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An egregious wrong: a false allegation in a criminal case

It happens.

Every day in California and across the United States, and for a multitude of reasons, an accusation of criminal conduct is made against an individual who is actually innocent of any wrongdoing.

Sometimes an allegation proceeds from error, with a complainant making a mistake in identification, for example, or materially misreading the key facts of a matter.

But at other times it owes to malice or some other bad-faith motive spurring an accuser to falsely target another party in a criminal matter.

Understandably, the consequences of that injustice can be dire, spelling the worst-case scenario in a criminal law outcome: an innocent person suffering from a frightful miscarriage of justice.

John W. Noonan, the principal attorney at The Law Office of John W. Noonan in Pleasanton, knows from decades of criminal law defense experience that innocent individuals in the Bay Area and from across California and the rest of the country are falsely flagged as criminal wrongdoers with disturbing frequency.

And for wide-ranging reasons. Defense counsel often see wrongful accusations made in the context of family law, for example, when one party seeks to gain advantage in a child custody case via a false allegation of domestic abuse. Informants sometimes attempt to curry favor with criminal authorities by knowingly identifying innocent parties as wrongdoers in drug or sex-crime cases. And false accusations are made in legions of other cases as well, ranging from assault and robbery to various types of fraud, including identity theft.

The presumption of innocence is a bedrock and critically important legal principle in the United States.

A proven defense attorney can help ensure that it is respected and adhered to in a given case.

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