If you are falsely accused of a crime quickly hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. That attorney can help defend you such that accusations do not turn into false criminal charges and a wrongful conviction ending in years or decades of unjust prison time.
The frightening truth is that anyone can be falsely accused of a crime at any time. Proving that you’re innocent may cost money, time, energy, and loads of stress. You need a devoted criminal defense attorney and sufficient resources to beat a false accusation.
In the old Soviet Union they could prosecute anybody they wanted because some of the statutes were so vague. Alan Dershowitz points out that this was a technique developed by Beria, the infamous sidekick of Stalin, who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA. “Show me the man,” says any federal prosecutor, “and I can show you the crime.” This is not an exaggeration. 
Although you may believe that a false accusation could never happen to you, the reality is there’s no real way to know what the future holds. In the event that you or someone you care about is falsely accused of a crime, use the following 10 suggestions to protect yourself:
#1: Prepare an “Arrest Plan”
Yes, this is the United States, but you could be falsely accused of a crime. Just as you don’t imagine that your home will catch fire or your car will be stolen, you take out a renter/homeowner or auto insurance policy just in case. You might also take out earthquake, hurricane, or flood insurance depending on where you live. Consider what you’d do if the police came to your door or how you’d react to a phone call saying a loved one was arrested before it happens.
#2: Discuss Possible Arrest with Your Family
Discuss arrest with your kids. If they’ve ever been questioned or arrested by a police officer, it’s important to have the talk now.
#3: Come Forward
Call “911” first. The person who makes the emergency call first is more likely to be viewed as the victim. Since an accuser is likely to be seen as the potential victim by law enforcement since he or she came forward first, take proactive steps.
#4: You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Remember—you have the right to remain silent. Let’s say you or your spouse was just taken away in handcuffs by the police. You don’t know what’s happening. You’re anxious, afraid, panicked, and confused. Although you aren’t the individual the police have accused of a crime, you can remain silent. Ask for an attorney to be present before discussing anything with the police.
#5: Ask for a Search Warrant
Demand a search warrant (even if there’s nothing to hide). If law enforcement officers ask to search your property and you know you did nothing wrong, it’s tempting to just say yes. Realize that your cooperation won’t help to end the nightmare. Ask for the warrant—your criminal defense attorney will be able to determine what the police are looking for that way. If the police didn’t properly execute the search, the warrant may disqualify evidence found (if any). Physical documentation is preferable when the criminal justice system is concerned.
#6: Criminal Justice Can Be Hard on Innocent People
Popular culture lulls some of us into a false sense of security. Actors that play police officers and prosecutors always seem to value the truth above everything else. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in real life.
The flow system of criminal justice wants to process as many cases as possible in the least amount of time. This occurs through the process of plea bargains. A plea bargain is the least expensive way for the prosecutor and you to end the criminal justice process. However, once you negotiate a plea bargain—even if you plead guilty to a lesser offense—you will have a criminal record.
You may face continuous impositions in the future, e.g. limits on where you can travel, alcohol or drug tests, or community service. If you’re innocent, you might not be willing to accept any of these restrictions. Be prepared to fight with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side.
#7: Expect the Prosecutor to Assume You’re Guilty
Movies and reality are quite different. Expect the prosecutor to treat you like you’re guilty even if the evidence doesn’t support this conclusion.
If your case isn’t high-profile, the prosecutor might not bother to review your case until shortly before the court date. Even if the false accuser decides he or she wants to call an end to the court proceeding, it’s ultimately the prosecutor’s decision. In the interim, you’ll need to abide by court-ordered restrictions that feel like parole.
#8: Proving Innocence May Come at a High Price
Going to trial is expensive. Your accuser probably won’t have to pay for a lawyer, and his or her transportation to and from court might be paid by the prosecutor.
Realize that the cost of freedom is priceless. Do everything possible to defend your innocence. Look for an experienced criminal defense attorney who accepts payments. Don’t assume that, because you’re innocent, you don’t need a knowledgeable and skillful defense attorney at your side.
#9: Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Doesn’t Mean Your Guilty
You shouldn’t go this alone. If someone has falsely accused you of a crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer. The criminal justice system is a frightening land in which you don’t speak the language. You need a criminal defense attorney with experience. He’s going to explain what to expect and how to face the many curveballs you might face.
#10: Trials Are Stressful
You, your family, friends, or employer will experience anger, stress, exhaustion, and fear until the trial is over. Don’t speak to anyone but your defense attorney about the trial. Friends and family can’t help you. Unless you have an employment contract, your employer can terminate you.
When you’re wrongfully accused of a crime, you’ll probably lose friends. You’ll feel sad and surprised by those who just don’t want to know what’s happening. Others will assume you’re guilty. Stay grateful to your true friends.
Getting Legal Help
If you or someone you love is falsely accused of a crime, you need resources and information. The knowledge that you’re innocent doesn’t always mean an innocent verdict in court. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area for advice on how to proceed.
About the Author
The Law Office of Greg Tsioros in Houston, Texas provides legal advice and aggressive representation for clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies at both the state and federal level. Mr. Tsioros handles criminal defense cases of any stature – from orders of parole and expunctions to more serious DWI and drug charges.
 For a detailed analysis, see Harvey Silvergate’s book “Three Felonies a Day.”