Have you been charged with Wrongful Conviction or False Accusation
At Powerhouse Law Australia, we understand that it is frustrating, overwhelming, and very upsetting when a person is confronted with a wrongful allegation.
The first thing you should do is speak to our experienced wrongful conviction lawyers who know exactly how to defend you against such claims. Our team of Criminal Barristers and Solicitors are Accredited by the Law Society of NSW as Sydney Criminal Law Specialists and have been winning cases for decades.
The judicial system works to uphold a sense of justice for everyone and specifically to protect rights and obligations under the law.
In New South Wales, the Criminal law process is commenced when police charge a person with an offence. Usually, police receive a complaint or accusation made against an individual (the accused person), by an alleged victim, who is usually a wife, husband, ex-partner, spouse or anyone that has some contact with the accused person.
Very often these accusations are not accurate or true. Sometimes, a false accusation comes about with no intent of malice: the case may involve a confusing set of circumstances, or a witness has made a mistake or has clouded judgement. While other times, the accuser (often referred to as the alleged victim or complainant) has a hidden motive or agenda and wants to have the person charged by police.
We will assign a criminal law expert to your case from the first consultation to help relieve the stress associated with your case. We will then provide you with professional advice, support, strategies, and design skilful cross-examination against the person accusing you targeted at destroying their false testimony in court. We will invest time and effort in the preparation phase of the case and provide high-quality court representation focused on winning your case.
Fight for your innocence – NOT Guilty
We know how to win cases in court. This commences with a plea of not guilty to the wrongful accusations made against you by the alleged victim or complainant. The Police will then be ordered to serve on your criminal lawyer a brief of evidence that contains the false accusation and any other evidence the Prosecution intends to use in court. Once that is served, we will carefully scrutinise and examine that evidence to determine the best strategy of attack to defend your case. Your version of events and defence is then secured and the preparation for the court is done with proper consultation with your criminal lawyer. We are dedicated to winning your case.
Wrongfully Accused Cases
The offence of making a false accusation is considered interference in the administration of justice under the Crimes Act 1900. Common examples include accusing a former partner of a crime in order to gain revenge, making a claim against someone you don’t like in order to ruin their reputation, making an accusation to prevent one’s own embarrassment or to force a consequence such as eviction from a property or get custody of children. These often arise from domestic relationships, during family law proceedings or after a sexual relationship.
What needs to be proven
You can’t get in trouble for making an accusation if it was reasonable for you to believe it was true or it was otherwise made in good faith.
However, section 314 of the Crimes Act 1900 states:
“A person who makes an accusation intending a person to be the subject of an investigation of an offence, knowing that other person to be innocent of the offence, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.”
If you knowingly accuse an innocent person of a crime with the intention of having them investigated by the police, or to divert an investigation to a different path – you could be sentenced to imprisonment for up to seven years.
If someone is charged with making a false accusation and taken to court, the prosecution must be able to prove a number of factors in order to establish guilt. They must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
1. You made the accusation
2. You intended for the person to be investigated
3. You knew the accusation wasn’t true
4. You were aware the accused person was innocent of the crime
Possible defences against a charge of false accusation
There are numbers of wrongfully accused cases of ways this charge can be disputed based on disproving or casting doubt on the prosecution’s claims regarding any of the above factors. Possible defences include:
– You did not make the accusation
– You had no intention of having the person investigated
– You believed the accusation to be true and that the accused had committed the crime
If you have been falsely accused of a crime, or been accused of making a false accusation, contact Powerhouse Law now for advice and representation from our experienced lawyers.
False Accusation Law Australia
Important Questions to Ask when charged with a crime you did not commit
In court, the Magistrate or Judge is concerned about the evidence which becomes an integral role in deciding between someone being found guilty or not guilty. To protect your innocence, it’s crucial to gather and preserve evidence in any case where it would be useful in court, as per the false accusation law in Australia. Our criminal lawyers say that preserving evidence is important when charged with a crime you did not commit. Here is why:
1. To Establish Credibility:
An accuser and defendant must have enough credibility behind him or her to help establish the case. In other words, a person who has not disclosed all relevant information or evidence may be seen as one who is trying to hide something or lying. If you know any information that the complainant has failed to disclose, or details about their history, dishonesty or previous lies, then it is absolutely vital that you gather any relevant physical evidence or information about that and show it to your lawyer. This may include photographs, text messages, call logs, police reports, CCTV footage or witnesses to help corroborate your case.
2. To save your side of the story:
Preserving your side of the story is important and usually best NOT disclosed to the police no matter how tempting it is when you are charged and being held by them. You have the right to silence, which means anything you say and do will be used AGAINST you in court. So if you disclose something that you later want to change, you will be seen as changing your story and may not be believed in court. Your silence at the police station cannot be used against you, this is your fundamental legal right. Read more about this topic in our blog (link to relevant blog)
3. To Exonerate a Defendant:
Our criminal lawyers in Sydney look to exonerate their clients by finding evidence of their innocence. Suppose a DNA sample, video footage, or any other piece of physical evidence was not preserved after its discovery, it might not be possible for an attorney to prove that his client didn’t commit a crime. Remember, though: if you find some relevant evidence, don’t handle it yourself. Bring it to the attention of your lawyer and he/she will advise you on how to preserve it.
4. To Use in Future Legal Proceedings:
There are strict rules about what type of evidence is acceptable and how it can be tendered in court. For example, when defending a domestic violence charge with self-defence, many courts require evidence of injury, or damage be documented with medical records and photographs.
5. Preserving Evidence Safely:
Preserving evidence in a criminal trial generally means not tampering with or altering any potential pieces of evidence. This can include photos and videos, eyewitness accounts and police reports. The most important thing is to capture it while its available and liaise with your lawyer on how to save it.
You never know what you’re going to need when it comes to your criminal case. Always try to keep all of the evidence in your possession from the moment you first call your lawyer until the verdict comes down on your trial. Contact one of our criminal solicitors or barristers in Sydney if you have been falsely accused of a crime and have strong evidence to prove your innocence.