Falsely Accused of a Crime in Arizona
As a criminal defense law firm in Phoenix, we spend a lot of time in courthouses around the Pheonix-Metro area. Every day we witness guilty people being convicted, whether it be a simple traffic offense or a more serious crime like sexual assault. At times, however, accusers step forward to implicated an individual in a crime they are innocent of. If you feel you’ve been falsely accused of a crime you did not commit, it is essential to hire an experienced Certified Criminal Law Specialist before the accusations and potential punishment damage you and your family.
Before we dive into some crimes that have higher incidents of false accusations, we want to encourage all those who have experienced a violent crime to report it and get help.
Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence
An all too relevant issue in the United States is domestic violence. And while many perpetrators are guilty of crimes like these, unfortunately, false allegations of domestic violence are also somewhat common.
Domestic violence encompasses aggressive behaviors that happen within one’s own home; usually involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. These actions are often laced with fear, intimidation, and immense aggression leaving people afraid to speak out or charge the abuser. Due to the hostile and volatile aspects that can be involved in domestic violence, it can be difficult for law enforcement and the legal system to ascertain for sure whether the abuse actually occurred.
Falsely Accused of Sexual Abuse
The crime of sexual abuse is a crime of passion, control, and violence. According to the American Psychological Association, sexual abuse includes behaviors of intimidation, threats, and use of force for unwanted sexual activity. It’s estimated that every 98 seconds a person is sexually abused in America.
Although this crime is wildly rampant and destructive, there is also a high rate of false reporting when it comes to sexual violence. A study performed by the organization Stop Abusive and Violent Environments found, through evidence-based research, that one in ten individuals have been falsely accused of abuse.
When it comes to child sexual abuse, The Leadership Council found false reporting to be extremely rare–approximately 1 percent of claims were found to be non-substantial and fictitious.
Falsely Reporting a Crime in Arizona
Ironically, falsely reporting crime is actually a crime itself and is charged as a class one misdemeanor in Arizona. The sentencing of the crime includes probation with no jail time or up to six months in jail with a fine of up to $2,500.
In addition to hiring a criminal defense attorney, if you’ve been falsely accused of a crime there are several things you should NOT do including: Attempt to talk to the victim or witness, talk to law enforcement without an attorney present, destroy evidence, or voluntarily submit to DNA or other testing without consulting your attorney.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Chandler, Mesa, Tempe or Gilbert, contact Coolidge Law today for a free case consultation.