Being the subject of a police report is extremely difficult. It can affect your reputation in the community, your education and work opportunities, and your personal relationships. This is even worse if the police report is completely false. Filing a false police report against someone is itself a crime, but sometimes proving your innocence against a dangerous liar is more difficult than it should be. If someone files a false police report against you, you should not hesitate to call an attorney.
The Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych fight false accusations and bogus police reports to help their clients keep their freedom. If you are innocent, hiring an attorney can help keep you out of jail. Even if the charges are false, you may still need an attorney to prove your innocence.
Fighting False Charges in New Jersey
Everyone claims they are innocent when they’ve been charged with a crime – especially guilty people. Because of this, it is very difficult for judges, police, and jurors to know who is innocent and who is guilty without hearing all of the facts. However, it is sometimes possible to stop bogus charges early in the process.
Before trial or sentencing, you are often entitled to a “preliminary hearing.” If your specific charges are very low-level, you may be given an immediate trial in place of a preliminary hearing. The main purpose of a preliminary hearing is to weed-out excessive, unnecessary, and false charges.
The standard of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt” like it is at trial. Instead, the prosecutors or police who put on the preliminary hearing merely need to prove that there was “probable cause” for the charges. The standard for probable cause at a preliminary hearing means there must be enough evidence to show that a crime likely occurred, and that you were likely involved. This is a low standard, but is still an excellent step to sort false accusations apart from the real crimes.
Though many police and prosecutors may say that you do not need an attorney at a preliminary hearing, or may suggest that you waive (give up) your preliminary hearing, do not listen to that advice. You typically can bring an attorney to your preliminary hearing. This is the first step to see the government’s evidence, confront witnesses, and get charges dismissed or dropped. Bringing an attorney to court with you can ensure that your first move is a strong defense.
An attorney can also negotiate charges for you. Attorneys can call police officers and prosecutors to discuss your charges. At preliminary hearings, they may be able to convince the police officer or prosecutor that the charges are false. A prosecutor’s goal is to ensure that justice is done, not to simply get a conviction. Thus, a prosecutor who understands that charges were faked should be willing to drop the case.
Hiring an Attorney to Fight False Charges
Many people may suggest that hiring an attorney is a sign of guilt. Since your right to an attorney is protected by both the US Constitution and the Constitution of New Jersey, this is absurd. Lawyers not only to ensure that guilty people get a fair trial, but also to help ensure that innocent people are not put in jail.
Trying to fight false charges on your own is not recommended. You may be able to deny the charges when you are initially arrested or issued a court summons, but all official communications should go through an attorney. If you have been wrongfully charged with a crime you did not commit, you might be angry and frustrated. If that anger and frustration leaks into your case, it could cast you in a bad light. A criminal defense attorney can explain the situation to police and prosecutors in a calm manner, helping protect your image.
Sometimes, proving your innocence requires complicated court filings and procedures. Filing motions to dismiss and motions to suppress, cross-examining witnesses, and preparing evidence of your innocence is a highly technical process. You may initially think that you can handle things yourself, but if the charges are not dropped, the situation can become very serious very quickly. Hiring an attorney to fight your case can help ensure that you comply with all procedures and do not miss any opportunities to challenge evidence and charges.
Justice for False Charges
The South Jersey criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of John J. Zarych may be able to fight your case and prove your innocence. If you were wrongly charged because of a false police report, the truth should come to light. Our attorneys can challenge falsified evidence, fight the government’s case, and negotiate with prosecutors to get false charges dropped. For a free consultation on your criminal charges, call our attorneys today at (609) 616-4956.