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Innocent until proven guilty?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense, Criminal Law

It is the foundation of our legal system. If you are charged with a crime, the judge and the jury have to assume that you are innocent until you either plead guilty or are convicted after a trial. What a lot of people do not realize is that the presumption means nothing outside of the court system. If you are a high-profile individual and/or are charged with a serious crime, your being charged may be reported in the media. The complaint outlining the charges against you is public record when the media reports on your case they will read from it. They may not contact you for a response, you may be in jail and be unable to communicate, or your attorney may advise you, for good reason to not speak about your case because it could complicate your defense. Even if you do speak out, your denial may not be taken seriously. I have had clients who were acquitted at trial of all charges, but who before then, were savaged in the media with lurid accusations causing great damage to their personal and business reputations. I have seen police in some cases contact media to draw more attention to an arrest. Even when you are acquitted or the charges are dismissed, once your name is tied to theft, fraud, sex crimes, or other serious accusations it is very difficult to come back from those allegations.  When the news media covers accusations against an individual, I do hope that they keep in mind that anyone can make an accusation; accusations mean nothing without a conviction.

Ed

 

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