Prosecutors love an eyewitness. They know that the mere prospect of someone who is prepared to stand up in court and point the finger at you can be enough to secure a conviction.
They know a plea deal will seem far more attractive to you if they have an eyewitness than if they do not. If your case were to go to court, they know an eyewitness can also be incredibly convincing to the jury.
While eyewitnesses are often right, they are often wrong, and many innocent people have spent time in prison because of this. Here are some ways you might be able to challenge one:
#1. Their eyes
Not everyone has 20/20 vision. Age and medical ailments can all reduce someone’s ability to see. External factors such as weather and distance can also limit their view of events.
#2. Their memory
Your brain is not a filing cupboard where you store memories, ready to take them out when needed. Memories are pliable and subject to influence by what you hear and see after the event. An eyewitness’s memory of an event may change due to things they read, or thing they hear from others – including the police and prosecution. The result is they may become convinced they saw you when they didn’t.
#3. Their trustworthiness
Most eyewitnesses likely believe they are telling the truth. Yet there is always the possibility of someone taking the stand to knowingly give false testimony about you. For example, someone does it to get themselves a lesser sentence for other charges or to blame you for something they did.
There’s a lot to consider if facing criminal charges. Do not try to go it alone.