Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Criminal Defenses: Having an Alibi for Criminal Accusations

December 21st, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Criminal charges are based on some sort of evidence that was found at the scene of the crime, that tends to point to a particular person. The evidence might not necessarily confirm that a suspect committed the crime, but the evidence suggests that the suspect has some relationship to the crime, such as having been present at the scene of the crime at some point in time or that the suspect had ties to the victim, etc. Alibis are a powerful tool for criminal defense as they can refute criminal accusations.

What Are Alibis?

When a suspect has an alibi, it means that the suspect was somewhere else, doing something else, or was with someone else at the time the alleged crime was committed. A valid and confirmable alibi provides evidence that the suspect/defendant is not the person who committed the crime because he or she was somewhere else or doing something else. An alibi is not an affirmative defense in Illinois, meaning even if the criminal defendant can prove the alibi, the jury is still tasked with making the decision as to whether to convict or not. However, a strong alibi is difficult for the prosecution to refute and the jury to ignore.

Evidence to Support an Alibi

Evidence of an alibi can vary depending on what the alibi is and who or what can be used to prove it. A few types of evidence that are helpful in supporting an alibi include:

  • Video footage or photographs of the defendant somewhere else at the time of the crime. Time stamped security tape or surveillance footage from businesses or other establishments is often used to support an alibi. Video and photographic evidence is good for an alibi because it is objective evidence – short of a forgery, video footage and photographs do not lie;
  • Documentary evidence of the defendant being somewhere else. When a defendant can provide documentary evidence that he or she was somewhere else it helps to support the alibi. Receipts, intake records (if defendant was admitted to a hospital, or other institution), telephone and GPS location records, and credit card swipe records can show that the defendant was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed. Documentary evidence is good for alibis since it is usually impartial and objective evidence; and
  • Witness testimony supporting the alibi. Many criminal defendants offer an alibi through witness testimony. This evidence is most powerful when the witness is a person who was with the criminal defendant at the time of the crime. The more witnesses who can vouch for the defendant’s whereabouts, the better. Witnesses are subjected to examination and cross-examination while on the stand, so a witness that does not know the defendant, i.e., doesn’t have a personal relationship with the defendant, is going to be a stronger witness than someone who has a relationship with the defendant. An unbiased witness is good for an alibi. A witness that is close to the defendant might be biased and there are more opportunities to discredit a witness that is close to the defendant.

When a criminal defendant plans to use an alibi as a defense, the prosecution must be notified of the defense’s intentions. Asserting an alibi as a defense to an alleged crime shifts the burden of disproving your alibi to the prosecution. The prosecution must do so beyond a reasonable doubt.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing criminal charges and you have an alibi, you will need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can discuss what options are available to you. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows defense attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is 847-394-3200.

 

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/supremecourt/rules/art_iv/artiv.htm

Share this Post : Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone

Written by Staff Writer

December 21st, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top