become outraged and infuriated whenever you’re accused of anything that you didn’t do. Don’t make the mistake of venting about your case anywhere, other than within the privacy of your own home. Acting appalled or upset might seem like a good idea because that’s what an innocent person should feel like when they’ve been falsely accused, but try to remember that any overly emotional response can actually work against you in the legal system.
Gather all evidence and witnesses that can support your alibi
Now that you’ve spoken with an attorney about your case and have calmed your thoughts to prevent detrimental outbursts or premature defences, it’s time to start compiling any documentation, testimonies, and other proof that may help to substantiate your alibi. Start by compiling a list of potentially useful details or documents that could contribute evidence towards proving your innocence.
Avoid trying to defend yourself
Another step you’ll want to take is deciding who will be representing you in court. In general, it’s best to avoid taking the independent approach, as it will only make things more difficult while also exposing you to a higher risk of facing a guilty verdict. Statistically, people who represent themselves have a lower chance of achieving desirable results in court cases, so it’s best to just accept the fact that you won’t be defending yourself in court if you want the best odds of being acquitted.
Prepare your alibi in writing
Finally, although your attorney will be directly handling the court proceedings, there are still some steps you can take to help them formulate a strong defence on your behalf. Start by preparing a detailed alibi in writing. Equipping your lawyer with this rough draft will help them represent you in a manner that aligns with the facts you’re trying to lean on in order to prove your innocence.
Choosing the right defence attorney is paramount
In closing, it’s important to note that choosing the right defence attorney is the most important step you can take in the entire process. Although you might think that any criminal lawyer can get the job done, it is actually possible to lose a case because of the negligence or ineffectiveness of your attorney. Thus, be sure to take the time to compare criminal lawyers in your area in order to find one that has a solid reputation for winning cases.