In an attempt to avoid criminal liability, accused parties or defendants present an alibi or an evidence that demonstrates they were somewhere and doing something when the crime occurred. Joe, for instance, is charged with murdering his roommate John. Joe then presents an alibi that he was in a meeting when the murder happened. He can present his evidence in the form of a witness, recording of a meeting, a photograph, or any other related things.
While some movies and television programs suggest that alibis are naturally untruthful, they are a valid and respectable legal defense.
To Testify or Not
Defendants may still provide an alibi while keeping their constitutional right to remain silent. A witness who can testify that the accused was somewhere other than the location of the crime can give an alibi. Some defendants choose not to testify at a trial because they fear that the prosecutor will attack their credibility, which could cause the jury to distrust the alibi.
Burden of Proof
Accused parties who provide alibi as a criminal defense do no take the responsibility of proving the accuracy or validity of the alibi. David A. Nachtigal, a criminal attorney in Houston, notes that the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt always remains with the prosecution. A jury or judge can assess the credibility of the defense to determine if it has met the burden.
Assessing the Alibi
To investigate the validity of the alibi, most states require defendants to offer notice of an alibi evidence. This is done during the process of providing and exchanging information about the fact of the criminal case. This will also give the prosecutors a time to undermine its credibility. In the case of Joe’s alleged murder, the court can drop the case if his alibi proved true.
If you or your loved one is charged with a crime, it is best to contact a criminal attorney as soon as possible. This is of utmost important even whether an alibi exists or not. An experienced attorney can help evaluate your case and devise or develop the strongest defense possible.