False Accusations: Legal Resources, Causes and Solution
False accusations are a hot topic for obvious reasons. Since time immemorial, people have made false allegations against others for no good reason. Sometimes they do this to feed their ego or gain unlawfully. That has led the accused to suffer not only mentally but emotionally and financially.
What is a false accusation?
False convictions are accusation incidents where an individual is accused, charged before a court of law, and even convicted of a crime that they did not commit. The false accusation comes in many forms, and a couple of times, they stem from sexual misconduct. The worst thing is that these accusations soils live as well as reputations.
The actual definition of false accusation is a claim or allegation of wrongdoing, which is not true and, or otherwise, not supported by facts. It is also known as an unfounded accusation or groundless accusation and sometimes false allegations and false claims. They occur in many more ways, other than just sexual contexts alone.
Have you ever been falsely accused?
Have you ever been falsely accused of a crime? What did you do? Did what you did help you in being set free against falsely accused of a crime, or you went to jail for what you did not do? Are you still in the middle of legal battles because of false accusations? We understand that these can be a traumatizing experience which you would not even wish for your worst enemy. That’s why we have a guide on how to proceed.
False Accusations Examples
There are many examples of false accusations. These can include bullying and child abuse. Stalking, false accusations of theft, and rape are also good examples. One of the most and probably surprising false accusations is the Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
In this case, a parent lies about their child, claiming that they are sick to gain attention, while the syndromes and conditions that the parent (s) makes up are, in most cases, hyperbolic or false.
MSP or Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a physical disorder whose main agenda is attention-seeking by a caregiver. It is relatively a rare disorder and affects the primary caregiver, most of the time, the mother. The mother, in most cases, gains attention by seeking help for medicines for their patients for made-up or, most of the time, exaggerated symptoms. When the caregivers try to identify the cause of the child’s symptoms, the deliberate actions of the primary caregiver makes the symptoms even worse.
There are other similar cases of false accusations of rape. Take, for instance, the case of Thomas Kennedy, who was accused of raping his daughter on many occasions. The claim is so sensitive and was so authentic. This led the gentleman being thrown behind bars for 15 years. It was after Thomas had served nine years that the daughter again confessed the truth. The piece of evidence put forth to incriminate Thomas was provided the evidence by his daughter’s boyfriend at the elementary level.
False Accusations of Rape
As seen above, one example was rape. It is perhaps the most well-known case of a false allegation. The worst thing today is that most people believe the false accusation more than the facts. What causes this is the silencing of women that come out against powerful men.
Most of the time, these accusations come against men that hold influential positions in society and who have money. They have lawyers ready to settle the women quietly and urge them to change their story.
Another case is of Nora Wall, who was an Irish nun that worked for Sisters of Mercy. She, too, was falsely accused of a crime of rape in 1999 June. She was convicted by women who claimed of being raped six years before the charge. The women stated that they had forgotten the claim due to their repressed memories.
Nora would then serve life behind bars. That was her sentence, only that she served for only four days before one of the ladies who claimed to have been raped stated categorically that a black man was the one who had raped her in Leicester Square. The statement cast doubt in her previous statement implicating Nora of the claim.
You will have noticed that of late on the news; many stories have been told, negative stories of rape against actors, filmmakers, politicians, and other people of influential people in the society. Cases of false accusations are commonplace, and not only do they bedevil people on high sits or those that we look up to in the society as mentors but even at work. People are suffering innocently in jails. Others are rotting in prison because of a coworker making false accusations.
What are the causes of false accusations?
There are many causes of false accusations of theft or other offenses. One of them is triggered by eyewitness misidentification. Actually, this is the leading cause of false allegations in the world over today. In the US, for example, more than 75% of DNS exoneration cases involve convictions that are based on mistaken identification of evidence. Most factors affect the reliability of the identification and, more often, the simple fallibility of the memory of humanity.
Invalidated forensic science
Forensic science is a vital tool in proving methods that have not been approved by the scientific community. Issues such as fiber and hair comparison in a case have led many to accuse others of wrongdoing falsely. Comparison and bite-mark analysis have, however, made a difference in more than 50% of false convictions. The DNA evidence has also proven wrong these accusations.
Innocent defendants have in the past made incriminating or have confessed or have pleaded guilty in more than 25% of cases involving DNA exonerations in the US. This can be triggered by a myriad of things, including the defendant’s poor mental health, as well as forceful or coerced interrogation techniques.
Jailhouse informant testimony
Other causes include the jailhouse informant testimony, and here, in the US, more than 15% of all convictions have turned out to be false, following DNA evidence. Many jailhouse informants receive incentives that are not disclosed to the jury, thus making the jury biased.
Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct
This is so true because, at times the law enforcers and the prosecutors may be subjected to pressure to secure a conviction and in the process, act unfairly and unlawfully. They can withhold or fabricate evidence if you are facing false accusations of theft at work or other things. Many times they also may coerce the defendant in an interrogation, just as seen above.
Poor defense lawyering
While defendants are guaranteed a right to counsel, one needs a competent attorney to prove a defendant innocent until proven by guilty beyond any shadow of a doubt.
This is How You Can Defend Yourself against False Accusation
While this calls for quick actions, you also need to ensure that you take the right steps when you have been falsely accused. Ensure you do the following.
a) Don’t Talk to the Media
When you are falsely accused of wrongdoing, there are a couple of things that you do not have to do. First of all, do not address the media. You also should not communicate with the accuser nor talk to the police. You need an attorney who knows how well to address the media, what they should say, and what they should not, as what you say to the press can be incriminating and be used against you in a court of law.
b) A Warrantless Search of Your Home is A No-No
On the same breath, do not allow a warrantless search of your home, because as you have seen the above, law enforcers can, at times, be under pressure to secure a conviction. In cases of false accusations of theft, they can do anything to prove you guilty of an offense you did not do. They can plant evidence that will throw you behind.
c) Oblige With the Investigation officers
Without cooperating with the investigation, the law will deem you to be obstructing justice, and therefore, you need to collaborate with them to get all the evidence to make your case a success.
d) Hire a lawyer
Once you have been falsely accused, the first thing is to keep calm because then that is when you will figure out your next move. Next, you need to hire an attorney. As you have seen above, a bad attorney can be the thin line between you being thrown behind bars or getting your jail free card. Ensure you hire an experienced attorney, based on their experience and qualifications. Look for one with an excellent track record on whatever they are doing and one that you are confident disclosing anything about the case with them.
e) Keep calm and do not act
Even as a false accusation is a weighty matter that could not only ruin your reputation and make you incur hefty fines and possible imprisonment, ensure you try as much to stay calm. It is only when you are calm that you can think soberly. Disclose this to your family members and close colleagues at work, as well as your lawyer. Stay calm as the investigations continue and make sure to provide your lawyer with all pieces of information that can lead to a comprehensive investigation, and that will be helpful for them to present you in a court of law better.
How you need to prove false allegations
As stated earlier, if you won’t do anything to prove wrong, false accusations, the court will have no doubts against what’s befalling you. They will assume you have pleaded guilty, and therefore, you will get imprisoned, fined, or both for depending on what you are falsely alleged to have done. Therefore, before things get too far, here are some of the immediate steps that you need to take any time someone falsely accuses you of having committed an offense.
1) Get contact information
Prove your innocence by first gathering credible contacts of your witness and handing them to your lawyer. These are the people that you were together in real-time when the accuser claimed you committed the crime. The lawyer will know what to do with the contacts.
b) Gather any physical evidence as well as documents
Your lawyer will need physical proof and documentation to prove the accuser wrong during the court battle accurately. Therefore you can gather any available records, phone conversations, clocking time on your firm, and any other detail.
Psychological effects of false accusations
When you are falsely accused of a crime, you will, without a doubt, suffer physical, mental, and financial consequences. These include but not limited to harassment, public humiliation, which is very emotional. There is a loss of a job that will be deemed financial hardship that will add on to your emotional dent, and you will be sure to lose your relationship with family and friends.
Another widespread emotional impact of false accusations is having suicidal thoughts. Most people would opt to commit suicide before the law takes its cause since they feel that that is the end of their road. They can’t cope with the humiliation and broken relationships. They also can’t stand the thought of being confined in jail awaiting trial.
- Don’t do the following when you have been falsely accused
- Do not ignore your mental well being
- Don’t go live on social media and also avoid speaking to the media
- Don’t ignore to seek support from your family and friends
- Do not allow the warrantless search of your home
False Accusations Frequently Asked Questions
a) Can I go to jail for falsely accusing someone?
Yes, one can go to jail for falsely accusing someone.
b) Can I do anything if a colleague makes a false accusation against me?
The list of the things that you can do is long, but first, keep calm and do not be in conversation with them. Then, be the first one to make the call 911. Seek an excellent attorney and seek mental assistance.
c) Can one be fired for false accusations?
Yes, once you are accused, most firms will interject you and only reinstate you to work when the court has cleared you of law. If the court does not fall in your favor, you will be fired and fail jail sentence or a possible fine.
d) Am I able to press charges against someone who made a false accusation against me?
Yes, Once the court has proven your innocence, against your coworker making false accusations, if you so wish, you can oppress charges against your offender (s) for damage of reputation.