If you were accused of a crime, you should begin formulating your defense immediately.Don’t give the police anything incriminating, and start by identifying evidence that could bolster your case.It’s possible to beat a criminal charge, but it will take perseverance, clear thinking, and effective legal representation.
Step 1: There are false identifications.
False identifications occur when an individual is wrongly identified as committing a crime.Eyewitness testimony can be very persuasive to a judge or jury, but often their identifications and testimony are not accurate.If you think you have been wrongly identified as a suspect, you should ask for a blind administration of your lineup.The officer conducting the lineup doesn’t know who the suspect is.It prevents the officer from making suggestive statements to the witness that could cause them to wrongly identify the suspect.Request a better lineup composition.All of the other people in the lineup should look the same as the suspect.Ask if your identification procedure will be recorded.It is a good idea to have your lineup videotaped.If you feel something went wrong, the videotape can be used as evidence.
Step 2: There is a chance of government malfeasance.
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors have motives that lead them to be dishonest.They can use their power to convict someone of a crime they didn’t commit.Raise the issue at trial if you think this has happened to you.Discuss your thoughts with your attorney or the judge.Tell them who you think is responsible for the conduct.
Step 3: Understand false confessions.
Many innocent people admit to doing something they didn’t do because they think their cooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors will be better than trying to keep their innocence.Do not fall into this trap if you are accused of a crime that you did not commit.Ask for a criminal defense attorney if you feel threatened by the police or attorney.
Step 4: Consider the validity of forensic science.
In the present criminal investigatory climate, law enforcement is relying more and more on the use of forensic science, which is the application of science to legal problems.Many scientific methods have not been subjected to sufficient evaluation and this has led to a lot of errors.If you think you are being accused of a crime because of faulty science, you should consider hiring a forensic expert.
Step 5: Informants are a part of the role.
Informants are people who give information to law enforcement.Incentives to work with law enforcement can lead to false statements.People who are past criminals are more likely to lie to law enforcement in order to cover their tracks.If you think you have been wrongly identified as the suspect, you need to bring this up at trial.
Step 6: Consider the inadequate defenses.
A criminal defense lawyer can make mistakes at trial.When a defense attorney is incompetent, it can lead to a wrongful conviction.You will have to appeal your conviction if you think your legal defense was not good.
Step 7: Stay calm, stay calm.
You will probably not know that you have been accused of a crime until the police show up.You will be shocked and confused.You have to remain calm so that you don’t make mistakes.
Step 8: Don’t talk to police.
You don’t have to talk to the police.You might remain silent even if they arrest you.As part of their investigation, police may contact you.You should assume that you are a suspect if they start asking where you were on a specific date.It is okay to talk to the police if you are not under arrest.That is meaningless.Whether you have been arrested or not, anything you say can be used against you in court.If police take you into custody, you should tell them that you want to talk to a lawyer.You need to say this explicitly.Staying silent is not enough.Police can keep asking you questions if you remain silent.The police have to stop all questioning if you request a lawyer.If you initiate discussions with the police, they can question you.You should limit your discussions to requests for food or trips to the bathroom.Don’t say anything about the charges brought against you or engage in small talk.Do not ask about the case.
Step 9: Don’t wait to hire a lawyer.
If you are arrested, you can request a public defender.Once you have been accused of a crime, you should speak to a lawyer.The likelihood that the state has enough evidence to charge you can be assessed by a lawyer.He can help you find evidence that supports your innocence.You have to pay for a lawyer before you can get a public defender.
Step 10: Put together your alibi.
If you are accused of a crime, your attorney should be able to find out when and where it happened.Put together a list of people you saw at the time of the crime.Your attorney will give you written statements.The interview should be videotaped.You may be able to introduce the statements at trial if the witness disappears before the trial.You should look for documentary evidence that you were at the location.You can show that you weren’t at the crime scene by using ATM receipts or credit card purchases.If you can identify it, it’s a bank or convenience store.It’s possible to show that you weren’t at the crime scene.
Step 11: Look for witnesses to the crime.
If you are in prison, you should hire a private investigator to find out who witnessed the crime.Friends or family can investigate if you can’t afford a private investigator.The investigator should go to the location of the crime and ask people if they remember the night in question.They could be witnesses themselves.The investigator will find leads.The investigator might try to speak to your accuser.The government will have to give you a list of witnesses if they decide to prosecute you.They don’t need to do this during the investigation stage.
Step 12: In your search for evidence, record every phone call and save every email.
There is a pattern of obstruction.This can be used to get that person to stop obstructing you or to prove obstruction in court.You should only work with an attorney if you are trying to get evidence from someone.
Step 13: You should give the police your evidence.
You may want to meet with the police after you have gathered evidence and consulted with your lawyer.During the entire interview, your attorney should be present.You can present your side of the story.The names and addresses of alibi witnesses are included in the exculpatory evidence.You can be arrested at any time by the police.Be prepared to be arrested.If the state has already charged you with a crime, presenting evidence to them will be useless.They have a strong case against you.Your alibi evidence, witnesses, etc., will be useful at trial.
Step 14: Do not take a polygraph.
Police departments use polygraph exams to investigate.The polygraph exam is a way to clear your name.The polygraph exam is often used to get a confession.You may be told that you failed the exam and should confess.If you decline to take a polygraph, you can avoid this scenario.
Step 15: It’s a good idea to be discreet.
If you are out of jail, you will be able to talk to family and friends about the case.You should not.Even if you don’t testify, anything you say can be used against you at trial.The original story can be changed as a story is repeated.The media can get wind of a wrong version of events.
Step 16: The press should be avoided.
Members of the media may contact you if your case is high profile.You don’t gain anything by talking to them.Prospective jurors are unlikely to sway even if you publicly profess your innocence.The press can take things out of context.Reporters are more interested in ratings and newspaper sales than in helping you prove your innocence.Refer reporters to your lawyer if they harass you.Keep your calm around the press.Photographers may try to get a reaction just so they can sell a photo of you.In order to upset you, they may call you or your family names.They should be blocked out.
Step 17: Meet your lawyer.
Before the trial begins, your lawyer should meet with you.She needs to explain the evidence that the state is presenting against you.Suggest your trial strategies to your lawyer.You might have seen something that your lawyer didn’t see.You can always call or write a letter if your lawyer doesn’t meet with you.Stay up to date.No one has more to lose than you.
Step 18: Do you want to testify?
You have a right not to testify.It could be helpful.Discuss it with your lawyer.How strong is the prosecution’s evidence?Is there a witness who will testify that you committed the crime?How credible are their witnesses?Do you have alibi witnesses?If credible people can place you somewhere other than the crime scene, you may not want to testify.Do you have a criminal record?It is possible to cast doubt on your credibility with evidence of a felony conviction.The prosecutor can show evidence of prior felonies if you testify.It is up to you to decide whether to testify or not.
Step 19: Stay focused and centered.
It’s frustrating that many people might think you’re guilty because of what they know about you.Losing some friends isn’t as important as losing your liberty or reputation.
Step 20: Prepare for the court.
The state will give you a list of witnesses, your lawyer will present them, and you should know what the witnesses will say in the trial.It’s important that you present some form of evidence that can rebut the evidence offered by the prosecutor.If the state presents a witness who saw you commit the crime, you should have someone else who didn’t see it.The credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses should be impeached.Bring up theories of why they are lying and gather evidence to support them.If someone is biased against you because you took their job, then you should raise this issue during the witness’s examination.
Step 21: It’s a good idea to dress professionally.
The appearance matters to juries.You should dress well when you go to court.It’s a good idea to choose a clean, pressed, and well-cut outfit.If relevant, have a haircut and shave.If relevant, Tone down the makeup and don’t wear flashy rings.If you have facial tattoos, cover them with makeup.The jury won’t be able to detect that you are wearing makeup if you sit far away from them.
Step 22: Be positive.
You need to project an air of calm confidence.Don’t make jokes or smile, but look at the jury.During the trial, take notes.This will force you to pay attention to the evidence presented and give you something to do.Send a note to your lawyer if you have an idea.
Step 23: The practice is being looked at.
You have to rehearse constantly if you plan to testify.You have to be able to speak clearly and concisely.The witnesses are encouraged to speak in their own words.The same advice is applicable to you.Speak respectfully and keep eye contact.Do not exaggerate or do something that feels unnatural.You don’t need to cry to be sympathetic.
Step 24: Understand when you have to appeal.
You need to appeal your trial conviction if you have been found not guilty of a crime.You have to file a notice of appeal within ten days of your conviction in some states.
Step 25: What can be appealed?
If you are appealing a criminal conviction, the appellate court will only hear legal issues, which means you will not be able to appeal the facts surrounding your case or the decisions of the jury.There are only two ways to appeal a criminal conviction in California.You can argue that there wasn’t enough evidence to justify the guilty verdict.You can claim that there were mistakes of law that hurt your case.
Step 26: You can file a written brief.
You will need to file a written brief with the court that convicted you if you choose to appeal.Your written brief will include a description of your claim, the facts supporting it, and the legal authority that backs it up.Don’t forget to take great care when writing your brief, and consider hiring an experienced appellate attorney to help you.The most important document during the appellate process is your legal brief.
Step 27: If necessary, attend a court hearing.
If you said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict you, the appellate court will look at your brief and trial record and make a decision.If there was a mistake of law that led to your conviction, the appellate court will hold a hearing and listen to both parties.If there is a legitimate reason to overturn your conviction, they will do so.
Step 28: You need to fill out a petition for a certificate of innocence.
If you were wrongly convicted of a crime, you may want to petition a court for a certificate of innocence.A certificate of innocence is a court order stating that you did not commit a crime.If you want to start this process, you need to get a petition to the court and ask for a certificate of innocence.You need to tell the court that you were convicted of a crime, your conviction was reversed, and you did not bring about the conviction on your own.Evidence and documentation should be included in the petition.This usually includes trial orders and appellate orders that overturn your conviction.
Step 29: You should file your petition in the correct court.
You will need to file your petition in the trial court of the county where you were sentenced.
Step 30: Receive an order from the court.
You will have to prove your innocence at a court hearing after you file your petition.If you can do this, the court will likely grant your petition and you will receive a court order stating your innocence.