Can You Alibi Your Way Out Of A Criminal Charge?

Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense may feel like the end of the world, but it doesn't have to be. The justice system provides all those accused of crimes with the ability to defend themselves using professional legal counsel. Guilt or innocence is proven using evidence, and criminal defense techniques rely on defenses to the charges and any evidence brought by the state. One very commonly-used defense technique is the use of an alibi, so read on to find out more.

What Is an Alibi?

This Latin word means "elsewhere" and is now used mostly in legal matters. This definition is apt since most defendants claim to be elsewhere when a crime is alleged to have been committed. Saying that you were out of town or at work when a crime was committed is only part of the issue, however. You must be able to prove that you were not able to do the crime. If you do have a "strong" alibi, that means you have irrefutable proof of being elsewhere when the crime was committed.

For the accused, this can mean being released from jail and having charges dropped. Unfortunately for some, however, you may not be able to verify your whereabouts during the given time frame. For example, if you were at home sleeping alone, you may have no way to prove that you were there. Innocent and guilty people alike are often unable to account for their whereabouts, in some cases.

What Backs Up an Alibi?

Some forms of proof that might get you off the hook include:

  1. Paper evidence – This might include store receipts, toll booth receipts, traffic tickets, and more.
  2. Eye-witnesses – If you were seen by others, it helps to prove your location. Unfortunately, those who rely on personal relationships or friends to alibi them may encounter doubt. Neutral third-party witnesses are usually far more convincing. For example, a so-called curtain flicker down the street might be able to attest that they saw you come home at a certain time, and thus you are alibied.
  3. Digital footprints – It's become increasingly common for locations to be tracked and verified using a variety of devices. This can include computer logins, security badge scans, cell phone and text data, alarm systems, and more.

A Word About Motive

Unfortunately, if you have a motive for committing the crime, your defense lawyer may have more work to do. It is not uncommon for some to plan crimes ahead and set up what looks like a strong alibi. Additionally, there is the possibility that the crime was coerced or arranged by the defendant with someone else actually carrying the deed out.

To learn more about how you will be defended, speak to your criminal defense lawyer.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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