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Why do people make false accusations of criminal activity? 

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Many accusations of criminal activity, such as assault or rape, are accurate. It is unfair to victims to assume that they are making the story up or that they are not being honest. These types of accusations do need to be taken seriously.

That being said, false accusations have been recorded in the past, and they do happen. People will sometimes lie about being victimized by someone else, potentially leading to criminal charges for that person. In cases where this happens, what are the motives behind it? Why does that person feel the need to make the false report? Below are a few potential reasons.

They have something to gain

In one case, a teacher who wanted a promotion accused another teacher of sexual assault, and that person ended up in jail. The motive, then, was to put themselves in a better position professionally, meaning they had something to gain. They thought it would help them get the promotion. 

It is an alibi

In other cases, the false accusation may be part of a cover-up. There was a case where one person was having an extramarital affair, for instance, and when discovered, they accused the other person of rape. In actuality, the relationship was consensual.

It is an act of revenge

In some cases, one person may have been slighted. For instance, maybe their partner asked for a divorce, and so they accused them of criminal activity. In divorce cases specifically, this could also be done to try to influence child custody rulings.

Once again, this isn’t to say that all accusations are false, but simply that false accusations can and do occur. Those who are facing such charges need to know about their legal defense options.