If you’re falsely accused of a crime, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Not speaking to police without your attorney and keeping talk about the accusations to a minimum may help, for example. Something else you may want to consider once you’re able to prove your innocence is how you can file a lawsuit for libel or defamation.

Your life is affected immensely by false claims, and no one should get away with making them. Your attorney can help you decide how to move forward once you’re proven innocent, but doing so may require you to stand up for yourself in a number of ways.

First, make sure you don’t admit to anything you didn’t do or say. In fact, don’t say anything. You don’t have to stay anything without your lawyer present. You’ll be able to call your attorney as soon as you request it from police. You don’t have to be interrogated without your attorney present, and you shouldn’t be. Anything you say to your attorney will be protected thanks to attorney-client privilege, so if you want to admit to doing something wrong, that confession won’t be admitted to court.

Suing for defamation is the last thing on your mind when you’re defending yourself, but you should consider it. You’ve been discredited and accused of a crime that you didn’t commit, so why should that shame follow you around? It may have cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees, and you lost time and energy to a fight you shouldn’t have been involved in.

Source: FindLaw, “What to Do If You’re Falsely Accused of a Crime,” accessed Oct. 21, 2015