How Effective Is the Alibi Defense?
An alibi is a common legal concept. When you are in a different location than where the crime occurred, you cannot have committed the crime because you cannot be in two places at once. Because an alibi can be a powerful way to have your charges dropped, it's important to discuss this defense with your criminal defense attorney.
Act After Your Arrest
If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you will want to immediately speak with a criminal defense attorney. Otherwise, there is a risk that the statements you make could later be used to undermine your alibi. For example, if you tell the officer that you were at a location at the time of the crime and later contradict this statement, your contradiction might undermine your case.
For example, the police might ask you about where you were on a particular day. You might normally be scheduled to work that day, but you might forget that you actually called off sick. If you tell the officer that you were at work, when you were actually at home with the flu, this could undermine your case.
Know How to Prove an Alibi
Producing evidence to support your alibi is optional. For example, there may be witnesses who spotted you at a different location during the crime. However, whether you can rely on these witnesses depends on the credibility of the eyewitness testimony. The best witnesses are those who you do not already know because friends and family members might be considered biased.
However, an alibi is not considered an affirmative defense and your alibi will simply need to be credible. You will also need to notify the prosecutor in advance that you will be making the alibi defense.
The prosecutor might attack your character based on prior actions you have taken. For example, if you have committed crimes in the past, your alibi might be called into question. Then, your alibi will need to be more solid. However, the burden of proof will still ultimately rest with the prosecutor. The prosecutor may need to find additional evidence to prove that your alibi is not credible.
Understand the Best Forms of Evidence
If you swiped a card or can produce a receipt from a store, this can be a much better form of evidence. Also, video surveillance that you were in a location at a specific time can be even more effective at proving your case. If you need help collecting evidence, work with a criminal defense attorney.