Nobody wants to get entangled within the criminal justice system. The criminal justice process often takes a long time and is very emotionally draining. Not only that, but the stakes are extremely high with possible prison time on the line. In many cases, people who are accused are totally innocent. These wrongfully accused individuals sometimes struggle to prove their claims. Read more to learn how to handle your criminal case when you have been wrongfully accused of a crime from our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law.
Hiring an Attorney After Being Wrongfully Accused of a Crime in Los Angeles
The very first thing you should do after being accused of a crime, wrongfully or otherwise, is to hire a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. While all attorneys are licensed to practice in any area of law, many attorneys tend to limit their practice to only a few specific fields. You will want to make sure your attorney is experienced in criminal defense work.
Be honest and open with your attorney when discussing your case. Being candid and forthcoming with your lawyer will put them in the best position to defend you in court. The attorney-client privilege may protect anything you say to your attorney. Explain the accusations and why they are incorrect. Your Diamond Bar criminal defense attorney can determine the best way to assert your innocence so you can hopefully avoid a trial and spend as little time caught up in the criminal justice system as possible.
Providing an Alibi After Being Wrongfully Accused of a Crime in Los Angeles
If you were nowhere near the scene of the crime when it allegedly occurred, you might have an alibi. An alibi is more than just a defense to criminal accusations or charges. It is proof that you were somewhere else when the crime occurred and could not be the perpetrator. If you have an alibi, tell your Santa Clarita criminal defense attorney right away.
Contrary to what you might see in the movies or on TV, an alibi is not presented during trial. An alibi needs to be raised much sooner, immediately if possible. You may not even need to bring your alibi into court for a judge. Your Fontana criminal defense attorney can contact the prosecutor on your case, explain the alibi, and the prosecutor may drop the charges against you.
However, an alibi must be based on more than just your word. You may claim that you were out of town at the time the crime happened, but without any proof, the prosecutor will not believe you. Things like receipts, plane tickets, photos, and testimony from witnesses will help you establish a solid alibi and avoid a trial for a crime you did not commit.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Innocence in Los Angeles
In some cases, alibis may be difficult to prove. You really may have been somewhere else at the time the crime occurred, but you might not have evidence of your whereabouts. For example, if you were alone in your home when the crime allegedly took place, you may have a tough time proving it. After all, people do not have receipts or documented proof that they entered their own home, and if you were alone, there are no witnesses to back you up.
At this point, we need to start pulling together evidence that demonstrates you are not the culprit. This often requires cooperating with the police and prosecutors as they begin to build their case. For example, police officers routinely take fingerprints and DNA samples from crime scenes. If you allow the police to take your fingerprints and DNA for comparison, they will soon realize you are not the person they are looking for.
We also need to examine the circumstances surrounding the crime. Perhaps we can establish that you did not know the victim of the crime. If you did know the victim, we could try to establish that you had no reason or motive to commit the crime. In addition, we may want to allow the police to conduct a search of your home. If you truly have nothing to hide, they will find no evidence of the crime in your home. Talk to our Riverside criminal defense attorney to determine the best way to approach your case.
Criminal Charges for False Accusations in Los Angeles
We should also consider the nature of the accusations made against you. Were the accusations just honest mistakes, or were they made with malicious intent? In California, it is a crime to file a false police report and make false criminal accusations. If you think this is the case, we can argue that the accuser is lying. However, they will only be charged if they made the false accusation knowing it was untrue.
According to § 148.5 of the California Penal Code, anyone who knowingly files a false report with the police may be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense. However, this only applies when the person gives the false information directly to a police officer or other peace officer. If they made a false accusation to someone else, like people in the community, they might start a rumor that leads to a police report, but they cannot be criminally charged.
It is possible that threats of criminal consequences may make your accuser decide to recant their story out of fear of criminal prosecution. If they insist on sticking to their false story, we can try to gather evidence that it is untrue and that they are lying.
Call Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney for Help
If you or someone close to you has been wrongfully accused of a crime, please reach out to our Long Beach criminal defense attorney. Our office can help you fight your charges and clear your good name. Call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 to schedule a free consultation.