Contradicted his report and perjured himself on three separate occasions. The prosecutors immediately offered a plea deal after this, which I turned down because it required me to admit guilt and required me to drive (again, can't do that) to another state to take alcohol education classes; then the prosecutor literally ripped up the agreement in front of my lawyer and quit the case. The next prosecutor was much more willing to listen to terms.
I never got anything out of it except for a few newspaper articles that called me a criminal and tried to turn public opinion against me that required me to threaten to sue the publications to get taken down. Some people, old friends, still believe that I did it and I'm not sure why, but 99% of the folks in my life believe I was innocent; at least, they do now. It's not easy meeting new people who read those newspaper articles though; I have to explain to them the whole court case to convince them that I didn't do the thing I was randomly accused of as well as how broken feet work (or don't work) and that gets really exhausting.
As far as what people don't understand about this if they haven't been through it...well, that's already been echoed here by others: the whole time being stolen from you that you never get back. Even if I was compensated, nothing can make up for that experience. Having practically the whole world turn against you because of a single false accusation and losing all hope of life getting back to normal is nothing shy of a living hell.
4. The world can be cruel.
My wife (now ex) were in the process of separation and we were fighting over my son. I was studying to become a police officer at the time. We got in an argument about my son, and I left for work. Next day she calls me and says "Haha ruined your life!"
So I contact my lawyer and they tell me there is a warrant for my arrest. My ex had told the police I had attacked her with a knife to get oral sex. I had a first degree, second degree assault, and dangerous weapon charge. No evidence. No witness. Just her story. They never even contacted me to ask my side of the story.
I try to get the warrant quashed and while I'm leaving for work I get stopped and arrested. $150,000 bond. Two days in jail before my brother bails me out.
We get to the court date and I provided the court with text messages where she said she wanted to ruin my life and career, and wanted $10,000 for plastic surgery for her not to testify.
I was found not guilty, and my ex got away with it with no consequences.