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Criminal Law Blog

Handling a False Criminal Charge Due to Being in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

April 7, 2023

If you have been charged with a crime or accused of a criminal act and you’re innocent, you might not even know where to begin planning your defense. A criminal defense attorney typically has years, if not decades, of experience assisting clients who were wrongfully accused. When you are facing false criminal charges simply because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, here are a few important things to keep in mind:

Never Speak About the Case Without Your Lawyer Present

It can be tempting to defend yourself when you’ve been wrongfully accused. However, the more you talk about your charges, the more ammunition you’re giving the prosecution to use against you in court. You have the right to have your lawyer present with you for any formal questioning by the police or other representatives of the law. You should never talk to a detective, investigator, PI, police officer, or another attorney without your own attorney present. You also shouldn’t discuss the crime, your charges, evidence, witnesses, or any other details with the media, reporters or journalists, co-workers, or strangers. This might end up harming your case. 

Be Honest with Your Lawyer 

Your lawyer will ask you a lot of questions about your involvement in the crime. You’ll need to explain why you were present, who you were with, what you were doing, and more. You should always be honest, because lying to your lawyer or withholding information will only harm your defense. Your lawyer can’t plan an effective legal strategy if your lawyer doesn’t have accurate information. 

Follow All Instructions 

If you were charged with a crime or even just questioned in connection with a crime, you must be careful to follow all instructions given to you by your lawyer, the court, and the police. You might be instructed not to talk about the crime to certain people, not to go certain places or hang out with other suspects or defendants, and not to take part in certain activities. It’s very important to listen to and follow these instructions. You might end up putting your case, your freedom, or your safety in jeopardy if you don’t comply. 

Provide Evidence Without Delay

If your lawyer or the court asks for certain evidence related to your case, you should provide it without delay. This includes information such as an alibi, your schedule, contact information for witnesses, and other documentation that pertains to the case. Withholding evidence or not handing it over right away can result in additional charges being filed against you, and it will also affect your credibility in court.

Avoid Doing Anything that Could Harm Your Defense

As we said above, certain actions or behavior can have a negative effect on how the court and public perceives you. While the law says you’re innocent until proven guilty, you’ll quickly find that most people don’t feel that way. That’s why it’s very important to not say or do anything that could negatively affect your case or harm your defense. To protect yourself, don’t:

  • Threaten or harass your accuser or anyone else associated with the case.
  • Have any contact at all with the victim, witnesses, or prosecuting attorney.
  • Talk to the police, investigators, detectives, media, or the prosecuting attorney without your lawyer present.
  • Consent to a DNA test or any other test requested by the police unless your lawyer agrees to it. 
  • Leave the city, state, or country if ordered to stay put.
  • Visit the scene of the crime, unless required to do so by law.
  • Discuss the case with anyone other than your lawyer and spouse.

Call Us Today if You Have Been Wrongfully Accused of a Crime in Pima County
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime in Pima County because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, call Janet Altschuler’s office. Janet Altschuler has more than 20 years of experience in criminal law, and works closely with each client to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. When you hire her, you know you’re getting an attorney who genuinely cares about your case and wants to fight for your rights in court. She specializes in domestic violence, robbery and theft, drug possession, violent crimes, gun crimes, and sex crimes. If you want to know more or have questions, call us today at 520-247-1789 or 520-200-5003 schedule a free consultation or find out more information about how we can help you defend yourself against false accusations or charges in Pima County.

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