When You’re Falsely Accused of a Gun Crime – 12 Things You Need to Know

Until you’re accused of a crime, you may be blissfully ignorant of the fact that “innocent until proven guilty” is a myth. In reality, it’s the opposite. Michelle Gesse, whose husband lived the nightmare of being falsely accused of a firearms related felony, explains what all Americans need to know now about the criminal justice system.

Bogus Allegations
Bogus Allegations

Boulder, CO (November 2012)—The scary part of this story is how easily it could happen to any one of us.

Steven and Michelle Gesse thought that the small dinner party they hosted on the night of April 5, 2009, would be just that: an informal, pleasant gathering of neighbors over good food and good wine.

Instead, it turned out to be the beginning of a nightmarish spiral into a confusing and frightening justice system that in practice, if not in theory, considers you to be guilty until proven innocent.

“During dinner that night, my husband, Steven, made an offhand comment that offended one of our guests,” recalls Michelle Gesse, author of the new book Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty Until Proven Innocent (Johnson Books, March 2012, ISBN: 978-1-55566-450-3, $17.95). “We were not even aware that she was offended since the remainder of the evening passed pleasantly. But what took place later that night changed the course of our lives forever. Never, in a million years, could we have imagined it could happen to us.”

Steven and Michelle were stunned and terrified when the neighbor’s son, who had also been a guest at the dinner party (and was an active Navy Seal), returned later in the evening threatening Steven and demanding an apology. Thinking, Okay, I’ll go over and apologize and be done with it, Steven went next door to try to smooth things over.

Later that night the Gesses were shocked when law enforcement officers arrived at their home in the middle of the night to arrest Steven and search their home. As it turned out, Michelle reports, the son of the offended guest had falsely accused Steven of threatening him with a gun.

Over the next seven months, she would watch helplessly as her innocent husband was treated by the justice system as a criminal whose guilt was already assumed.

“Steven’s name—but not his accuser’s!—was printed in all the local newspapers in connection with the case,” she describes. “We were in and out of court, and were forced to spend our retirement money to fund Steven’s defense. And as part of the conditions of his bail, Steven had to receive special permission to leave the state, and had to meet regularly with a drug counselor.

“He even had to appear for random breathalyzer tests,” she adds. “While it may not seem like a big deal on the surface, it meant he couldn’t even enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and had to be available for the test whenever required. That’s just how deeply this experience insinuated itself into the fabric of our day-to-day lives.”

On October 28, 2009, Steven Gesse was found not guilty of Felony Menacing and Prohibited Use of a Weapon by a jury. Yet being exonerated did not make up for the fact that he had been treated like a convicted felon. The unfairness of it all set Michelle Gesse on a mission to shine a spotlight on the injustices of the American justice system—and to make people aware of what to do in case they are ever falsely accused.

“Proving that Steven was innocent—innocent!—cost us, not Steven’s false accuser, so much time, stress, energy, and money,” Gesse says. “That’s not what I had pictured ‘justice’ to be before experience taught me otherwise. Now I know, among other things, that you need a committed lawyer and a healthy bank account to beat a completely bum rap.”

Of course, few people give much thought to what they should do (and not do) if they are falsely accused. But like the Gesses, prior to their ordeal, you too might have an “it’ll never happen to me” attitude. But the truth is, there’s no way to know for sure what curveballs life might have in store—and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Read on for 12 lessons that Michelle Gesse has learned in the Criminal Justice School of Hard Knocks. Having this information beforehand might make a huge difference if you or a loved one is ever falsely accused of a crime.

Have an “arrest plan” in place (yes, it could happen to you). Generally, people don’t assume that their homes will catch fire. Statistically speaking, it’s not a likely occurrence. But most people still take out homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, just in case. Likewise, though you hope it’ll never happen, you teach your child to scream and run if accosted by a stranger. You’ve probably considered what you’d do if someone approached you in a dark parking lot. And depending on where you live, your family may have a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake plan in place. In the same way, says Gesse, you should think through and be prepared for a possible arrest.

“None of us think something like this could happen to us, but it is possible that at some point in your life you or someone you love may be arrested,” she says. “It could be your spouse, your child, a relative, or a good friend. What would you do if this happened? Would you be forearmed with any strategy or knowledge, or would you be floundering, completely at the mercy of ‘the system’? Believe me, it’s a good idea to think about what you would do if you were confronted by the police at your own front door, or how you might respond if you received a phone call telling you that a loved one had been arrested. That disaster may have a higher probability than many of those for which you have prepared.”

Likewise, it is wise to have “the talk” with your kids beforehand. This particular “talk” should be about what they should do if they are ever arrested or interrogated by law enforcement officers, regardless of the reason.

Be the first to call 911. The person to call 911 is always going to be considered the victim, regardless of the circumstances. If you find yourself in any sort of threatening situation, whether it’s with a family member, friend, coworker, or complete stranger, don’t hesitate. Be the first to call 911. While it may not seem “right” or “fair,” the first person to call 911 is going to be regarded as the victim, regardless of the facts or the truth.

“Even though he was telling a blatant lie, Steven’s accuser was treated by law enforcement as the victim since they heard his version of the story first,” Gesse recalls. “As we learned, once you have been taken into custody, you have been classified as the perpetrator of the crime. The so-called victim will receive support from victims’ advocates, the press, law enforcement, the community, etc., while you and your family are on your own to clear your name. Trust me, being the first to pick up the phone can save you an unimaginable amount of stress, time, notoriety, and money.”

Everyone involved has the right to remain silent. Imagine the following scenario: Your spouse (or any loved one) has just been handcuffed and taken away from your home in a police car. You are out of your league with no idea what is going on, and you’re struggling with feelings of anxiety, panic, confusion, and fear. Meanwhile, other officers and detectives have remained at your residence. Your first instinct is to talk to them, to tell them the truth about what happened, and to prove to them that your spouse has done nothing wrong. Don’t.

“Even if you aren’t the person being accused of a crime, exercise your right to remain silent!” Gesse stresses. “Don’t talk to anyone without a lawyer present. I shouted that very warning at my husband as the police put him in the squad car, but it never occurred to me that I should follow my own advice as I sat at home with a deputy waiting for the search warrant to arrive. In court I was grilled by the prosecution about what I said and what I didn’t say. If Steven had been found guilty because of something I’d said, or a fact I hadn’t mentioned had put doubt into the jury’s minds, I would never have forgiven myself.”

Insist on a search warrant, even if you have nothing to hide. “Can we search the house?” If you know that you have not committed any wrongdoing and have nothing to hide, you may be tempted to answer this question with a “yes.” The more cooperative I am, the sooner this will be over, you reason. Maybe the officers will even see that I’m innocent, and my family will never be bothered again.

“Squelch the impulse to be open and helpful, and don’t allow anyone to search your house without a warrant,” Gesse instructs. “Insisting on the warrant was probably the smartest thing I did the night my husband was arrested. As I found out later, it can tell your lawyer what the police were looking for. And if the search wasn’t executed properly, having the warrant might make whatever was found ineligible to be introduced as evidence. Remember, it’s always best to have physical documentation when you’re dealing with the criminal justice system.”

Realize that the criminal justice system is hard on the innocent. If you have ever watched one of the many television shows or movies that’s based around the legal system, you might take it for granted that the law officers, investigators, and prosecutors are going to search for the truth and examine the evidence before prosecuting. According to Gesse, that’s Hollywood—reality looks very different.

“The criminal justice system in the U.S. is a ‘flow system,’” she explains. “By that, I mean that the system wants to dispose of as many cases as quickly as possible. They do this by negotiating plea bargains. A plea bargain is the quickest and least expensive way for them and for you to end the process. Accepting a plea bargain even to a lesser offense, however, may mean having a criminal record as well as having conditions imposed on you like alcohol testing, community service, or limits on travel. Would you be willing to do that if you knew you were innocent? My husband wasn’t willing to make that sort of deal (with my full support), and we ended up paying financially and emotionally for not playing the game the system’s way.”

Expect to be treated like you’re guilty. Again, what you see on TV and what happens in real life are two different things. As Gesse has pointed out, the criminal justice system is focused on prosecution and on garnering guilty verdicts, so don’t expect a full-scale Law and Order– or CSI-type investigation. Instead, expect to be prosecuted even if the facts and evidence don’t support a guilty verdict.

“Unless your case is extremely high-profile, it’s unlikely that the prosecutor will even review the case file until shortly before the trial,” Gesse says. “And the prosecutor will proceed even when the supposed victim indicates that he or she prefers to put an end to the proceeding. Meanwhile, you might be forced to live under court-ordered stipulations that resemble nothing so much as parole.

“For instance, Steven had to submit to random alcohol testing, had to meet with a drug counselor, couldn’t be in proximity to weapons, and couldn’t leave Colorado without special permission. Not to mention the fact that we were in and out of court and his name was in the newspaper, while the supposed ‘victim’ walked free in anonymity! After Steven was acquitted, we practically had to beg the newspaper to run a story announcing that he had been found innocent.”

Proving your innocence comes with a very high price tag. Since Steven Gesse did not take the plea bargain he was offered and instead maintained his innocence, he paid a very high price. Proceeding to trial doubled the Gesses’ legal expenses and made the process last twice as long. In contrast, the false accuser did not have to pay legal fees, and his transportation to and from the trial was covered. And the sad reality is that the Gesses had no recourse to either the individuals or the legal system that falsely accused them and prosecuted them even after Steven was found not guilty.

“We do not in any way regret the decision to proceed to trial,” Gesse confirms. “It was the right decision for us, but many families will not have either the financial or emotional resources to successfully undertake this course of action. You need to know the costs in advance before deciding to go ahead. Yes, I know, it seems incredibly unfair—even unbelievable—that an innocent person would have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to prove that he has done nothing illegal. But that’s reality.”

Getting a lawyer doesn’t imply guilt. (In fact, innocent people need the most help!) Chances are, you’ve seen a TV show in which someone being questioned by the police asks, “Do I need a lawyer?” And the questioner responds with something like, “If you’re innocent, why would you need a lawyer?” or, “Just tell the truth. If you have nothing to hide, you won’t need an attorney.” Yes, these television personas make it seem like getting representation implies guilt. But if you’re ever falsely accused of a crime in real life, you’ve never needed a lawyer more.

“In my opinion, the innocent need legal help even more than the guilty,” Gesse says. “Think about it this way: You wouldn’t travel to a dangerous foreign country without hiring a good guide. And for all intents and purposes, the legal justice system is a dangerous foreign country. As an innocent person, you have no idea what’s going on, what to expect, or how to handle the many obstacles that will be thrown in your path. You certainly aren’t equipped to represent yourself in court. So yes, you’ll definitely need the help of an experienced professional if you don’t want to end up serving time for a crime you didn’t commit.”

Don’t skimp on a lawyer. If you are falsely accused of a crime and decide to proceed to trial, don’t skimp on a lawyer. This is not the time to save money. If your finances are tight, shop at discount stores and give up steak and wine—but don’t look for bargain legal counsel.

“If you go to trial, you want the best lawyer you can afford…or perhaps one a tad more expensive than you can afford,” Gesse asserts. “Personally, I’d rather go into debt than go to jail for something I didn’t do. If you simply cannot afford a lawyer, public defenders are an option. I’ll put in the caveat that I’m by no means an expert, but my impression is that a public defender will try to dispose of your case by urging you to take a plea bargain offer. Public defenders are overworked and have a lot of cases, so again, they’re probably looking for the easiest and fastest ‘solution.’”

You’re not as alone as you think you are. If you ever find yourself or a loved one falsely accused of a crime, you’ll probably feel alone and totally adrift. But keep in mind that more people than you would ever expect have found themselves in this situation. Unfortunately, an unwarranted sense of shame keeps most falsely accused individuals from sharing their stories. Don’t be afraid to do your own research on the subject of “false accusations” or to reach out to others who have been there. You will need to establish your own safety net of a very small number of individuals with whom you can confide.

“I have been amazed by the number of people who have told me similar stories about themselves, their family, or friends after Bogus Allegations was published,” Gesse shares. “These stories include an ex-boyfriend accusing a former girlfriend of a felony in order to get her deported, an ex-wife accusing her former spouse of hiding financial assets, and a teenage girl accusing a young man of inappropriate sexual advances. I promise you, you are not alone. And the advice and experiences of others—especially during your ordeal—can be an invaluable resource.”

Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. If the process of going to trial is financially costly, it’s every bit as brutal on your emotional reserves. Expect for everyone in the family to feel stress, fear, anger, and exhaustion (just to name a few) on a regular basis. You might cry easily, little things will make you mad, and your sex life will likely suffer. So cut yourself and your loved ones some slack, and be easy on yourselves. This is not the time to go on a diet or start a new job. And don’t worry—feeling this way is normal.

“The seven months between when my husband was arrested and his trial were more stressful than watching both of my parents die of a fatal disease,” Gesse admits. “During those periods I could talk to friends. Everyone in my life was supportive. It was socially acceptable to fall apart. I wasn’t ashamed that my parents and I were going through the process. And there are plenty of available resources on how to deal with the death of a parent. However, none of that is the case when you’re dealing with the wrongful prosecution of a loved one. You can never escape the stress and strain, and there are very few emotional outlets available to you.”

You’ll find out who your true friends are. If you are wrongfully accused of a crime, you’ll probably be surprised and saddened by the number of people in your life who don’t want to be involved. People whom you had considered to be friends may pull away, become distant, or even refuse to help. Unfortunately, many individuals may feel so awkward even approaching the topic that they avoid it, denying you the support you need so badly. Sadly other “friends” may assume that since you have been arrested, you are probably guilty.

“A neighbor Steven and I had considered to be a very close friend attended the dinner party that sparked our whole nightmare,” Gesse recalls. “We assumed that of course he would be fully ‘on our side’ and willing to do whatever was necessary to clear Steven’s name. However, this man initially refused to even speak to our lawyer. He and his wife considered the situation to be ‘something between two neighbors’ and didn’t want to get involved. Steven and I were bitterly disappointed by what we saw as abandonment and betrayal. However, I do want to point out that other friends stepped up and went above and beyond the call of duty throughout those long seven months.”

“I can’t stress enough how important it is to know the facts about the criminal justice system, and to think about what you would do if you or someone you love is ever falsely accused,” Gesse states. “No, it will probably never happen to you. (I sincerely hope it doesn’t!) But if you ever find yourself in my family’s shoes, you’ll need all of the knowledge and resources you can possibly get your hands on.

“I used to think that the innocent had nothing to fear,” she concludes. “Now I know that the opposite is true. Our country’s criminal justice system puts the heaviest burden on the defendant…whether the accusations are well-founded or not.”

About the Author:
Michelle Gesse
, author of Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty Until Proven Innocent, is a native of Chicago, IL. She earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and completed her MBA at the University of Chicago. She spent 15 years in banking, working for Northern Trust in Chicago and Chase Manhattan in New York. From 1992 to 2011, Michelle successfully owned and ran a manufacturing company in Boulder, CO.

Michelle lives in Boulder, CO, with her husband, Steven. Before the incident described in Bogus Allegations, Michelle and Steven never thought that they would get involved in the criminal justice system.

For more information, please visit www.michellegesse.com.

About the Book:
Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty Until Proven Innocent (Johnson Books, March 2012, ISBN: 978-1-55566-450-3, $17.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at www.michellegesse.com.

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Bring it

Most cops are kids. What do you expect? Whats wrong with most of the young today is the same that is wrong with the cops. And don't tell me thats fine until I need one…I can't even think of a situation where I want one, let alone need one. My chances of getting mucked over by a cop are much greater than being helped by one. No thanks.


Anyone that thinks that Karma don't exist have something to look forward to. That seal will experiance what Karma can really be like. Unfortunately it will be the bad kind. Sucks to be him.


Funny, I had pretty much the same thing happen to me. I was accused of assault and battery with intent to kill. I have been into guns since I was 4 yrs. old and in the army. If I had intended to kill him, the bastard would be burning in hell now.It took me exactly 7 months to bring the same charges against my accuser. We ended up both dropping charges, but I made sure he signed the papers to drop charges first. He had already lied to get me charged in the first place. Still, if charges are dropped… Read more »

Robert Spinelli

I was falsely accused of having a firearm because they said I have a dishonorable discharge. I am eighty years old and was handcuffed and thrown in jail for four days until I was bailed out. It was much later that they found out that I do not have a dishonorable discharge. I believe (and have some documentation) that they got this misinformation from my soon to be ex-wife. Do I have legal recourse against my wife or the DA?


My husband as being falsely accused of pointing his firearm, we have a good criminal lawyer however the complaints now want to talk in there house about withdrawing the case,should we go without our lawyer to their house


We’re in Colorado as well, my son was picked up by Loveland police and even extradited to Sterling, so ridiculous. And they do treat you like you are guilty until proven innocent.
I’m so very saddened that this happens so frequently. I understand taking threats (or perceived threats) need to be taken seriously, but for there to be no penalty for someone lying, WOW, REALLY!!


This is absolutely unbelievable, and I too would have never believed that this could happen to me or my family until it did last week. They took my son, and he spent the weekend in jail and now we are looking at up coming court. I stumbled across this web site trying to find if he could really be arrested like this without any proof, and if there was anything he could do about the lying party. But it sounds like her can be arrested and there is nothing that can be done about the other part for lying and/or… Read more »

William Szymanski

I don’t think this has anything to do with the current thread. Just trying to ask a question. I was recently charged with felony criminal threatening with a firearm. I never spoke of the gun, never showed the gun, still there charging me. What can I do? I’m in the state of Maine. the only thing that happened was, after I was assaulted and the assailant went inside, I then went and grabbed my Beretta and went down to the garage and shot up a Harley-Davidson. Again, never mentioned a gun and never showed

Toemo Awaseo

What was the result of your case Im also in a similar situation an need help! thanks in advance..


I am currently dealing with this exact situation here in Idaho. Only difference is my support network is in Texas and Oklahoma, so I imagine the feelings are so much more difficult to deal with because I don’t have a shoulder to cry on. I was at a boat ramp loading my kayak and gear onto and into my vehicle. There was a family in a speed boat that was waiting behind me. They grew impatient with me and the wife of the family asked me to move out of their way so they could load up. I refused (i… Read more »


I am not an attorney. You have to get this women on the witness stand. Let her tell her story. When you tell yours. Look the jury in the eye and state that you never pointed the gun. A good Trial Attorney can rip her story apart. Get her to admit she is lying. Do not accept any plea bargain. No matter what. The odds are they will drop it and dismiss it. I wish you the best. I sure hope it gets dismissed or you are acquitted. I had something similar and I fought and won. Its still out… Read more »

Daniel Whitfield

I’m a single father of a 10 year old girl in N.C. Wilmington. I took my daughter into the school on her birthday on June 2nd. Less than an hour later the principal calls me. Less than hour of that call the new Hanover county school administrators along with a srgt from the sheriff department calls with me on speaker phone. ” a concerned parent” calls the school and notifies that I was carrying a concealed weapon on me. I just walked in school, asked if it was ok to bring donuts and a bday cupcake to lunch time for… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Daniel Whitfield, Get a defense attorney.


I am not attorney. Fight this charge. They can’t prove you had a gun on school property. Unless they searched you and found it. Never ever answer questions. when it comes to the police. It can’t be federal. Its a state. charge. Get yourself a Trial attorney. They have no case in front of a jury. They are on a fishing expedition. Do not plea bargain. Don’t fall for their threats.That charge of impersonating an police officer. that will not hold up in court. Take this to jury trial. Fight them and putting it before a jury is going to… Read more »


I have read your short story and I think there should be punishment for the other party. I think that’s a crime how our system is so backwards and it works against us, instead of for us. I don’t believe our system will improve but only to get worse. I believe the system targets the innocent and let’s (all walks of life of criminals) the criminals walk rather its CPS, Drug dealers, or what have you, kind of like good cop versus bad cop. It’s just wrong. I hope you guys retaliated and went after your accusers. I know I… Read more »


Need proof he lied. Juey saying there is reasonable doubt is not enough. It has to come out as a clear contradiction with his statement and/or testimony, or if he ever admits to his lie, then he can be charged and they can sue. Otherwise, nothing can be done.


HELP. I now am facing false accusations. Since this case is recent and pending, I will not divuldge the details. I will summarize instead. ‘S’ equals ‘suspect’. ‘A’ = ‘accuser’. ‘W’ = ‘witness’. ‘P’ = ‘police’. BACKGROUND: S is homeowner, a 100% disabled veteran with a prior non-violent felony DUI conviction. A1 & A2 are living in S’s home because A1 and A2 have been evicted from their home and have 2 small children. A1 and A2 are both unemployed and without transportation. A1 and A2 have had DHS called on them prior. INCIDENT: A2 and S go out to… Read more »

Corrie B

This article is very true all of it. Im in a very similar situation.

Chase Ford

I learned my lesson many years ago. I was charged with a crime which I did not commit and spent many years of my life and most of my money trying to prove my innocence. It did no good. Many attorneys today will admit that there is an 85% chance of a conviction..innocent or not. That is the truth. Wake up to the facts.

John West

C'mon, there has to be more to this story. What was said to offend so deeply and how did a Navy Seal become so smarmy as to participate in this cowardly accusation …. unless there was merit to it. Did the offender have a drinking or substance problem? Did he own a gun? What happened when he went over to apologize. Why did he bother to go over to apologize. That sounds too dramatic for normal fare. If this is a fabrication in order to spew your advice, then you need a better story writer. I am aware that the… Read more »


Why would an active Navy Seal be scared of a civilian pulling a gun?

I suspect there's more to this story than what has been told.


It's getting to the point where it doesn't make sense to allow a cop to arrest you any more. The system is not there for you. It's for the people in the system.

Never, never, never talk to cops. Do the opposite of what all the idiots do in cop shows on TV.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fZQWjDVKE


This is very interesting reading. Mark Twain would call it socical injustice or even Biblicly reliavent. (Do not bare false witness against thy negibor). However an ounce of prevenction is worth a pound of cure. Do people know any cops in their neighborhoods?. Some fifty or sixty years ago they had policemans balls,a time to acknowlage and respect the duties of the police force in ones community. They were known by name and befriended by those they served. Do we do that now?.Having At least one cop as a friend, that knows your charector is worth 1 Judge an a… Read more »


I have 34 years of law enforcement. Unlike these officers, I learned long ago that the person who races out to tell their story first is the one I usually arrest. I held nearly every position in Law Enforcement including Chief. A lot of comments have basis of truth. I have been a victim of incompetent law enforcement so I know and agree. I recommend suing any offending agency and officer. In 34 years I have never been sued. I was in charge of 49 officers who made mistakes. It is how you resolve the mistakes. I may read this… Read more »

Sandra Dye

Hello. I am wanting to file suit for being set up by my local police officers for a gun they knew was not mine. My lawyer investigated and discovered the truth, so I have several witnesses. Would you have any suggestions as to where I could find a lawyer or an organization to assist me in filing suit?

Dave DeRudder

I notice the false accuser's name isn't mentioned above? Why not? Naming and shaming him is pretty much the closest thing you can get to justice. Get his full name connected to his accusation and maybe the case number circulating around the blogosphere. After his enlistment ends, this'll follow him around every time he applies for a job. Some HR guy will Google his name, pretty much standard in hiring now, and see what a trustworthy person has applied. And who knows, maybe it'll turn out he was lying about being a SEAL as well. Name him and shame him,… Read more »

B. L.

Excellent article. However, please stop using the term "gun crime". It's an inaccurate term and using it legitimizes the gun-grabber's vicious, bloody-minded, hoplophobic lingo. There is no such thing as "gun crime" any more than there is such a thing as "pillow crime" or "rubber tubing crime". Vehicular manslaughter isn't called "car crime", is it? Of course it isn't, because the car isn't at fault. The driver is. By calling it "gun crime", it blames the inanimate object for causing the crime. This is wrong, and we should not legitimize this backwards way of speaking or thinking by doing it… Read more »

Bill Dee

For too many years the public school system has been used to construct a country of Elois and tyranny instead as founded. The majority in the law business are on a brain wash agenda. The true "law enforcers" are the jury. The police men/women are peace officers. Words mean things and when a judge intentionally fails to instruct the jury on nullification that judge is derelict and should be removed. This action by the system to cleanse itself is not done among the "good old boys" because they want more power, not less. The Grand Jury has ultimate power over… Read more »


Put a large sign up in your yard with an arrow point to the neighbor's house saying his name and that he falsely accused you of a crime. Put a security camera with infrared capability pointing at the sign. If he call to complain, call the police and report him for threatening you. The phone calll will be documented. if he tears the sign down, call the police and repot him for maliciously damaging your property. The security video should prove your case. The system works both ways.


Ultimately, it is institutions that have to change to prevent these kinds of abuses. Pressing charges should be at the expense of the accuser, just like defense is at the expense of the accused. This would be a much more just system. No I'm not crazy, thank you. 🙂 In the past it worked that way & there were private prosecution associations to handle crime: Despite the general assumption that the gates of the American criminal justice process have always been guarded by public prosecutors, an examination of the case law and social history of criminal prosecution suggests a much… Read more »

Vivian w Corley

Something wrong with the system what can citizens do to fix it?


Great article, the right to remain silent is key. My reservation is with the part about dialing 911 first. Too many times calling the police results in the caller suffering. With so many nonsensical things being illegal these days there's too much that can go wrong. Once the police are involved they look at everyone not just the accused. You may inadvertently be violating the law or unwittingly admit to doing so & end up arrested yourself even though you're the one that dialed 911. IMHO, in the case above the best thing the Gesses could have done was ignore… Read more »

Dan Frain

DON'T SKIMP ON A LAWYER is good advice. I worked for years in a prison full of poor guys who'd had public defenders. I wised up a few of them as best I could. The thousands of dollars your lawyer wants is small potatoes compared to being locked up for years.

If the lawyer wants $10,000 for a charge that might get a ten year sentence, that's $1,000 per year for freedom, $80+ a month, $20 a week.

You can pick up cans by the roadside and earn $20 a week. It's money very well spent.

Tory IV

"Govt is always your worst enemy. Make Govt your servant, not your master."


Staying away from others won't necessarily keep you from being falsely accused. I was arrested because I fit the description of a suspect, sort of. Ultimately, it turned out that even though I was at home with my family at the time in question, AND the police decided that the "witness" had made it all up, the arrest still follows me around, 12 years later. A law enforcement friend tells me that even if I get the record expunged, cops will still see on their computers that I was arrested. Keeping all that in mind, don't forget that there ARE… Read more »

Al Norris

Every gun owner should be prepared. Whether or not your carry for self-defense or just happen to be a gun owner. You can be pursued by malicious individuals and/or malicious prosecutors, should you be charged.

Florida Lee

Trust no one.

Rick Messina



I understand this completely. I was threateded with a man wielding a screwdriver as a weapon, drew a gun while still in my vehicle as he had blocked my ability to escape, and without ever pointing the gun at him told him to back up. I was charged by the Independence, MO police dept with brandishing, even though I never left my truck, never pointed the weapon, and the other party was found with the screwdriver as described by myself and my son in his back pocket. He never was charged with anything, and I spent 6 months of my… Read more »

Paul E. Mason

renojim……You get the prize on this ! You hit the nail squarely. How I wish more people would have this sense about themselves. So now what to be done about this injustice ? I, myself was accused of false allegations, pertaining to firearms, but was not put through the wringer as these folks were. My back ground is spotless. This is not America anymore, the voters are not self-educated. Yes, self-educated, get it ? Time long past for a tea-party Revolution. My God, this is our Freedoms we are talking about !


More justification for my tendency to more and more just stay home. Between the fools on the roads, the fools looking for something to complain/sue about or looking for something to be offended by, and the worsening attitude by many of the police, whenever I go anywhere, I feel like a target for some kind of trouble. I long for the country I used to know.


A system created by politicians, lawyers, judges and other asssorted thugs specifically FOR politicians, lawyers, judges and other asssorted thugs.

Justice is


Probably made a comment about what a MORON she was to be voting for Barack Obama. After all, this IS Boulder Colorado.


What can we do to avenge these poor people? Make this lying SEAL's life a living hell? The article is silent on what was done to punish him.


The LEO's are going to support the SEAL no matter what the comment was. Just my take. Although it must have hurt his mother enough not to accept an apology then again if the Son hit Steven to get even then he could have been charged with assault and battery. Crazy situation.


Interesting article,but why wasn't the offending, offhand comment mentioned so we

would all know what set this motion off?