How To Fight Back If You’ve Been Falsely Arrested
In August, former Florida deputy Steven O’Leary was accused of falsifying 14 drug arrests. According to CNN, over the 11 months that he worked as a deputy, O’Leary made 86 drug arrests. As each case was reviewed, it was discovered that O’Leary had been submitting other substances in place of drugs as evidence. As a result of the false arrests, innocent individuals had been held in jail for multiple days. O’Leary was arrested with a bond set at $1 million.
Unfortunately, a lot of instances of false accusations get made in the state of Florida every year. If you or someone you know has been falsely accused of a crime, it’s important to know what you can do to fight back.
Understand Your Rights If You’ve Been Falsely Arrested
Before you bring a false accusation case in front of a judge, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Everyone who is arrested in the United States is entitled to the same constitutional rights and protections. The most important rights to remember whenever you’re arrested are:
- Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures
- Protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
- Rights of accused persons in criminal cases
- Rights in civil cases
- Excessive bail, fines, and punishment forbidden
If you believe you were falsely arrested, you should be especially vigilant of the right of accused persons in criminal cases, which states that every person has the right to:
- A speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed
- Be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
- Be confronted with the witnesses against them
- Have a compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in their favor
- Have the assistance of counsel for the defense
Understanding these rights and discussing the ways your rights were violated will help you provide the evidence you need to prove your false arrest before a judge.
Do Not Discuss the Alleged Crime
When you believe you’ve been falsely accused of a crime, it’s tempting to speak up and proclaim your innocence. Dishing the details about a false accusation, however, can be a big mistake. If you’re falsely accused of a crime, every time you discuss it is an opportunity to accidentally incriminate yourself. Therefore, before you say anything to anyone, it’s imperative to consult a trusted criminal defense attorney. Once you consult an attorney, do not say anything without getting their approval first.
Demand Evidence and Search Warrants
During any criminal process, it’s likely that prosecutors will attempt to gain incriminating evidence against the accused. If you believe you have been falsely arrested, it’s important to be vigilant of any attempts to gain evidence and exercise your right to protection against unlawful searches and seizures. A search warrant is required to:
- Access the inside of your home
- Search your computer or mobile device
- Access your personal belongings
- Search the inside compartments of your vehicle
Even if you feel you have nothing to hide, there’s always the possibility that someone planted false evidence. If you find yourself in any of the above situations, demand a search warrant and request to speak with your attorney.
In addition to demanding a search warrant, it’s also in your best interest to demand details of how evidence was acquired. If any party claims to have incriminating evidence, it’s your right to know when and how it was obtained.
Request a Competent Attorney
Under the unfortunate circumstance that you’re arrested and falsely accused of a crime, seek a trusted and competent local attorney right away. In and around the area of Orlando, Florida the lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm are the top choice for criminal defense lawyers. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our team of former prosecutors brings a unique point of view to every case and understands the criminal process.
The Umansky Law Firm believes you should not let your life be defined by a single mistake — especially a mistake you didn’t make. To schedule a free consultation and speak with a live attorney call our office or contact us online today. It’s never too late to get the help you need!