If you think you could never be wrongly accused of committing a crime, you are mistaken. In fact, many people are accused of crimes they never committed each day in the U.S., with some actually finding themselves being convicted and put in jail. While there may be many reasons for these mistakes occurring, here are four of the most common of which you should be aware.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
When a crime takes place, the police usually talk to eyewitnesses who give descriptions of suspects. Unfortunately, if you happen to look similar to the actual criminal and were in the wrong place at the wrong time, police may assume you are the guilty party. While eyewitnesses should be able to deliver accurate descriptions, many often give police vague or completely incorrect descriptions, increasing the likelihood you could be falsely accused.
There Was Misleading Forensic Evidence
When evidence is collected at a crime scene, it must be properly handled by police to make sure it is not tampered with or compromised in other ways. Unfortunately, it is quite common for forensic evidence to become tainted, making it easier for you to be wrongfully convicted of a crime. Should this occur, always have a skilled criminal defense lawyer handling your case.
You Were Set Up by Others
Should you have a person who is carrying a grudge against you, they may attempt to set you up for a crime they in fact committed themselves. Whether it is falsely telling the police you committed the crime, paying others to do so, or planting evidence at the crime scene that will lead police to conclude you were the culprit, this happens far more often than most people realize.
A Malicious Victim
While it may sound strange to you, the fact is an ex-friend, spouse, or romantic partner may decide to falsely accuse you of a crime. Often occurring in situations involving domestic violence or child abuse, these false accusations can potentially ruin your life if they are believed by others and lead to a conviction. Unfortunately, even if the victim recants the story they told to police, criminal charges could still be filed against you until the facts become more evident to police and prosecutors.
If you have been wrongly accused of a crime, don’t assume it will be easily cleared up and the matter dropped by police and prosecutors. Instead, be proactive in fighting the charges by hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in criminal defense.
Author information: Anica Oaks is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.