Being falsely accused of a crime is a troubling experience that can leave you at a loss for what to do next. With no guarantee that the charges will be dismissed or that you won’t be found guilty, your worry will only build. However, false reports make up around 10% of allegations, meaning you’re not alone in your situation.

While unfortunate there are steps you can take to clear your name when falsely accused of a crime.

5 Steps to Take When Accused of a Crime You Didn’t Commit

Remain calm

When you’re falsely accused of a crime, it’s only natural to want to react with anger and hurt. However, reacting in this way can hurt your case. Try to remember that clearing your name will take time. By acting out on emotion, you are giving the other side ammunition to use against you in the case. Try to act with a rationale level head following a false accusation.

Seek out a qualified attorney

Anybody can overcome false allegations with the help of a dedicated legal team by working together to gather sufficient evidence to clear your name. One of the first steps you should take when falsely accused is to reach out to an attorney in your area who partially specializes in false allegations.

Gather as much evidence as possible

It’s recommended that a person writes down the names of anybody who may be able to contradict what the accuser states. Additionally, if you have an alibi or some type of evidence that shows you could not have committed the crime, you will need to present it.

Explore the credibility of the accuser

Speak with your lawyer about your accuser. If they have a history of false allegations, then it may work in your favor to bring this up in court. Additionally, consider if that person has other motivations for lying such as money.

Develop a strategy and find witnesses

Finally, as you prepare to go to court you will need to develop a strategy and seek out any witnesses to speak on your behalf. Whether it’s an alibi, character testimony, or anything else, gathering evidence via witnesses is paramount to the success of your case.

What Not to Do When Falsely Accused

With the above five steps, you can make great progress towards clearing your name after you are falsely accused. With that in mind, be sure not to do the following when accused:

  • React with your emotions
  • Destroy evidence that you think could hurt you
  • Have contact with the accuser
  • Talk to the authorities without a lawyer present
  • Consent to a DNA test without your lawyer present

Keep yourself legally protected

With the help of a qualified attorney, you can have a better chance at getting your charges dropped or being found not guilty. Avoid reacting with anger when you are accused of a crime you did not commit, and instead stay calm and reach out to a law firm in your area that can help.