How to Defend Yourself If You Have Been Wrongfully Accused of a Crime in Sydney

Being wrongfully accused of a crime is a daunting experience and we hope nobody goes through it. But if you are in such a plight, being aware of your rights and adopting the required legal measures is paramount. You cannot sit back and let things take its course. You have to seek sound legal counsel and fight for justice proactively. The legal landscape is complicated, and one wrong step can turn the odds against you. We don’t wish that to happen. So, here’s everything you need to know about defending yourself if you have been wrongfully accused of a crime in Sydney.

Immediate Steps to Take After Being Wrongfully Accused

Before we get into your rights and give you an overview of key legal concepts, let us go through some immediate steps you need to take if you get framed in a criminal case –

  • Remain Calm and Composed

    You might have the urge to react aggressively to such an accusation, but it can turn the odds against your favour. So, it is essential that you stay calm, avoid any confrontation, keep your emotions in check and not engage in anything that might be used against you. Only if you are relaxed and composed can you think of the following steps and find ways to defend yourself.

  • Do Not Make Any Statements Without Legal Counsel

    Once you are accused of a crime, anything you say can be used against you. You must remain silent and refrain from making any statements to the police, investigators or anyone else unless your lawyer is present. Simply express your desire for legal representation, and don’t answer any questions.

  • Seek Legal Representation

    The first and most crucial step is to get an expert and experienced lawyer on your side. It is essential to exercise your right to remain silent and consult a lawyer before you go ahead with the proceedings. Once you connect with a criminal lawyer, they will guide you through the entire legal process and help you develop a strong defence strategy. But make sure to enquire about their reputation and experience in handling similar cases before you make your choice.

  • Stay Off Social Media

    Refrain from discussing anything related to your case on social media as it might further escalate the case and hamper your reputation. Also, anything you post on social media can be used as evidence against you. So, it’s better to stay off social media for a while and also ask your family and friends not to post anything about you on social media.

  • Preserve Evidence

    Once you are wrongfully accused, the process of proving your innocence begins. So, you must gather any evidence that can support your case. Everything, even minutely related to the case, including emails, messages, receipts, and video footage, should be preserved and given to your lawyers. Also, make sure to document everything related to your case. Note your version of the events, including the exact time and location, as it can help build a strong defence.

Overview of Legal Rights for the Wrongfully Accused

If you are innocent, the law will stand by you. Here is an overview of the legal rights in Sydney for the wrongfully accused that you should be aware of –

  • Right to Presumption of Innocence

    You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. So, naturally, the prosecution will have to present solid evidence to prove the accusation, and without that, you won’t be convicted.

  • Right to Remain Silent

    You have the right not to make any statements unless your lawyer is at the premises. Every word that you utter in front of the police will be recorded and can be used against you, so you must exercise your right.

  • Right to Legal Representation

    Every falsely accused in NSW or any other region has the right to legal representation. You can hire a lawyer to represent your case, and if you cannot afford a lawyer, you can apply for legal aid, which provides free or low-cost legal services.

  • Right to Be Informed of the Charges

    The police or other law enforcement authorities must inform you about the charges pressed against you before taking further action. They should give you a charge sheet detailing the specific allegations.

  • Right to a Fair Trial

    You have the right to a fair trial, including a public hearing, an impartial judge, and the right to present evidence and call witnesses in your defence.

  • Right to Bail

    In most cases, you are eligible for bail. However, it depends upon several factors, like the severity of the crime, your criminal history, and the likelihood of you appearing in court. Your lawyer can help you with this.

  • Right to Access Evidence

    You have the right to access all the evidence the opposition has against you, including police reports, witness statements, forensic evidence, and other materials.

  • Right to Compensation

    If you are wrongfully convicted and later found innocent, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm and suffering caused by the wrongful conviction.

Navigating the Legal System in Sydney – Key Points

  • Police must warn you of your rights before asking questions. They must administer a caution before asking questions – “you do not have to say or do anything, but anything that you say or do may be used in evidence”.
  • Before agreeing to participate in an interview with police, you should speak with a lawyer and obtain legal advice.
  • Police are only allowed to search your house with a warrant, or they can search you and your vehicle only if they reasonably suspect criminal activity or if they suspect that you have weapons or drugs. But if you are subjected to a Firearm Prohibition Order (FPO) or Weapons Prohibition Order WPO, the police can search you or your property without a warrant.
  • You are not obligated to go with the police unless they arrest you. They cannot detain you for questioning only.

How can Oxford Lawyers help you?

Our Sydney criminal lawyers specialise in offering complete legal support to the wrongfully accused. From applying for bail to attending courts and representing your case, we will do it all for you. If you are refused bail, we will attend the courts immediately on the same day or the following day and fight for your liberty by applying for bail at the Courthouse. If you are arrested on a Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday, we can attend the weekend Bail Courts and request the magistrate to grant you bail. You will exercise all your legal rights with us and prove your innocence.
Dealing with a false accusation in NSW? Call Oxford Lawyers Now!

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