12 Things To Know If You're Falsely Accused
Donít skimp on a lawyer.
If you are falsely accused of a crime and decide to proceed to trial, donít skimp on a lawyer. This is not the time to save money. If your finances are tight, shop at discount stores and give up steak and wine--but donít look for bargain legal counsel. You are going to need the best lawyer you can afford. The saddest part is, your choice may come down to going into debt or going to jail for something you didnít do. If you simply cannot afford a lawyer, public defenders are an option but public defenders are overworked and have a lot of cases, and, like all people, the stress may get them looking for the easiest and fastest solution, which may be a plea bargain.
Youíre not as alone as you think you are.
If you ever find yourself or a loved one falsely accused of a crime, youíll probably feel alone and totally adrift. But keep in mind that more people than you would ever expect have found themselves in this situation. Unfortunately, an unwarranted sense of shame keeps most falsely accused individuals from sharing their stories. Donít be afraid to do your own research on the subject of ďfalse accusationsĒ or to reach out to others who have been there. You will need to establish your own safety net of a very small number of individuals with whom you can confide. You are not alone. And the advice and experiences of others--especially during your ordeal--can be an invaluable resource.
Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster.
If the process of going to trial is financially costly, itís every bit as brutal on your emotional reserves. Expect for everyone in the family to feel stress, fear, anger, and exhaustion (just to name a few) on a regular basis. And donít worry--feeling this way is normal. There are not many resources available when youíre dealing with the wrongful prosecution of a loved one. You can never escape the stress and strain, and there are very few emotional outlets available to you. So be prepared and use the ones that you do have available.
Youíll find out who your true friends are.
If you are wrongfully accused of a crime, youíll probably be surprised and saddened by the number of people in your life who donít want to be involved. People whom you had considered to be friends may pull away, become distant, or even refuse to help. Unfortunately, many individuals may feel so awkward even approaching the topic that they avoid it, denying you the support you need so badly. Sadly other ďfriendsĒ may assume that since you have been arrested, you are probably guilty. This can leave you bitterly disappointed by abandonment and betrayal. Don't dwell on the loss, instead accept and be even more grateful to the ones who stuck by your side.
If you or someone dear to you is ever falsely accused, youíll need all of the knowledge and resources you can possibly get your hands on. The thinking that the innocent have nothing to fear is not always true. The heaviest burden is on the defendantÖwhether the accusations are well-founded or not.
Michelle Gesse is the author of Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty Until Proven Innocent, is a native of Chicago, IL. She earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and completed her MBA at the University of Chicago.
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