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Is eyewitness testimony infallible?

Eyewitness evidence has helped police solve many crimes and helped courts convict many who committed crimes. Yet it has also led to the police arresting and courts convicting many innocent people.

As with any evidence, eyewitness testimony will make it more difficult to defend against any charges you face, but it does not make it impossible. Here are some areas you could look at if you need to challenge an eyewitness:

They did not have a good view 

If someone were standing across the other side of a busy road from what they claim to have seen, they wouldn’t have had such a good view as someone close up. Rain, fog, poor lighting, passing cars and more can all obstruct a person’s view.

They have poor eyesight

Some people need glasses to read a sign or identify who they are talking to. If someone with poor sight identified you and was not wearing their glasses at the time, then their account may be wrong.

They misremembered

Alcohol, drugs, illness and time can all make memory worse. Memories are not fixed but change each time we access them, and it is easy for someone to misremember or change their memory of something, especially if they hear a different version of events.

They have an ulterior motive

Some people will lie to the police and a court and happily see someone else convicted because of their lies. They may do it to save themself or a friend, in revenge for an earlier event or because they believe it will earn them favors from the police or judicial system.

Learning more about the legal options to challenge an eyewitness will be crucial if one is testifying against you.




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