Wrongful convictions can occur when an eyewitness misidentifies a suspect. These misidentifications can occur for any number of reasons.
Those reasons may include that the witness is subject to high anxiety or stress at the time he or she is making the identification or that the police or Crown prosecutor employed suggestive tactics which led to a misidentification and/or a wrongful criminal conviction. Witness identifications serve as powerful evidence for Crown prosecutors when they are presenting a case to a criminal jury. If you believe that an alleged eyewitness misidentified you, the Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be able to help. Our lawyers can look at the circumstances surrounding the misidentification and may be able to bring a challenge in court.
Focusing on Weapons
When eyewitnesses are observing an alleged crime, they often tend to focus on the weapon or weapons that an offender uses. Although some witnesses are clearly able to recall the color, size, and shape of the firearm they remember seeing, they cannot clearly recall what the perpetrator even looked like. This may also occur, in part, because the witness did not have a good vantage point or was not in a good position to observe the accused. A criminal defence lawyer may be able to raise this defence in court and challenge an eyewitness identification on this basis.
In some cases, a criminal defence lawyer may be able to challenge a witness’ memory. This is especially true if the witness is unable to recall specific details about the suspect, such as the suspect’s approximate age, weight, height, hair color, or another basic physical characteristic. This is to be expected since it can be extremely difficult for people to interpret everything they observe at one time, instead remembering only selected bits and pieces. A criminal defence lawyer may be able to challenge witness memories in court.
Suggestive Identification Procedures
Investigators can present the accused to witnesses in such a way that it can lead to a misidentification. Some investigators prepare a lineup and inadvertently pause, gesture, hesitate, or smile in such a way that it is suggestive. Other suggestive techniques include presenting the accused to a witness while he or she is in handcuffs or seated in the backseat of a police cruiser. This allows a witness’ mind to fill in the gaps, so to speak, potentially leading to a misidentification. When police officers and investigators use any of these tactics, a criminal defence lawyer in Calgary may be able to challenge them in court.
Call a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Today About Your Case
Police officers and investigators sometimes play a role in witness misidentifications. This is especially true when they employ suggestive tactics that lead to a wrongful conviction. The skilled criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be able to raise a legal challenge to an eyewitness misidentification that occurred in your case. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Calgary criminal defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online.