What to Do if You are Accused of Assault
Accusations of a crime can severely impact a person’s life. It can affect your job, your personal life, and your ability to rent an apartment or buy a home. One of the more serious accusations is the crime of assault. If you have been falsely accused of assault, then you need to contact a lawyer immediately.
Take immediate action to prove your innocence of these charges. Here are the steps to take if you are falsely accused of assault in North Carolina.
Gather Evidence and Document Everything
Gathering evidence and documenting everything that happened during and after the alleged assault is vital to your defense. Sit down and write out everything you remember about the incident that lead to the accusation. This includes any witnesses that may have been around.
Document any security cameras in the area, such as your home’s security system or that of the store of office you were in at the time. This footage could clear you of any wrongdoing by proving your version of events.
Write down the details of the day. What happened after the incident? Did it get physical? Who was the aggressor? Were the police called right away? Who called the police? Were there any injuries prior to this incident that the accuser might pass off as fresh and related to this incident? Gather all evidence that will support your story. It will lead to a stronger defense.
Figure Out How Much Your Defense Will Cost
Hiring a lawyer might be out of your budget, but in order to prove your innocence against serious charges, a lawyer is a necessity. Figure out what will it cost you to mount a defense. This will include the cost of hiring a lawyer. You may be assigned a lawyer by the courts if you can’t afford one. You could also contact legal aid if the cost is too high for you alone.
Research the cost of finding expert witnesses, doctor’s fees for their testimony – and, if needed, investigation fees of the lawyer or private investigator and court costs. These fees will be included in your lawyer’s fees if they hire expert witnesses for your case. If you are unsure about where to look, ask your lawyer about the fee costs.
If you need to, crowdfund the expense or ask if your lawyer has a payment plan you could arrange.
Determine a Motive
Uncover a potential motive for the false accusations of assault. If you are engaged in an ongoing custody dispute during a divorce, your spouse may be trying to discredit you. Perhaps someone wants to avoid paying you money that they owe you. If you are able to determine what the motive is behind the false accusations, you might be able to get the charges dropped before going to trial.
Hiring a lawyer who has great observational skills can also potentially get your charges dropped before trial. A lawyer can interview the witnesses and accuser to determine whether or not the accusations have merit and what the motive is behind them. Lawyers can also talk with police to determine what evidence they have that could prove that the charges against you are false.
Learn What Your Rights Are
Learn about the criminal justice system, as much as you can. Know that you don’t have to (and likely shouldn’t) speak to police without your lawyer present. Also, learn how the courts process assault cases in your area and what you can expect should it go to court.
Understand how your lawyer will investigate the claim and mount your defense. You need to be pro-active in your own defense. You will be the best witness you have.
If you have been falsely accused of assault in North Carolina and are now facing criminal charges, we can help. Contact us at Carl L Britt, Jr, Attorney at Law, today for a consultation. We are here to help you win your case.