Burlington Office



Our law firm has successfully handled thousands of criminal, DWI, and municipal court charges throughout Burlington County and New Jersey.

Schedule free Consultation

Potential Ramifications of False Accusations

December 17, 2023

What are the Possible Impacts of Being Falsely Accused of a Crime in Burlington County NJ?

Falsely Accused What are the Ramifications in NJ

Imagine receiving a call from a detective asking you to come to the station to answer some questions. With your heart rate rising, you ask what it’s about and find you have been accused of receiving stolen property. Knowing you did not buy or receive anything from anyone, you suddenly feel incredibly anxious, embarrassed, and trapped. You know you have not committed a crime but are treated like you have.

Though you are confident that the phone call is a mistake, you should reconsider ignoring the matter. Law enforcement detectives investigating a crime are not the judge and jury to decide your guilt or innocence, but they are instrumental in pressing charges against you. They refer criminal investigations to the prosecutor’s office where criminal charges arise. So, even despite the mistake, the consequences are severe.

To protect yourself against unwarranted fines and imprisonment, not to mention personal and professional repercussions that you never even anticipated, you should seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney immediately. Being prepared is your best defense against a false accusation. However, you must take the situation seriously. You know you are innocent, but that will not stop the criminal proceedings against you. Depending on the accuser’s story, you could face years in prison and pay huge fines. To avoid such an outcome, take the accusation seriously, and be prepared to defend yourself from the start.

Contact the skillful criminal defense lawyers at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay to discuss your case involving false accusations in Burlington County and throughout Southern New Jersey. We offer free consultations anytime by contacting us at (609) 850-8284.

False Accusations can have Heavy Consequences

Though the time and expense of preparing your defense with an attorney may seem unfair, it is necessary. Paying an attorney for a false accusation seems especially harsh, but you want to avoid getting caught unprepared should the case against you go forward. After all, an allegation of crimes maligning your character could lead to severe results. Of course, imprisonment and fines are the first thoughts connected to criminal convictions. And yet, some of the other ramifications are equally as detrimental and often overlooked at the outset. The following includes some of the other areas of your life that may be impacted by a false accusation in New Jersey.

# 1 Your Livelihood

You could lose your job and find no employers who will hire you with a criminal case pending after checking your criminal background. A conviction may lead to other difficult losses, such as your professional license. New Jersey revokes licenses for crimes of moral turpitude, fraud being one of them. Thus, if you are a lawyer, doctor, teacher, realtor, or dentist, you may lose your license for certain convictions that affect your job performance, such as sex or drug crimes

#2 Your Immigration Status

Worse, a criminal conviction can affect your immigration status and even lead to deportation. If you have an application to immigrate to the United States, your application can be denied for a criminal conviction. Your green card is in jeopardy unless you obtain a waiver; however, crimes like aggravated sexual assault will likely result in deportation.

#3 Your Housing Options

Renting or leasing property in New Jersey may be tough with certain criminal convictions. Property owners are less likely to rent to one with a criminal conviction for criminal sexual contact, aggravated assault, or other major crimes that put others at risk. However, an arrest on your record is probably not enough to disqualify you from housing, though property owners may not reveal why they did not accept your application.

#4 Your Personal Life

A false accusation can lead to other, intangible losses, including social and emotional damage. Your neighbors and community may learn of the charges, which could cause you embarrassment and loss of your good reputation. You may lose friends or significant others, and your family relationships may be strained, resulting in social isolation and mental health issues. Psycho-emotional problems often wear on physical health, warranting medical and psychiatric treatment.

Key Recommendations for Preserving Your Best Interests Amidst False Accusations

Say Nothing to Police without an Attorney

Anything you say to law enforcement can be misconstrued and turned against you in a court of law. Thus, you want the protection of an advocate who can represent you during an interview with the police. Your attorney will not let you incriminate yourself and use the discussion to investigate the origin and nature of the accusation. Your attorney may obtain essential information about the potential charges as well.

Let Your Lawyer Deal with the Prosecutor

The most significant advantage of being proactive at the outset is to get out in front of the charges before the prosecutor files them. But even if the police do not close the investigation, your attorney can still sometimes persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the case. Prosecutors are typically unwilling to prosecute cases they cannot win, so your attorney may convince the prosecutor their case is not winnable.

Consider Information and Evidence that Helps Your Case

Regardless of whether the prosecutor dismisses your case, you want to act as if it will proceed to a trial without getting overly anxious about it. Stay clear and confident but determined to prove your innocence. Start thinking about exculpatory evidence, anything that shows you could not have committed the crime, like medical records that show you were at a doctor’s appointment at the time of the alleged incident or under a doctor’s care with a condition that would have prevented you acting as the state contends.

All communications, work records, GPS location data, telephone records showing your location, and other physical evidence proving your whereabouts at the time of the alleged crime are relevant. And if you know the accuser and their motivation for falsely accusing you, social media posts, texts, or emails may show the strained relationship to support your claim that revenge or intentional harm is the accuser’s motivation. Gather the names and contact information of witnesses who can corroborate your story.

Don’t React, Strategize

You can still prepare for the possibility even when your attorney advises you to wait and see if the prosecutor files charges. The best strategy may be a wait-and-see approach as the prosecutor’s office conducts its investigation. The state may not file charges when evidence disproves the crime, such as a suspect in custody confessing to the crime or other proof of your innocence, arises during the investigation.

Stay Away from Your Accuser

In addition, if you know your accuser and frequent the same places, you should avoid running into them. Just like talking to the police can backfire when statements you made and taken out of context are used in court to incriminate you, innocent remarks to the accuser may turn up in a courtroom as evidence supporting the prosecution’s case.

If I am Proven Innocent, Can the Accuser Get in Trouble?

A false accusation can cause extreme damage to you. And while making false accusations is a third degree crime in New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2C:28-4.), you probably will not get much satisfaction or repayment for pressing charges as your accuser is unlikely to go to jail for the offense, especially if it is their first offense. However, a conviction could imprison your accuser for up to five years.

Get Ahead of False Accusations with Assistance from our Criminal Defense Firm

At Proetta, Oliver, & Fay, our criminal defense attorneys can allay your fears when a false accusation threatens your livelihood, liberty, and peace of mind. You don’t have to figure out how to escape such a mess alone. Our lawyers can help you from the first phone call or arrest, protecting your constitutional rights to a fair and speedy process. We can ensure that you are not railroaded by overzealous police and prosecutors by citing the law and knowing the rules of the proceedings. Most importantly, we can arm you with a defense strategy to dismiss or defeat the charges. Contact our offices in Evesham Township to receive a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers today. We help clients who have been falsely accused in Bordentown, Mount Holly, Cinnaminson, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Lumberton, Riverside, and many other communities in the Burlington County area. Call (609) 850-8284 to learn more.

Contact Us

Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.

Burlington Office

525 Highway 73,
Suite 104, Marlton,
New Jersey 08053
Phone: 609-850-8284
By Appointment Only

Hamilton Office

100 Horizon Center
Boulevard, Hamilton,
New Jersey, 08691
By Appointment Only

Point Pleasant Office

3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only

Middletown Office

180 Kings Highway,
Middletown Township,
New Jersey 07748
By Appointment Only