A criminal conviction can be devastating, carrying serious penalties, such as fines or jail time, and a lifetime with a criminal record. The consequences of a criminal allegation and conviction are even more devastating when they stem from false allegations. Even with a modern criminal justice system, DNA evidence, advanced investigative tools, and a “beyond a reasonable doubt” bar of proof, defendants in Alabama and nationwide are falsely accused and convicted of crimes.
What are the real damages of a false allegation? What happens when someone falsely accuses their spouse, husband, boyfriend, teacher, or other acquaintance of a serious crime, such as sexual assault? Our Birmingham criminal defense attorneys are experienced in aggressively defending clients when faced with serious charges involving drugs, violent crimes, sex crimes, cybercrimes, felonies, and federal offenses. We take a comprehensive approach and will review all evidence to protect your rights and defend your interests in court.
On November 13, 2013, Ryan Ferguson was released from prison after 10 years behind bars after a wrongful conviction based on false allegations. The complex story of how the young man was wrongfully convicted of murder has shed light on the flaws in the criminal justice system and the reality that there are innocent people sitting behind bars for months, years, or a lifetime. Ferguson ended up behind bars after a journalist from a Missouri newspaper was brutally murdered. Another young man who Ferguson knew, alleged that he witnessed Ferguson commit. Even though there was no physical evidence, a jury quickly came back with a guilty verdict. It should also be noted that he was charged convicted 2 years after the crime.
According to a recent study, there are 10,000 people in the United States wrongfully convicted of serious crimes every year. In another recent case, a California jury found that 3 students falsely accused their teacher of inappropriate touching and called him a “perv.” While the teacher was never criminally charged, a jury found that he did suffer personal harm and found the parents and students guilty of defamation. Even if not convicted of a crime, a false allegation of sexual misconduct can follow a defendant for life.
False allegations may arise during a divorce to help one spouse maintain custody of a child. If one parent claims they suffered from domestic assault or that their child was a victim of child abuse, a judge may use that evidence when awarding custody. Unfortunately, false allegations as an act of retaliation run rampant in the criminal justice system. There are thousands of wrongful convictions based on lies, false allegations, and egregious acts of retaliation against spouses, relatives, bosses, colleagues, and other acquaintances. Many of these defendants will sit behind bars because a jury could not see the truth
In addition to false allegations, there are also defendants who face wrongful convictions because of failures in the criminal justice system. A prosecution may move forward in a case without sufficient evidence. Political motivations may drive a case, even if there is no evidence to support it. If you are accused of a crime, you need an experienced attorney who can explore all defense options in your case.