A burglary has happened in your neighborhood. The police have a suspect in custody –and it is you. In fact, someone claims they saw you do it. But you were out of town when the said burglary happened! How can you be the suspect?
Being accused of a crime that you did not commit can be distressing, to say the least. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon. But how does this happen?
A wrong eyewitness account can lead to a false accusation
Generally, mistaken identity happens when someone inaccurately identifies you as the perpetrator of the crime in question. Sometimes, this could be an innocent mistake. It could also be the result of the witness’ malicious intent.
Several factors can impact a witness’ ability to accurately recollect the facts of a crime, including the identity of the perpetrator. Here are some of these factors:
- When a witness gives their statement under duress
- When the witness is racially biased
- When the witness’ viewpoint is distorted thanks to poor lighting or obstructed by objects like tree cover.
- When a witness has memory issues due to age, intoxication or an illness.
Other factors like a significant lapse in time and poor eyesight can also lead to a wrong witness account.
Defending your rights
If you are accused of a burglary that you did not commit, you need to build a strong defense. One of the defenses you can consider is raising an alibi. Remember, to commit a burglary, you must be physically present at the scene of the crime at the exact time the alleged burglary happened. If you were somewhere else, and you can prove it, then you need to do so. Some of the evidence you can present when raising an alibi includes testimonies from the people you were with, time-stamped surveillance footage and time-stamped shopping receipts.
If you are falsely accused of a crime, you need to do everything in your power to fight the charges. You should not have to pay the price for a crime you have not committed.