Angry young man looking upset and aggressive while getting arrested by two cops putting handcuffs. accused of a crime but not charged

What Should I Do If I’m Accused Of A Crime But Not Charged?

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.

Angry young man looking upset and aggressive while getting arrested by two cops putting handcuffs. accused of a crime but not charged

Call Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys at (952) 913-1421 for pre-charge representation if you have been accused of a crime, but not yet charged.

What Is the Difference Between Being Accused and Being Charged With a Crime in Minnesota?

Being accused of a crime means that prosecutors have probable cause to believe you committed a crime, but have not taken legal action against you. Law enforcement officers may be investigating you to gather sufficient evidence to accuse you of the crime officially. They may have contacted you or people close to you regarding crimes they think you committed.

Being charged with a crime means the prosecutors have filed criminal charges against you. Minnesota’s law deems you innocent even after you have been formally accused of a crime.

Reasons for Being Accused of a Crime but not Charged

There are a variety of reasons you may not yet face charges after being accused of a crime.

The Prosecution Considers Your Case a Low Priority

The decision to charge someone lies with the prosecution office. Prosecutors often consider the case volume, seriousness of charges, and available resources when making charging decisions. As such, they may have deemed your case a low priority and dedicated resources elsewhere.

Just because you were not charged promptly after being accused of a crime does not mean you are off the hook. The prosecution may still formally charge you before the statute of limitations for your crime elapses.

A criminal defense lawyer can review your case to determine if the statute of limitations has passed. If so, the prosecution cannot charge you, and you will be out of trouble. If it is still running, your lawyer will contact the prosecutor to establish whether your case is still under consideration. Your lawyer will try to convince the prosecutor to drop the charges if your case is still under consideration.

Ongoing Pre-Charge Negotiations

You may not get charged after an accusation if your lawyer has initiated negotiations with the prosecuting authority. Your lawyer may be trying to convince the prosecutor not to bring charges against you.

Available Evidence May Be Inadequate

Prosecutors may delay formally accusing you of a crime if they do not have sufficient evidence. They may be willing to wait longer if they think more evidence will be available soon.

Fear of Exposing an Ongoing Undercover Operation

A delay in charging could be a strategy to prevent exposing an ongoing undercover operation.

Potential for More Serious Criminal Charges

Law enforcement officers may delay pressing charges if they think they could file more serious charges if they wait and surveil the accused for future criminal behavior. For instance, the officers may have proof of simple assault, but may believe that if they wait and monitor the accused, they may obtain evidence of aggravated assault.

Know Your Rights if You Have Been Accused of a Crime

The U.S. Constitution guarantees you inalienable rights if you have been accused of a crime. Knowing these rights is essential in ensuring they are protected and proving your innocence.

Your Right to Remain Silent

Under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you have the right not to respond to questions from a law enforcement officer. The officer cannot arrest you if you refuse to answer his or her questions.

Your Right to an Attorney

You have the right to legal representation if the offense could result in jail or prison time. You can retain a private attorney or get a court-appointed attorney, popularly known as a public defender, if you cannot afford the services of private counsel. The court will consider your earnings when determining whether you are eligible for a free public defender.

Your Right to Confront Witnesses

The 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to confront witnesses against you in court. The Confrontation clause offers you two types of protection: the right to meet face-to-face with those who will testify against you and the right to carry out cross-examination.

Right to a Trial by Jury of Your Peers

You are entitled to a jury trial if you are facing a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony criminal accusations. The jury trial will involve individuals from the community chosen randomly to act as the jurors on your case and determine whether you are guilty of the offense.

The prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the jury trial proceedings. The jury members must enter a unanimous guilty verdict for you to be convicted.

Your Right to a Fair Bail

The 8th Amendment guarantees you a right to a fair bail. As such, the judge who grants you bail must ensure it matches the seriousness of the alleged offense and takes into account your flight risk.

Responding to the Accusation of a Crime

Knowing what to do if you’re falsely accused of a crime can help clear your name and avoid a conviction. The following steps will help you respond to false accusations of a crime:

Remain Calm and Composed

An accusation of a crime can leave you shocked and irritated. This is especially true when false accusations involve hate crimes, child abuse, or sexual misconduct. You might want to immediately confront your accuser or issue a statement to distance yourself from the allegations. However, fighting back the false allegations while you are distressed and angry could compromise your case.

The best thing to do when accused of a crime is to stay calm and composed. Staying calm allows you to think carefully and determine how best to react to the allegations.

Do Not Discuss the Case

Never discuss the facts of your case with the police or media. The same applies to your family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers. Anything you tell anyone who is not your lawyer may be admissible as evidence of your guilt in court.

The attorney-client privilege safeguards the confidentiality of your communication with your lawyer. What you discuss with your friends, family members, or even cellmates does not qualify as confidential information. If your friends or family members are called to testify in court, they will be cross-examined under oath.

Stay silent and ask for a lawyer the moment anyone asks you about a pending criminal matter in which you might be a suspect.

Hire a Lawyer to Help You Defend You

Retaining a lawyer is one of the most crucial steps when accused of a crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney will leverage his or her understanding of Minnesota criminal laws to walk you through the criminal justice system, safeguard your rights, and fight the accusations with compelling evidence and arguments.

The sooner you retain an attorney, the sooner the attorney can investigate your accusations, compile evidence, and develop a winning defense strategy.

Cooperate With Law Enforcement Within the Legal Boundaries

Interacting with law enforcement after getting accused of a crime can be physically and emotionally draining. Try your best to keep your composure and ensure you are cooperating with the officers within legal boundaries.

Keep your answers concise and clear during interrogations. Take your time to think about the questions asked before responding. Do not worry about the silence between the officer’s questions and your responses. Your focus is to avoid divulging self-incriminating information.

Assert your right to remain silent if you think answering a specific question may incriminate you. Also, politely request to talk to your lawyer if you feel the law enforcement officers are becoming hostile or unfair in their line of questioning.

Collect Evidence

Obtain physical evidence to help clear your name. Gather documents like correspondence, phone call records, GPS data, and hotel receipts to prove you were somewhere else when the crime happened. Security camera footage could get you off the hook by showing you were not at the crime scene, or you did not commit the crime.

Prepare a list of names and contact information of people who may have useful information regarding the incident or allegations. Your attorney may contact these people, interview them, and gather witness statements to support your defense.

Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys are ready to help you clear your name if you are accused of a crime but not charged in Minnesota. Our attorneys will listen to your account of the incident, investigate to gather additional information, and put up a strong defense against the allegations. Contact us today at (952) 913-1421.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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