Simply put, an alibi defense is a defense against criminal allegations that states the defendant was in another place at the time of the crime, so they could not have possibly been involved in committing the crime. When you plan to claim an alibi, it is generally required that you notify the prosecution in advance during the discovery process so that they have the chance to investigate your alibi.
Presenting an alibi is fairly common, however, simply suggesting an alibi is not enough for this defense to be effective. Instead, you have to present evidence to support your alibi for it to help you. This does not mean that you must prove your alibi beyond a reasonable doubt or by any specific standard, however. It is still the prosecutor’s job to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and evidence of an alibi works to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case against you.
Evidence Supporting an Alibi
Each alibi case is different and will involve different types of evidence, including one or more of the following:
Witness testimony – If there were other people with you at the time of the crime, they can testify to your true whereabouts. This can be tricky, however, as often alibi witnesses are family or friends, who may be viewed as biased by the jury. Unless you have a completely objective witness, it is always good to have other corroborating evidence in addition to witnesses.
Records – Many types of documents can be used to support an alibi. Common records used are credit card receipts if you were at a restaurant, bar, or another type of business at the time. You can also use parking slips, attendance records for college courses, timesheets from work, or even cell phone or GPS records that show your physical location.
Video – Perhaps the most persuasive type of alibi evidence is surveillance video clearly showing that you were away from the crime at the time you claim.
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