False accusations in court are more common than many people realize. Unfortunately, false allegations can result in significant jail time and other criminal penalties. 

If you are facing false accusations in court, remember these five essential things:

1. Contact a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately

You need skilled legal advice as soon as possible. It is never wise to defend yourself against criminal charges. Even if you are innocent, you benefit from competent legal counsel, regardless of whether you face charges for assault, drug possession, sex crimes, theft, or other criminal offenses.

A defense lawyer understands the criminal justice system and the criminal code. They have far more resources and skills than you have available to investigate criminal charges. 

The fact that you are innocent until proven guilty does not mean that you will not go to jail for false allegations. Innocent people often go to jail. The best way to fight false accusations in court is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Criminal defense lawyers have your best interest as their top priority. Therefore, they aggressively advocate for your innocence inside and outside of court. 

2. Do Not Talk to Law Enforcement Officers or the Prosecutor 

It is never in your best interest to talk to police officers, investigators, or prosecutors without a lawyer present. You have the right to remain silent, and you should do so. 

The police usually think you are guilty, and so does the prosecutor. Therefore, you will not “talk your way out of” criminal charges. The only thing you accomplish by talking to the police is giving them more evidence to use against you.

Remember, police officers often lie to suspects. Do not be tricked into answering questions. Even if the police officers or other law enforcement officials continue to talk to you, you are not required to speak with them or answer questions.

The only thing you should say is that you exercise your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel. In other words, “I will not answer questions, and I want an attorney.”

3. Never Talk to the Accuser 

Do not attempt to contact the person who makes false allegations against you. Do not talk to their friends or relatives. Do not send them letters, call them, text them, or contact them on social media.

You may think you can work things out if you simply talk to the person. However, the only thing you will do is make matters worse. In some cases, you could be charged with additional crimes if you contact the accuser.

Instead, allow your San Diego criminal defense lawyer to handle all communications regarding your case. You should not discuss your criminal case with anyone other than your lawyer. Discussing the case with other people may make them witnesses for the prosecution. 

4. Begin Gathering Evidence of Your Innocence 

You should begin gathering evidence to give to your attorney that does not involve you speaking to the accuser or anyone else about the case. For example, create a list of witnesses who may testify on your behalf. Include their names, contact information, and a summary of what relevant information they may have related to your case.

Print and copy all communications with the accuser that you have on your cell phone, computer, and other electronic devices. If you have videos or audio recordings, give those items to your lawyer.

Create a timeline of the events as you recall. Make sure you include where you were and who you were with at the time of the alleged crime. Write a summary of your history with the accuser if you and the accuser have a history. Include all details that could be relevant to the current matter.

Make sure to tell your attorney everything. Do not leave anything out, even if you believe the detail is insignificant. Your attorney needs to know everything to prepare an effective defense to the false allegations. 

5. You Can Impeach Witnesses at Trial 

An eyewitness or accuser may make false allegations against you during an investigation. However, your attorney may impeach a witness during a trial. Impeaching a witness means that the attorney attacks their credibility during cross-examination. 

Impeaching a witness may involve introducing prior testimony from a deposition that contradicts the witness’s testimony in court. For example, your attorney may discover statements the witness made to police officers or others that contradict their current story. 

In some cases, your lawyer may call other people to testify that the witness told them something different. The witness may not have been under oath when discussing the matter with another person. However, if several people claim the witness told them a different version of events, the jury members may give less credibility to the witness’s current testimony. 

Defending Yourself Against False Accusations in Court

You can fight against false allegations in court with a strong defense. However, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Delays in seeking legal advice could make it more difficult to prove the allegations against you are false. 

If you’re facing criminal charges, call Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers at (619) 357-4977 or contact us online today.