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The real trouble with eyewitness accounts

Don't believe that eyewitness just because they seem sincere. They may very well be completely wrong about what they think they saw.

Does it sound outlandish? It often does to the jury. If you get accused of a crime, an eyewitness says they saw you there, and you protest that they're not telling the truth, who does the jury believe? Do they back you or do they back the person who has nothing to gain?

Often, they assume that the eyewitness is right and that the defendant, in an effort to shake the charges, is being less than truthful.

However, studies have found that this "logical" approach is often wrong. The reliability of the eyewitness has, to a large degree, been destroyed by DNA evidence. It can prove the truth in many cases beyond a shadow of a doubt. It can overturn convictions.

As the authorities have started using it on old cases, overturning convictions made years or even decades ago, they've found a trend. In many of these cases where the wrong person went to jail, a big part of the case involved an eyewitness assuring the jury that the accused was the guilty party. And those eyewitnesses, as DNA proves, were wrong.

This happens for many reasons. Personal bias. Confusion. Memory problems. To some degree, people accidentally allow their memories to change over time. That's why they're so convincing. They believe it too.

Has this happened to you? Are you getting accused by an eyewitness who is not telling an accurate story? If so, make sure you know what legal steps you can take.

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An Award-Winning LawyerFirm founder Dustin R.T. Sullivan has been recognized as one of the leading attorneys in North Carolina. His accolades include:

  • Super Lawyer2017 Rising Star in DWI Defense Super Lawyers of North Carolina
  • Superior DUI Attorney 20162016 Superior DUI Attorney ranking for fourth consecutive year by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
  • Super Lawyer | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Selected In 20172016 Public Service Award for Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • 10 Best 2017 | Attorney | Client Satisfaction 2015 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • NAFLA2015 Top 10 Ranking by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys
    • Top Rated On AVVO
    • Review Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Top Contributor Award 2014 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Avvo
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Dustin R.T. Sullivan | Top Attorney
    • 2014 Top 100 Attorneys in North Carolina by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense
    • nafdd
  • StarNews Media | Finalist for Best Attorney2013 Finalist for Best Attorney in Cape Fear region by Wilmington Star News
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