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Archive for the ‘witness identity’ tag

When Mistaken Identity Could Be a Criminal Defense

December 29th, 2015 at 10:02 am

illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, defense to a crime,Countless innocent individuals are wrongly accused because they are mistakenly identified as the person who committed the crime. When this is the case, criminal defendants can and should raise mistaken identity as a defense to the criminal charges that they face. Mistaken identity can be a good defense and it is a defense of innocence.

Every defense strategy that is available to you should be utilized when defending against a crime you did not commit. Mistaken identity defenses should be raised in addition to other defenses that support your position and your criminal defense lawyer should attempt to discredit eyewitness’ identification of you, as well as refute the evidence against you.

Why Does Mistaken Identity Happen in the First Place?

Sometimes an eyewitness is available in a criminal case who swears that the defendant is the person he or she saw commit the crime. While the witness’ belief is completely wholehearted (meaning the witness does not believe that he or she is wrong and that the witness is not lying), the witness’ recollection of the defendant simply might be mistaken. A number of factors can affect a witness’ ability to recall what criminal perpetrator looked like. For instance:

  • Lighting conditions at the time of the crime can affect a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • The distance between the perpetrator and the witness can affect how well the witness can see the perpetrator’s face;
  • Weather could impact a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • Fear felt by the witness at the time of the crime can impact his or her memory, or ability to remember what the perpetrator looked like;
  • Time could alter the witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like, and could morph or distort the memory into someone else who looks similar to the perpetrator; and/or
  • Sometimes cues from law enforcement cause a witness to falsely identify an innocent person as a criminal. These cues are not necessarily overt or deliberate. Rather, police instructions could influence a witness’ memory. Similarly, a line up or photo array might could bias a witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like.

Mistaken identity is one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction and that is why it is critically important to raise this defense if it is applicable to your criminal case. Furthermore, if there is any evidence that places you somewhere else at the time of the alleged crime (i.e., you have an alibi), it is important to demonstrate this evidence as well. If you did not commit the crime in the first place, then every possible effort needs to be made to defend your rights. Your freedom and reputation are at risk if you are wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Being mistakenly identified as the perpetrator of a crime is unfortunate. You will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you set the record straight. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are happy to help.



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