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Our criminal justice system is well known for requiring that it presumes someone innocent until proven guilty. However, every year people unfortunately file false criminal accusations, the justice system treats the accused as guilty, and sometimes people who have done nothing wrong face judicial proceedings.

In the most upsetting situations, judges and juries convict innocent people. Why does this happen? What should an innocent person in this situation do? 

An accomplished criminal defense firm can address these questions. More importantly, it can defend those wrongfully accused.

Understanding the Process

Our judicial system is intended to be fair and never take away the rights of an innocent person. There are many safeguards that you have probably heard of, including:

  • You have the right to remain silent,
  • You have the right to an attorney, and
  • You have the right to a jury.

Also, there are ample procedures, policies, and laws police officers must follow to ensure, among other things, that police investigate accusations fully and fairly.

For instance, they cannot interrogate a person who is in custody without first reading them their rights, and they usually need a warrant or consent to search a person’s body and/or belongings.  Prosecutorial agencies should never charge a person without great cause.

The judicial system, ideally, should never convict an innocent person. However, even these significant protections do not always ensure that there will never be false accusations against a person. 

Causes of False Criminal Accusations and False Criminal Charges

No law can make a person honest. Therefore, people at times, unfortunately, make false criminal accusations against others on purpose.

Sometimes a spiteful neighbor, ex-spouse, or even someone’s family member will make a false allegation. Other times the false allegation is a mistake. A victim may misidentify the person whom they believe was a perpetrator. 

While the vast majority of law-enforcement officers are diligent and honest, some are neither. Untrustworthy officers may file false charges. Investigators who are not conscientious may make missteps and accept the word of those making false criminal accusations.

The result of the missteps in the judicial process? An innocent person must combat false criminal charges. In these cases, they will immediately need an experienced, highly rated legal defense team.

Combating False Accusations

If a person faces a wrongful criminal charge, they may want to sue for false accusations. However, the immediate focus needs to be on protecting yourself from the allegations.

Remember, no matter how absurd, untrue, maddening, or unfair the accusations may be, they still pose a grave risk to the individual facing them.

Hiring a defense firm that gets results is the best way to combat false criminal charges. Whether the individual fears false criminal accusations may come or law enforcement has already charged them with false criminal charges, they need a good lawyer.

Based on where in the process the case is, the attorney may:

  • Address the person threatening to file the false charges and notify the police of this threat (which is illegal conduct);
  • Work with police to see the whole picture and not file charges;
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor to drop the false charges;
  • Fight vigorously in court for a not-guilty verdict regarding the false accusations; and
  • Seek to overturn a wrongful conviction based on false criminal charges.

To be clear, a person’s freedom is at stake when dealing with false criminal charges. A lawsuit for wrongful accusation is a civil case that certainly may warrant consideration. But the priority must be avoiding any possibility of a criminal record and punishment based on false criminal accusations.

Step one: always reach out to a criminal defense lawyer for a free, confidential consultation and begin the process of protecting your rights if you are facing false criminal accusations. 

Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC 

The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, is a top-notch San Diego County criminal defense firm. Having tried well over 100 jury trials, the firm is well-respected in the judicial community and receives ongoing praise from clients and the media.

Compassion and experience are the trademarks of The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC. The firm will stand up for you and enable you to rest assured that your case is being handled with the utmost care by attentive veteran legal professionals.

Call 619-234-2300 today if you need a criminal defense attorney, or reach out online for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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