What to Do if You Are Accused of a Crime

Hypothetical Crime Scene

While it might seem incomprehensible that someone would accuse you of an illegal act you didn’t commit, this exact situation can happen to anyone at any time.  There could be several reasons this might occur: the accuser is mistaking you for someone else, someone is acting out of vengeance, forensic evidence is misleading the investigators, and many other possible reasons.  In the event this happens to you, it is recommended to follow the guidelines provided below:

Hire an Attorney

In many instances, innocent victims do not get a legal advisor until it is too late because they expect that their honesty will be evident or that getting a defense attorney makes them look guilty. Sadly, that is not true. The innocent victim needs a strong defense lawyer more than a guilty defendant does, especially in the investigation’s early stages. You must ensure that you share everything with your lawyer to ensure that your case is being planned and handled with diligence and accuracy. 

If you or any of your friends and family have been accused of a crime in the Sacramento area, we urge you to contact a Sacramento criminal defense lawyer for urgent help and guidance. 

Do Not Answer

It is highly recommended not to answer anything without your attorney present. This prevents the prosecution from questioning you into a corner. A witness can recant his evidence, or test findings can prove your innocence, with the consequence that you are not charged with anything. If you incriminate yourself early on without your attorney present, however, this becomes substantially less likely to occur.

The law also entitles you to a lawyer. The cops and the prosecutors will interrogate you. To get an incriminating statement out of you, they might employ what seems like casual conversation. When you don’t want to answer questions, you are protected by the law. You may be tricked by the police or the prosecution into revealing something that may hurt your defense. This is something that you would surely want to stop, as it’s not going to be easy refuting your own words in court.

Reasons for Accusations

Before tackling a false accusation, you should search for the explanation behind it. You might know what prompted the accuser to file charges against you better than your lawyer. When you have legitimate evidence regarding the motives of the accuser, it can sometimes become a successful defense.

To prove your point, you will need to collect proof and show it in court. For example, if there’s something you might have done to the accuser to make him angry, that could be a reasonable point in your favor. Likewise, you should make sure it’s not a matter of misidentification. You may have been mistaken by the complainant for someone else who looks like you or was in the same position you were in. 

Do Not Confront the Accuser

Some people feel that getting up close and personal with the other party will give them an opportunity to get to the root of the false accusation. This is not how things work, however. For example, the informant might bring up the confrontation in court, making it sound as though you threatened them to drop the case. Therefore, you want to ensure there isn’t even a ghost of a chance this could happen.


Being accused of a crime is undoubtedly a dreadful experience. However, it is essential to control your emotions in such a situation and use your constitutional right to remain silent. Hiring a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer significantly reduces your chances of a wrongful conviction.

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