Many cases are resolved with police just closing their files, because the evidence of a crime in simply insufficient. The court system does not get involved. However, just as with many things in life, the world is not perfect and police officers do make mistakes. People have been falsely accused of rape, domestic violence, murder, and even drug possession because officers were either making negligent mistakes in their investigation, or intentionally framing suspects, or intentionally lied about probable cause to justify an otherwise unlawful searches of homes, cars, or even someone's person. People have served years in prison, only to be released upon DNA testing. I have heard clients tell me "Hey, I am innocent, I figured I will go explain the events to the police and this will all go away!" Unfortunately they were wrong. At times, police officers are inclined to disbelieve what a suspect tells them, and may not have the time or motivation to fully investigate a client's story. What happens? The next thing the suspect learns is that he is arrested, placed into custody, and does not know to clear his name. The Law Blogger has personal experience with representing clients who are simply innocent -- these are some of the most difficult cases! In sum, someone who is completely innocent may need representation the most. Tagged as: faq
asia on December 8, 2009 at 10:56 a.m. wrote: that crazy i think that they need to get more evidence to just accuse somebody of doing sumthing... barbara burnett on June 29, 2009 at 9:10 p.m. wrote: Well , this just confirms to me that something drastic has got to be done with our justice system.Our son has been convicted and falsely identified as well. Of course, the police rush thru arrests and identifing accused .Our son was in jail 4 months and house arrest 13 months with no record of being a problem. During this time,was unable to attend college,now owes money back, lost job while in jail, lost his license while in jail. Neverthless he kept his head up and trusted the truth would come out in court. OOhh what a sham, blundering defense attorney, just another conviction under the DA's belt, minister judge who I'm sure was just another day at the office and victim who changed her story since she 1st gave report.Son has no prior criminal record ,but book was thrown at him.Up to 68 months!I'm not making small of the victim,but there are 2 victims now! Well, I like all of you am outraged and am going to knock on any door I have to ,so far no one really seems to care.Let's agree with each other for justice to be served and quickly... barbara burnett on June 29, 2009 at 9:07 p.m. wrote: Well , this just confirms to me that something drastic has got to be done with our justice system.Our son has been convicted and falsely identified as well. Of course, the police rush thru arrests and identifing accused .Our son was in jail 4 months and house arrest 13 months with no record of being a problem. During this time,was unable to attend college,now owes money back, lost job while in jail, lost his license while in jail. Neverthless he kept his head up and trusted the truth would come out in court. OOhh what a sham, blundering defense attorney, just another conviction under the DA's belt,and minister judge who I'm sure was just another day at the office and victim who changed her story since she 1st gave report.Son has no prior criminal record ,but book was thrown at him.Up to 68 months!I'm not making small of the victim,but there are 2 victims now! Well, I like all of you am outraged and am going to knock on any door I have to ,so far no one really seems to care.Let's agree in prayer with each other for justice to be served and quickly... Nick S. on June 19, 2009 at 8:48 p.m. wrote: I am also 17, luckily I graduated a week before i was accused of vandalism on federal property, a felony. I am seen to be on film (that me or my family cant see) breaking into a fed building and tampering in a plane cockpit. I have never even been in an airplane and was not in the area on the accused date, I am going to fight this to the best of my ability and I just cant believe police can knock on your door and arrest you for nothing. After I win this i want compensation to show the police that they better check their facts before they mess with the innocent. I have no idea of how to do this can anyone help? Carolyne Hardy on May 26, 2009 at 1:11 p.m. wrote: My 17 year old son was recently arrested and charged with two counts of armed robbery plus child endangerment. He has now been in juvenile hall for 18 days and counting. My son did not commit these crimes, he was home with us when both crimes occurred. It is getting very frustrating dealing with all the bs. My son has no criminal background what-so-ever and was a month away from garduating high school when they arrested him. His hopes of graduating with his class are gone as well as his trust in law enforcement. If anyone has any suggestions as to what to do, I would appreciate it. KK on February 23, 2009 at 8:48 a.m. wrote: I am just adding my comments to this board to raise awareness of how one can be falsely accused of a serious crime. I was the victim of someone tapping into my wireless router and that person apparently downloaded child pornography. My house was raided, and I got arrested based on two adult pornography video files my 17yo son had downloaded without my knowledge. I decided to 'play along' because I could successfully defend this, and yes I did win my case (after a very long period of the police and prosecutor playing unfair games). Unfortunately, my name was published, and my life is over. I used to be a Forensic Psychologist, you can imagine just what these charges did to my career, let alone my marriage and life in general. Once accused, always having to prove your innocence. Also unfortunatley I live in Australia where we don't even have any enforcable Human Rights, I can't even sue for wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution. I am attempting to take my case to an International Human Rights court, where at least some of the associated 'injustices' that happened to me may get a fair hearing. Awareness of just how one's life can be destroyed by over-zealous police and prosecutors needs to be raised, as does the risk of the Internet out of ordinary legal everyday use. My case was thrown out of court after just 30 minutes of actual court time, and it disgusted the Magistrate who heard the case, however this still doesn't fix my life up, it is still in ruins! Tom on December 12, 2008 at 3:06 p.m. wrote: I was arrested while in Texas visiting my family and extradited back to Northern CA, alleging that I committed 16 counts of burglary in 3 cities, from 2003 to 2006 and at which I resided in Southern CA at the time, so not sure how they came up with this, I have never been arrested and convicted which raised another question of how they got my name and information in the first place. I was in jail from Dec 2007 to Feb 2008 when i was released on Supervised OR and forbidden to leave Northern CA, even though I was outside now I was still in custody. I lost everything, my 401k, my job, my personal possessions, my credit ruined, I was put through so much mentally and physically,I was even mis diagnosed in jail stating that I had a life threatening disease, once I was released I went to see my Dr and it turns out that I have no sickness what so ever, After 9 months they dropped the case before going to trial, they didnt say sorry or tell me why they are dropping the case, they just did, now my life is so ruined its taking a very longtime to repair and start again, but the system failed me and the people as the real criminal is free to continue to commit crimes, and my life is ruined and taking time to fix, I have been seeking attorneys in hopes to initiate a civil suit against Santa Clara County but I have not been having any luck so far, if anyone has any suggestions let me know. Robin on October 24, 2008 at 9:06 p.m. wrote: My family and I are very disappointed with the Commonwealth of Virginia. My uncle was charged with posession of child porn on his computer and yes, he may of had possession on his computer but what they failed to do is their homework like how it got there and how just days earlier his computer was badly infected with the trojan virus and there were files he tried opening and they wouldn't open and later his computer crashed and he went through so much to get it back up and running. How he got this virus was through the gnutella network. We are all at risk of being victims not only to hackers but now even our justice system because they haven't investigated further. My uncle is now in jail with no bond until his trial. So, when there has been a computer expert to prove or express how this may have happened and he has lost part of his life and his reputation forever ruined, then what? Are they going to compensate. They need to come up with better technology to pinpoint the origins of such files that any one of us could download and be in his shoes and have to prove ourselves innocent. I have children and live across the street and never ever would he do such a thing. Has anybody been through this and gotten through it and if so,how? Rob on September 16, 2008 at 3:12 p.m. wrote: Great points by all. I was falsely accused of crimes in 2006 and convicted on 2 misdemeanors. I was originally charged with 3 additional felonies and found innocent of those charges. My lawyer felt like it was a great success getting 2 guilty verdicts and 3 innocent verdicts. I can't discuss the details because I am still considering an appeal. The truth is that the 2 misdemeanors will go away with time and I will get my record expunged. The pain and loss is the impact that the false charges had on my health, business, and finances. I agree with 'Anna' that the costs of getting an appeal, then going after parties in a slander suit is a long shot. I have learned that freedom is fragile and should be protected. I have also learned that we should not throw stones. anna marks on September 2, 2008 at 1:56 p.m. wrote: I was falsely accused of hitting a child in 2006. It is amazing how screwed up the system is. guilty until proven innocent. My boyfriends daughter and her mother accused me of child abuse. The child was four at the time and her mother drilled her to lie. i was put in jail for a few hours and released. The only reason for that is because I come from a respected family. But anyway I went through months of dyfs checking on me. they would just stop by my house to make sure everything was ok. The case was closed and Kristin patterson maas continues to harrass me. I am triing to take her to court for slander, but is it really worth it? She is not worth my time, niether are her poor kids who have been taught to lie and cheat. it is a shame that there is zero justice for people like her. But still she continues to spread lies about me and her childrens father. She has taken him to court bringing up my name and making false allegations about me. Isn't there anything I can do about that? at least in the end the case was dropped but it still lingers in this demented womens head. she has made up things about me having a history of violence, and that I have orders against me. It is all untrue. I just let it go and live each day with a smile. what am I going to do? The answer is there is zero justice for asshole liers who have a mental problem. i am just glad it is all over, closed, and she is out of my life.. Nona Niknam on December 4, 2007 at 12:34 p.m. wrote: I certainly understand that the word of the person who has been convicted is not sufficient enough to release him and it is also true that police officers have been and will continue to make some mistakes at times. I actually think the power and motivation that the lawyers have in criminal cases can certainly benefit an innocent person. There must have been a clear reason that a person is convicted of committing a crime, whether it was a set up or not somehow the case must have link to the person who is arrested. The technicality of our system can sometimes accuse innocent people, however, it should be considered that the innocent individual who has been accused will go under a great deal of psychological problems and it is possible that his/her life will be affected dramatically. If the innocent person was released, the government should offer him/her consistent therapy sessions along with some kind of disability income for a couple of months since he/she may be psychologically disable for a certain period of time. David Carde on November 14, 2007 at 6:28 p.m. wrote: The reality that people can be accused and convicted of a crime when they are innocent points to the pressing need for a variety of reforms to our criminal justice system. First, the blurring of boundaries between the police and prosecution needs to be rectified. Rather than being identified with the prosecution, the police should be conducting an independent investigation to get at truth, not helping the prosecution win a conviction. The emphasis on winning in conjunction with the merging of the police and prosecution would seem to push the police to over-zealousness in terms of making a case. Leads that might exonerate a suspect might be ignored, given current circumstances. Second, all interviews conducted by the police should be video-taped. This would help keep the police from overly aggressive tactics in pursuit of a confession. Lastly, the erroneous conviction of the innocent is the best argument against the death penalty. It is horrible if an innocent person goes to jail; however, that is still rectifiable. Death is not rectifiable. Kelsey Kernstine on November 12, 2007 at 4:18 a.m. wrote: If people are wrongly accused of a crime and are put in jail until their trial or are punished, but then later they are found to be innocent, do these people receive any compensation for being wrongly accused? If I was accused of a crime that I did not commit and was put in jail until my trial, I would be very angry with the accuser, the court, and our legal system. The fact of the matter is that this does happen. In such circumstances, I do not think that a person should be accused unless there are strong and certain facts proving that a person committed a crime. Otherwise, putting an innocent life in prison or punishing them for such acts accused of should be dealt with the utmost concern to compensate. I do understand that police officers make mistakes, but I think police or accusers should be punished themselves for wrongly accusing another. Accusing or punishing an innocent person not only affects the person drastically in the present, but also affects them for years to come. How does the court compensate for such a mistake? I mean people who are wrongly accused can be psychologically and physically drained from such a condition. Also, it can ruin their reputation or they can lose their job. Even if the person is later found to be innocent, people will always consider this person to have been accused of a crime. People, most likely, will always have a negative portrayal of this person. All in all, my question is: how are these people compensated for being wrongly accused? DaisyS on October 25, 2007 at 1:52 a.m. wrote: I understand that mistakes happen and that people get accussed of crimes they didn't commit, however, after serving time do they only get an 'oops we made a mistake?' from the police if the are released innocent? Is it common for innocent people to serve long amounts of time in prison until they are proved innocent?