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What is mistaken identity and how do I prove it?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Being accused of a criminal offense is a big deal. Depending on the nature of the crime in question, a conviction can result in years in jail, or, worse still, a death sentence. If you are accused of a crime, it is in your best interest that you figure out how to fight the charges against you. And one of the defense strategies you can opt for is mistaken identity.

While advances in technology and the adoption of DNA testing have made crime resolution more accurate, mistaken identity still happens. Basically, mistaken identity happens when the victim of the crime, or an eyewitness, wrongfully identifies a person as being the perpetrator of the crime in question. Thanks to the fallible nature of the human memory, it is not uncommon for an inaccurate eyewitness testimony to result in the implication, and subsequent conviction, of an innocent person due to their physical resemblance to the actual offender.

An eyewitness account can incredibly persuade the court that you are the perpetrator of the crime you are being accused of. However, if you are certain you are innocent, you may request the following strategies:

A blind lineup

This is important as it will guarantee the officer conducting your lineup has no clue who the possible suspect might be. Consequently, it will prevent the officer from asking the eyewitness leading questions that might result in the false identification of the suspect.

A better lineup composition

Before conducting the lineup, you may demand that all the participants in the lineup have some semblance of the eyewitness’ description of the suspect.

A recorded lineup procedure

Demanding that your lineup is recorded can be a great way of ensuring that there is no mischief. You can use the videotape as evidence should there be misconduct.

A crime has been committed. An eyewitness has identified a suspect in the lineup. And it is you. However, you are innocent. If you believe you have been wrongfully identified as a perpetrator of a crime, it is important that you take appropriate steps to defend yourself and fight for your rights.