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How do I argue mistaken identity if I’m charged with a crime?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Criminal Law

Being accused of a criminal offense can turn your life upside down. Things become even more unsettling if you did not commit the crime in question. If you are falsely indicted and charged with a crime, you have a duty to defend yourself lest you pay a price for a crime you had nothing to do with. 

If you are falsely accused of crimes like sexual offense, burglary or assault, you may argue mistaken identity. This is because you have to be physically present at the scene of the alleged crime to be the perpetrator. Thus, to effectively argue mistaken identity, you need to understand the elements of mistaken identity. 

How mistaken identity works when defending yourself

The defense of mistaken identity works on the principle that the defendant is actually the victim. In other words, you need to prove that the prosecution arraigned the wrong person either because the witness intentionally or unintentionally misidentified the defendant during the lineup. 

Here are instances when you are likely to be mistaken as the perpetrator of the crime in question:

  • When the witness was pressured or threatened to implicate you
  • When the witness had memory limitations or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • When the witness had racial bias
  • When the witness had an obstructed or distorted viewpoint

The overall goal of a mistaken identification claim is to cast doubt on the credibility of the witness or the identification process. 

Protecting your rights

If you are mistakenly identified as a perpetrator of a crime, you deserve justice. Learning more about Florida’s criminal justice system can help you protect your rights and defend yourself if you are wrongfully charged with a crime.