There are many cases of mistaken identity every year in the United States, and unfortunately many of these may lead to a wrongful conviction. In one famous case involving a man named Uriah Courtney, a San Diego resident spent an alarming 8 years in prison for a sex crime he didn’t commit before DNA testing exonerated him. One of the biggest factors that lead to his conviction in the first place was eyewitness misidentification, which is a type of mistaken identity. Jan Stiglitz, a professor at California Western School of Law in Sam Diego has stated, “Studies have shown that what a witness will do with a six-pack is pick the person who looks the closest to the one they saw.” However, sometimes this misidentification can lead to terrible consequences. This is why mistaken identity is a defense that is available to you.
Somebody Else Did It
Even though a crime is committed in many cases involving mistaken identity, these cases encompass situations where somebody else did it. This defense can be used in a wide variety of cases from the most minor to the most major. Attorneys will work tediously to undermine the evidence through witness testimony by casting doubts. This may include situations where the witness’ memory may not be as clear as they thought. The jury will usually be left with reasonable doubt and question whether or not the defendant actually committed the crime. In a wide variety of these cases, evidence will be found in a residence or vehicle and the defendant will be able to claim that, because it was found in such a common area, anyone could have committed the crime.
Mistaken identity can be used in very minor cases to as serious cases as murder. In these cases, the defendant will argue that the prosecution charged the wrong person with murder. Typically, you will need to show an alibi that you were somewhere else at the time the crime occurred as well as strong evidence to back this up. Forensic evidence is usually helpful. Call us today if you have been accused of a crime that you did not commit and you need our help. We will help you every step of the way.