Being accused of a crime is, by all means, an unsettling experience. The situation becomes even more harrowing if you had nothing to do with the crime in question. If you are accused and charged with a crime you did not commit, you need to fight for justice.
One of the main defense options you can consider when facing a false criminal charge is mistaken identification. However, to effectively use this as a defense in your criminal case, it helps to know what mistaken identity entails as well as what you can expect during your trial.
Mistaken identity as a legal defense
Mistaken identity can be claimed to prove that the witness either intentionally or unintentionally misidentified you either through a lineup or photo array as the perpetrator of the crime in question. While arguing mistaken identity, your defense will demonstrate that either the witness was unreliable or the identification process itself had some faults.
Generally, mistaken identity is more likely to occur under the following circumstances:
- When the witness is under some form of pressure or threat
- When the witness has memory limitation due to illness, age or a significant amount of time has passed since they witnessed the crime
- When the witness and the suspect belong to different races
- When the witness had their viewpoint obstructed or distorted
So how do you prove mistaken identity?
To defend yourself and get out of trouble, you must demonstrate that the witness indeed wrongfully identified you as the offender. Two of the most effective strategies you can use to successfully argue mistaken identity are an alibi and a DNA test.
If you are misidentified as a perpetrator of a crime, it is in your best interest that you explore your defense options as soon as possible.