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What is an alibi and how do I raise one in my criminal defense?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Even if you are not formally charged, being accused of a crime you did not commit can be disheartening, to say the least. If you are falsely charged with a crime, you have the legal right, as well as the moral duty, to defend yourself. Because if you do not, you might end up paying the price for a crime you did not commit. 

One of the most effective legal defenses you can explore when facing a false criminal charge is an alibi. Establishing a credible alibi can significantly increase the possibility of an acquittal. So what makes a valid alibi?

How alibi defense works

Basically, an alibi is a contention by the defendant that they were not physically present when the crime they are charged with happened. This involves providing evidence that you were at a different location at the time the crime in question happened and, thus, you could not have been the perpetrator. The overall goal of an alibi is to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s allegation. 

To establish a successful alibi, you need to prove the following elements:

  • You were not physically present at the time and location of the crime
  • You had no reasonable opportunity to commit the crime
  • There is no possibility that you committed the crime

So what evidence can you use to establish an alibi?

During your criminal trial, it is the prosecution’s job to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are the perpetrator of the crime they are charging you with. As a defendant, you do not have a duty to prove that you never committed the crime. This makes your burden of proof lower than the prosecution’s. That said, here is some of the evidence you may produce to corroborate your alibi defense: 

  • Eye witness accounts
  • Time-stamped surveillance footage or photos
  • Documentation such as credit card receipts, train or plane tickets or your employer’s time and attendance register.

If you are charged with a crime, especially if you are innocent, you deserve justice. Find out how you can defend yourself and protect your rights when dealing with a false criminal charge.