If you're being charged with a crime and you have an alibi, you're in a great position to prove your innocence. An alibi defense basically means that you and your lawyer are saying that you couldn't have committed the crime in question because you were somewhere else at the time. If you have a legitimate alibi, you may be able to avoid charges and a trial altogether. However, simply having an alibi does not mean the trouble goes away. If the prosecution feels it has enough evidence to convict you, they will proceed with the charges whether you have an alibi or not. If you want to use an alibi defense, here's everything you should know. 

An Alibi Must Be Disclosed

In most states, you are not allowed to whip up an alibi in the midst of a trial without first informing the prosecution that you have an alibi. You have to give them the opportunity to examine the evidence, such as the names of the witnesses and any corresponding physical evidence that your lawyer wants to present to establish your alibi. If you do not disclose an alibi, you may not be able to use it during trial. 

All Alibis Are Not Created Equal

As you can imagine, not all alibis are created equal. Generally speaking, an alibi given by a witness that is not connected to you or the crime in any way is more reliable than someone who has a vested interest in you. For example, a romantic partner is not generally considered as reliable as a store clerk or waiter at a restaurant. If you can supply physical evidence, such as a video, store receipt, work time clock records, etc., your alibi will be even stronger. 

False Alibi Does Not Cancel Reasonable Doubt

During a trial, the prosecution will try to discredit your alibi. If your alibi is found to be false, you will not be automatically convicted. The prosecution still has to provide enough evidence to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you did the crime. However, the fact that you lied about your alibi may make it easier for the jury to discredit other defense evidence. 

You Do Not Have To Testify

If you use an alibi as a defense, you do not have to testify. Your witnesses will testify on your behalf. Your lawyer will also present any evidence that proves your whereabouts at the time of the crime.

An alibi is a great defense. If you have a strong alibi along with physical evidence, the prosecution will have a very hard time pinning the crime on you. For more information or assistance, contact local lawyers, such as Scott A Bitar Atty.