How to Cope With the Psychological Impact of a False Allegation

Kimberly2 1Author:

Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney

Regardless of what crime you are falsely accused of, it can have a psychological impact on you and your family. It can cause immediate complications and long-term trauma. Although it may seem inconceivable that someone would wrongfully allege that you did something illegal, you may still face serious charges that you cannot get dismissed. Furthermore, you may ultimately be convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.

Unfortunately, false accusations don’t just happen in the movies. If you find yourself under investigation for a crime, you may be in for a long and stressful operation. You should take immediate steps to protect and legally defend yourself to mitigate the more severe aspects of a lengthy legal process.


How False Allegations Affect You


Criminal accusations are inherently stressful and have the potential to affect your family, friends, employment, and social standing. More than a mere inconvenience, criminal allegations can interrupt your sleep, as well as cause health and financial problems.

These consequences are compounded if you have been falsely accused. You may feel compelled to try to rectify the situation on your own. This is a bad idea. Attempts to contact your accuser may be interpreted as aggression. Plus, a witness may recant their testimony, test results might support your innocence, or the prosecutor otherwise determines that there is insufficient evidence to pursue charges.

Retaining the services of a law firm when you have been falsely accused of a crime enables them to take immediate measures that ensure charges aren’t filed.


How False Allegations May Affect Your Family


Along with how false accusations may affect you, they will also significantly impact your family. They will also experience stress, embarrassment, and financial expenses like you do, as well as perhaps feelings of distrust. There may be a strain in the relationship if they have difficulty reconciling whether or not the allegations are false.

In their desire to have the whole thing behind them, they may offer uninformed legal advice and cause more harm than good. For example, family members might suggest that you destroy possible evidence they think could harm you or talk to the criminal investigator, police, prosecutor, victim, or witnesses. They may recommend that you defend yourself or accept a plea bargain that will result in lesser charges.

Only an experienced attorney will conduct an investigation and assess your situation to determine the right strategy for your case. A skilled lawyer might be able to provide crucial evidence proving your innocence to the prosecutor.


What to Do if You Are Falsely Accused of a Crime


False allegations may seem unfair, and because you are innocent, you may assume that you don’t need to take steps, as justice will prevail. Since that isn’t something you can count on, you need to know your rights and how to proceed legally. You need to realize the seriousness of the circumstances and potential repercussions. Contrast that against the cost of your legal defense.

Then, retain the services of a reputable lawyer with criminal defense experience who will help you make decisions and plan a strategy that will decrease the chance of an unfavorable outcome.

Your legal counselor can protect you by:

  • Intervening before the charges are filed
  • Gather documents and physical evidence
  • Collect witness contact information
  • Investigate the crime
  • Plan your defense

For most people, a false allegation of a criminal offense is unexpected and terrifying. You don’t have to navigate the complicated legal process alone. If you are wrongfully accused, contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your options. The faster you seek counsel, the quicker you can hopefully put the entire matter behind you.

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