False criminal accusations are much more common than most New York residents think. When a false criminal accusation happens, it means that the accused person is charged with a crime that he or she hasn't committed. Even worse, the accused person could go to jail and lose his or her rights and freedoms in the event that the false accusation leads to a conviction.
To prevent false accusations, or if you have been falsely accused, here is some general information you'll want to keep in mind:
- Always ask for a search warrant: Even if you don't have anything to hide, when an officer asks to search your residence, you should respond with the following words, "Do you have a search warrant?" You'll want to have a physical document showing why they are searching your home, what they're suspicious of you having done, and this could help to later invalidate the document and/or defend yourself against any charges that result.
- The criminal justice system doesn't care if you're innocent: All defendants will be seen and treated as if they are innocent by the New York court system. However, this means that someone who is innocent is treated the same as someone who might actually be guilty. Don't believe that police and the prosecution will be trying to reveal your innocence. In fact, they could be working against you, doing their best to gather and uncover anything that makes you appear culpable.
- Think hard before accepting a plea bargain agreement: The prosecution might offer you a plea deal, and threaten you that conviction is likely. They might tell you that a plea deal is the best chance you've got to reduce the severity of your punishments, but if you're truly innocent, accepting a plea deal may not be your best course of action. Speak with your criminal defense attorney before accepting any kind of plea offer.
Are you ready to get serious about your criminal defense? New York residents facing false criminal allegations can defend themselves against their charges with the assistance of an experienced criminal trial lawyer.
Source: Shave Magazine, "12 Things To Know If You're Falsely Accused," Michelle Gesse, accessed Sep. 08, 2017