Violent crime impacts millions of people each year. Laws are in place to punish those who commit these crimes, but not every person who is accused is guilty.
There are numerous instances when the wrong person is accused of a violent crime or a claim of violence is made up to target someone. As many as 6% of people incarcerated each year are innocent, according to recent studies. These instances show the importance of obtaining experienced legal representation to protect your rights. False accusations of violent crime can result in significant consequences for the accused even if the charges are later dropped. That is why it is important to know when you may need to hire a violent crimes attorney.
Today, violent crime is a high-profile matter. Overall violent crime in the U.S. spiked 4.2% from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022, compared to the same period last year, according to the Major Cities Chief Association. With so much attention focusing on the increase in violent crime, it is important to act decisively and quickly if you are accused to ensure your rights and reputation are protected. In addition to damaging your reputation if you are charged with a crime, a conviction in such cases will cause long-term damage to you, your family, and perhaps even your livelihood.
There are certain steps you must take immediately if you are confronted with accusations of a violent crime, which can include murder, sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and other crimes. Follow this guide carefully as soon as you learn about such accusations.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal, and some just may not be up to the task of representing you. If you are accused of a violent crime, you will want an experienced defense lawyer to protect your rights and provide you with the best advice. Look for recommendations from people you trust and consult with several lawyers to find one you believe will best represent you. A lawyer with a proven track record of helping those accused of violent crimes is the best option for your defense.
Create a List of Potential Witnesses
If you are accused of a violent crime, you should begin making a list of potential witnesses who can vouch for your character. You may even know people who can help you prove your innocence, although you are not required to prove you did not commit a crime for which you are falsely accused. List the names, extent of your relationships, and contact information for those people whom you believe can serve as a potential witness for you.
Protect Your Information
In some cases, false accusations are made by people who are close to the accused, such as a relative, a spouse or a close friend. Make sure you secure all of your information, protecting it from the accuser. This can include bank records, financial information, cellular phones, laptops, and other information. If left unprotected, certain information can be obtained by the accuser to use against you, including to create false evidence.
End Contact With the Accuser
Do not, under any circumstances, communicate with the accuser once you are notified of accusations against you. In many cases, such accusations are made by people who are close to you. You should immediately distance yourself from the accuser so you do not exacerbate the situation. Some accusers try to agitate the person they are accusing in hopes of creating more legal trouble for them.