Not many life experiences are as disheartening as being accused of a crime that you had nothing to do with. Unfortunately, this is not unheard of. If you are falsely accused of a crime, you have the legal right to defend yourself.
One of the most effective defense approaches you can consider when facing a false accusation is raising an alibi. So how do you raise a valid alibi?
Understanding alibi as a defense in a criminal charge
Some crimes require the perpetrator to be physically present at the scene to commit. Examples of such crimes are assault, burglary, robbery and murder or manslaughter among others. If you are physically at a different location when these crimes are committed, there is no possibility that you could be the perpetrator. And this is where an alibi comes in.
An alibi is simply an assertion that you were at a different location when the crime in question took place and, therefore, you cannot be the offender.
An alibi is not an affirmative defense. Rather, it is your opportunity to raise a reasonable doubt as to whether or not you could have committed the crime you are being accused of. The ultimate goal of an alibi is to render the prosecution’s burden of proof difficult to fulfill.
Raising an alibi
Basically, you need to provide evidence that you were not physically present and the time and location where the crime in question happened. Of course, your alibi must be convincing to be effective. Some of the evidence you may present as alibi include:
- Time-stamped surveillance footage that shows you at a different location like the mall or your place of work at the time it is claimed that you broke into someone’s home
- Testimonies from people who were with you somewhere else when the alleged crime happened
- Time-stamped credit card receipts
If you are accused of a crime that you did not commit, do not lose hope. Mistaken identities happen. Learning how to raise an effective alibi can help you defend yourself and get justice.