Standing in front of a judge and facing jail time in the state of Texas is intimidating enough. But it’s a whole different feeling when you have to go to court after being falsely accused of a crime.
Sometimes, this occurs due to your identity being mistaken for someone else’s. Other times, someone is maliciously accusing you of a crime you had nothing to do with.
Regardless of what happened, there’s important info you need to keep in mind.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about what to do if you’ve been falsely accused.
What Are Common Scenarios People May Face?
While you could technically be accused of any crime, there are two that people commonly end up being falsely charged with:
- Sexual assault or rape
- Domestic violence
We’ll briefly go over an example scenario for each to illuminate how easily things can go awry and lead to false accusations.
While the lines of consent can sometimes become blurred when drugs or alcohol are involved, there’s a difference between miscommunication and a full-on assault.
Read on to learn about a typical situation that may arise.
Michael and his friends go out to a bar in the downtown Houston area to unwind on a Friday night. As time goes on and they have a few drinks, they decide to relocate to a second location down the road.
Michael and his friend Jeremy are the first to arrive. Shortly afterward, they receive word through a group chat that everyone else they were with decided to get food and then return home instead.
Upon hearing this, Jeremy decides to join them while Michael decides to stay on his own and buy a drink.
He meets a girl named Michelle at the bar and the pair quickly engage in conversation. Both parties are fairly inebriated and decide to go back to Michelle’s apartment shortly before the bar closes.
The two end up having consensual sex and Michael takes an Uber back to his apartment shortly after. Michelle awakens and is overcome with guilt over her reckless behavior. She also has several missed calls from her boyfriend.
Upon telling him about what occurred, she asserts that she was not in control of the situation and was sexually assaulted by Michael. She then contacts the police.
It’s fairly easy to be falsely accused of domestic violence, especially if you are the male in a male-female relationship. But this could also happen between former lovers, estranged spouses, etc.
Let’s take a look at how it might occur.
Ethan and Liza have been fighting for months, but their passion for each other drives them to push through the conflict.
One night, though, their argument hits a point never before reached for the couple. Both parties are throwing each other’s clothes out of the drawers, breaking picture frames, and screaming.
During the turmoil, Liza trips over the clutter on the floor and falls, injuring her arm and shoulder. She has visible bruising in this area.
As the conflict escalates, Liza calls the police in order to get Ethan out of the house. During her heightened emotional state, she tells law enforcement that Ethan had grabbed and thrown her and that she fears for her safety.
Law enforcement arrives and sees the bruises on Liza’s arm. Despite the circumstances painting him in an unfavorable light, Ethan tries to explain himself.
He is immediately detained and taken to jail.
What Should I Do If This Happens to Me?
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the only information you should provide to law enforcement is your own personal info. This includes your name, date of birth, address, etc.
Don’t speak about the crime you’re being accused of or the events that transpired. Politely decline to answer questions and tell law enforcement that your attorney has informed you not to speak unless they are present.
A harsh truth of false accusations is that you’ll likely go to jail, especially if the crime you’re accused of is sexually or domestically violent in nature.
When making calls from the facility, do not contact your accuser if you have their information. This could be misconstrued as stalking, harassing, etc.
A good rule of thumb is to say as little as possible and to not say anything if you aren’t directly asked a question.
Contact a Reliable Attorney
As soon as you have the opportunity to, reach out to a reliable attorney who can represent you in court. Without quality legal representation, there’s a significant chance that you’ll be convicted.
Domestic violence convictions can cause you to be viewed as a violent offender by future employers or anyone else who knows about your case. Sexual assault convictions can complicate your life even more.
After your legal defense, you may even be able to take legal action against your accuser for libel or slander. Since even a mere accusation can cause undue stress in someone’s life, it may be worth pursuing compensation.
Getting Falsely Accused of a Crime Can Be Intimidating
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about getting falsely accused of a crime in mind, you’ll be well on your way to taking the right steps to protect yourself in the courtroom.
Want to learn more about the legal assistance Andreea Ionescu can provide to those in the Houston area? Feel free to get in touch with her today to see what she can do for you.