Being charged with a crime is a serious matter. Being found guilty can change the course of your life, even if you didn’t commit the crime in question. It’s important to take any charges seriously, even if you know them to be fault. Your goal shouldn’t be to fight the process, but rather to prove your own innocence. Your goal is to have the charges against you dismissed or, failing that, to be found innocent in court. There are steps that you can take to help the process of exoneration move along without a minimum of fuss and with a great chance of success.
First and foremost, you should hire an attorney. No matter what television shows tell you, innocent people hire attorneys all the time. It is the job of a lawyer to protect your rights in a system that tends to prioritize convictions over justice (Source: Keyser Law). From the first moment that you are contacted by the police, you must call in a lawyer to represent you. Even if you think that this is just a misunderstanding that will go away quickly, the best thing that you can do is to have representation.
Next, take the advice of your attorney seriously. Don’t feel like you can fight things yourself. Make sure that you gather proof of where you were and when, make sure that you have all the necessary documentation to show that you could not have committed the crime. Be polite and respectful of the police, but remember to protect your own rights – you do not have to go along with everything that they say, and make sure that your attorney is always present whenever you are questioned. You want to be firm in your denial of committing the crime, while still protecting yourself from repercussions that might occur due to the investigation.
Remember, you are always innocent until proven guilty. Let your attorney guide you through the process of being exonerated, and make sure that it is the prosecution that has to do the work – not you. Be cooperative and respectful, but always remember this – you are being accused of a crime, so you must always remember that the people on the other side of the table are your adversaries during this process. You owe it to yourself to have a zealous defense present, and to return to a life of freedom untroubled by these charges.