Even an offhand accusation of crimes can affect a person’s reputation, career, relationships and even where the accused lives. Therefore, it is essential to note that the justice system has checks and balances that give the defendant charged with any crime the right to confront claims that they regard as untrue.
Four ways to change the narrative
Those wrongly accusing someone may end up in legal trouble of their own:
Perjury: Perjury involves making false allegations under oath when the accuser is a witness. The perjurer may face charges ranging from a Petty Offense to a Class 4 felony.
False reporting: Similar to perjury, making a false report involves making knowingly false complaints or statements to law enforcement. Even half-truths that are intentionally misleading can qualify as false reports. It can be a misdemeanor offense.
Obstruction of justice: This involves someone who interferes or obstructs judicial proceedings. The proceedings must be active or pending, and there must be a connection between the act and the proceeding.
Defamation: Defendants who prove their innocence can file a defamation lawsuit against someone making false claims. It does not involve incorrect information; instead, it is specific to accusers who know they are making untruthful statements. Depending on what is said and its impact, the accuser may face a jail sentence, paying restitution and fines.
Hold them accountable
Whatever their reasons, people will lie to the authorities to create serious legal problems for the defendant. The defendant must take the charges seriously and mount an aggressive defense if they want the justice they need and deserve.