What are the legal rights of a person falsley accused of a crime with an unaffordable bail amount?

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What are the legal rights of a person falsley accused of a crime with an unaffordable bail amount?

Summary: Nephew (18) in jail accused of kidnapping a (30+) year old woman and her boyfriend who were living in an abandoned property. The womans cousin stole property from my nephew the prior evening and snuck out of his house at 4AM. Woman was helping nephew find person to retrieve his belongings but decided to call 911 and report herself kidnapped – Have copy of convenience store tape with woman & boyfriend sitting in car with doors open in parking lot smoking while nephew was in store – woman & boyfriend clearly not held against will – clearly free to walk away. Falsley accused

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Any criminal defendant has certain rights that are guaranteed by the United States Constitution.  For example your nephew has a right: 1) to legal counsel and 2) to refrain from incriminating himself.  Since it sounds like you are in possession of exculpatory evidence, you should consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney on behalf of your nephew and discuss this evidence with that attorney.  If you cannot afford an attorney, you need to bring this evidence to the attention of your nephew's court-appointed public defender.  Whoever his attorney is will know the best way to utilize this evidence.  Additionally, the attorney may be able to file a motion to reduce the bond, and base part of his argument on the existence of this highly exculpatory evidence.  Nevertheless, since the burden of proof is on the state to demonstrate guilt, this evidence, if truly exculpatory and used property, may go a long way in negating any finding of guilt.


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