The one mistake many criminal defendants make is one of believing the criminal justice system will protect an innocent defendant. If you happen to be truly innocent of the crime you have been charged with, the system will probably double down on you, because you may be perceived as being recalcitrant or unrepentant for not accepting responsibility for what you have done.
Which was nothing.
Mathematics and logic suggest that proving a negative is impossible.
Which is why you are in real trouble.
Because the criminal justice system is all about production. The fact that a few mistakes are made and a few innocent people go to jail, well, many of the participants would tell you that's just the way it is.
And while some high-profile cases, typically involving murder and DNA evidence, eventually lead to an exoneration, in the millions of lesser cases, the total number of wrongfully convicted defendants is likely to run in the thousands. Every year.
However, most of these defendants will never be exonerated and no one will ever believe their claims of innocence. After all, they were convicted. Or more likely, they plead guilty to receive a lesser sentence.
Nevertheless, it was a criminal sentence. And if they have any priors, it can snowball into a problem that will plague them the rest of their lives, leading to difficulties getting a job, going to school and even finding somewhere to live.
If you have been arrested, you need a zealous defense, because the system is designed to produce one result: a guilty verdict or plea. Police make many errors, are sloppy and prosecutors are sufficiently busy that they may simply move your case along, never really taking the time to examine it.
And this cascade of mistakes and error can put you in jail.
Especially if you are innocent.
thecrimereport.org, "America’s Guilt Mill," David J. Krajicek, February 9, 2015