Not piling on you with the others here, just wanted to relate my personal experience.
Someone very close to was falsely accused of a crime, the PD was beyond incompetent, and the supposed "victim" was himself a lawyer.
I was by my friends side through the while thing, and I can tell you that they scared the holy he77 out of my friend, who plead "No Contest" because they didnt want even the slightest chance of going to jail, because this person had young kids. My friend was, and still is, a Conservative, and we both had thought that most people who pled out were obviously guilty.
What I learned through that fiasco is that there is Justice, and then there is the "Legal System". Very loosely related. Its a game, a sport between both sides, and its dirty when you get down to the nitty gritty.
No way was my friend willing to take a chance. Ended up being under house arrest (ankle monitor) for 2 years, and probation for 5. Even had to pay some money back to the "aggrieved".
It was a total farce, and I will never view the "Legal System" again.
It was a groundless, baseless lie to get back at his youngest daughter for some perceived insult. The little tart had been involved in this kind of crap before.
Our friend was repeatedly offered a plea bargain to a lesser charge, but he ended up fighting it. It ruined him financially. He lost his home, his job and eventually had to move to another state. But he was eventually completely exonerated and managed to keep his family together and start a new life. I'll never get over the disgust with how the legal system turned his life upside down when even a minimum effort in checking the little tart's claims would have proved the charges were bogus.
Nothing ever happened to his accuser. Her parents were trailer trash who couldn't have paid a judgment even if he had gotten one. They drank up every spare penny and went to the gubmint for more.
Financially, I have no doubt that he would have been better off by taking the plea bargain. But his kids and reputation were more important to him than than his finances.