Innocent until proven guilty is our country’s battle cry in the courtroom. It is what makes our nation great. Those who live here should be able to feel confident and safe living in a land where freedom and truth is honored. Our law and government are set up make sure that anyone convicted of a crime is, without doubt, truly guilty.
We know that the system is not perfect. Throughout history, we know many innocent people have been framed or convicted for a crime they did not commit. When we started using DNA samples, there were hundreds of people on death row that were proven innocent and were set free as their convictions were over turned or thrown out.
Denial and Downplaying the Charges
When you find out that you have been charged for a crime you did not commit you might feel a combination of emotions. There are two emotions in particular that can get you into deep trouble. The first that many of our clients have experienced is denial. When you know you are innocent, it can feel hard to wrap your mind around the fact that you are actually being investigated or charged with a crime you know you did not commit. This can cause one not to take any actions because of their denial.
Others have made the mistake downplaying the severity of the charges. One might feel that it isn’t a big deal because you know you are innocent and you assume that because of that, you don’t have to take any action. Both denial and downplaying an investigation or charge are huge mistakes. Even when you are innocent, you need to take any charges against you extremely serious and take these next three steps immediately.
3 Steps to Take When You Are Innocent When Charged
Step One – Do Not Say Anything
When you are being investigated or charged with a crime, the prosecution can use anything you say against you. You might say something you don’t mean to say under pressure, or what you say could be misinterpreted and later be used against you. Even small details that you think are not important might later turn up to have more significance then you realize. When you are innocent, it can feel like you do not have to watch what you say, because you do not have anything to hide, but it doesn’t matter. Do not say anything until you have sought out legal advice.
Step Two – Seek Out a Defense Attorney
As soon as you hear you are being investigated, or fear you might be or you have been charged, seek out a defense attorney that specializes in the area you have been accused. A good defense attorney will walk with you each step of the way, offering legal counsel, and develop a defense that is specific to your case and situation.
Step Three – Educate Yourself
Hiring an attorney is just the beginning. He or she is your partner in this, but cannot do it alone. To make sure you understand what is happening, you will need to educate yourself. Look up words that you are not familiar with, gain understanding of the charges, the penalty, the process, etc. This will also help to equip you to ask questions to your attorney so that they can serve you to the best of their ability.
Being charged with a crime you did not commit is scary. Denial and downplay might be emotions you jump to at first, but you need to take any charge against you seriously. Our government and law is in place to help protect you and your rights. You have a right to a fair trial, and a right to a defense attorney. Knowing to take these three steps first will help your case immensely: Do not talk to anyone about your case, seek out a competent defense attorney, and educate yourself. Call my office today.
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000