How do I establish an alibi in a criminal case?

By Jonathan Blecher on August 25, 2022

If you are indicted and charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to take the charges seriously. If you do not and are convicted, you will pay a heavy price.

One of the most effective defense strategies you can consider when facing a criminal charge is establishing an alibi. Basically, an alibi is a defense that argues that you did not commit the crime in question because you were at a different location when the crime occurred.

Understanding how alibi works

Alibi is Latin for “elsewhere.” In criminal law, the defendant can raise an alibi to claim that they are not physically present at the crime scene. And because of this, they could not have committed the crime they are being accused of.

However, it is important to understand that there is more involved in an alibi than simply claiming that you were at a different location when the crime happened. For your alibi defense to work in your favor, you must prove it.

Proving your alibi

To successfully present your alibi defense, you will need to present evidence to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime when it happened. And that evidence must create reasonable doubt about your presence, thus necessitating your acquittal.

Some of the tangible evidence that you can present as an alibi include:

Transaction receipts

If you were at the store, movie shop, restaurant or at a facility that prompted you to either punch in (like a gym), then chances are you made some transactions or used your access card. Presenting time and date-stamped receipts or check-in records can help you prove that you were indeed absent from the scene of the crime.

Surveillance footage

Like receipt papers, a time-stamped video footage that places you at a different location from the scene of the crime can clear your name from the accusation leveled against you. If you were at a store, bar or restaurant when the said crime happened, you could consider obtaining a copy of the surveillance footage for your defense.

Whether or not to use an alibi in your defense is entirely your decision to make. Knowing your legal options when facing a criminal charge is crucial.

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