Innocent Until Proven Guilty?
In America, “innocent until proven guilty” is a hallmark of our justice system. However, criminal defense lawyers in Raleigh and elsewhere throughout the state know that the “presumption of innocence” is not always how it plays out. When people are accused of committing a crime, or even investigated in connection with a crime, their character and reputation often hang in the balance, especially when the crime carries highly negative connotations, such as rape, sexual assault, or child abuse. Rumors and false assumptions can cause permanent damage in their personal lives and professional careers. A quick Google search can bring up connections to criminal investigations that could be misleading, especially if the accused was later cleared of wrongdoing, and continue to haunt that person’s future. A simple accusation or investigation can cause lifelong grief for the accused and acquitted. While everyone charged with a serious crime is entitled to a jury of one’s peers, juries are made up of humans, who can easily make mistakes. So can witnesses, lawyers, law enforcement officers, and judges. Our justice system is not perfect, and one mistake can ruin a person’s life. The news is filled with stories of people being released from prison after serving lengthy sentences for crimes they did not commit. But even if they’re later exonerated, the damage has been done. There is no way to undo years spent in prison or erase the association of your face with guilt for the crime. Hire a Lawyer Many people believe that hiring a lawyer is a sign of guilt, and that innocent people have no need for legal representation simply because they are innocent. But if you have been charged with a crime, even a crime you did not commit, you need someone who knows the system, knows your rights, and knows the law to help you get through this difficult time. Criminal investigators want to get at the truth, but they are used to dealing with criminals who lie to keep themselves out of trouble. Because of this, investigators and interrogators often ask confusing or leading questions and use tactics designed to obtain a confession. If you are innocent, you may not realize that the answers you provide in an investigation can hurt you, and you may wind up inadvertently accepting guilt for a crime you had nothing to do with. In order to protect yourself and prepare your best defense, you need the help of an experienced attorney. At Cheshire, Parker, Schneider, and Bryan, our federal criminal defense attorneys in Raleigh want to help you take full advantage of your right to the presumption of innocence. To discuss your case, contact our firm today for more information and consultation.