For centuries, eyewitness testimony has been used in courtrooms during investigations to uncover the truth about a crime. Eyewitness testimony can be crucial in identifying, charging, and even convicting suspected criminals. However, imagine being convicted of a crime you did not commit because a witness insists they saw you do it. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many criminal defendants when eyewitnesses misidentify them. While its role is complex, eyewtiness testimony is crucial to the criminal justice system. Therefore, it’s imperative to understand how it can impact the outcome of your criminal case. If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s in your best interest to enlist the legal assistance of a skilled Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help defend your rights and interests.
What is eyewitness testimony?
In the legal sense, eyewitness testimony refers to when a person gives a firsthand account of an event that they witnessed involving a suspected crime. Essentially, they recall crucial details of an event they saw. An “eyewitness” is typically a victim or innocent bystander present at the time of an alleged crime. During a criminal trial, an eyewitness will stand before the court and describe what happened from their perspective. This usually involves identifying the suspect and confirming that they saw the criminal defendant commit the crime they have been charged with. When eyewitness testimony is presented, jurors often believe what they hear, as the police usually turn straight to these sources when gathering information about a crime, making it seem like reliable information. However, there is a fatal flaw: they aren’t always accurate.
Can you trust this type of testimony in a criminal case?
Under the right circumstances, eyewitness testimony can be reliable. However, memories are often susceptible to various errors and biases, which can lead to wrongful convictions. Sometimes, an individual may provide eyewitness testimony because other witnesses or factors influenced them. Moreover, if a witness feels pressured by law enforcement officers to provide them with certain information, they may fill in the blanks incorrectly when asked a question rather than admitting that they don’t know. Ultimately, eyewitness testimony is not always accurate, which means it is often unreliable unless the proper investigations have been done to ensure that the information provided is factual.
The consequences of an inaccurate testimony can be life-altering if it leads to the conviction of an innocent person. Therefore, if you’re facing criminal charges, please don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a determined attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector, who can help investigate and examine how witnesses were questioned, as well as the language that officers used to respond to their answers to ensure that the eyewitness is providing an accurate and credible depiction of what occurred. We are prepared to represent your interests today.