Police investigators trying to solve a crime usually have to come up with certain concrete details. One of those details will be a timeline of what occurred and when. That timeline allows investigators potential evidence, such as security footage from nearby homes or businesses that might show the crime in progress, or show someone arriving to or leaving the scene of the crime. The timeline that investigators create can also play a major role in your defense against criminal charges. Depending on when they allege certain things took place, you may be able to demonstrate that you were either not present or not involved through the use of an alibi.
What constitutes an alibi?
An alibi is either a person, a business or even a piece of evidence that can confirm you were not present at the scene of the crime when investigators allege it took place. A person can provide an alibi by testifying in court about interacting with you someplace other than the scene of the crime. A business-related alibi could involve receipts showing you were checking out at the time of the crime. You could even use security camera footage that shows you were shopping at the time that the crime took place.
Are there limits on who can serve as an alibi?
In order to make the process of investigating and prosecuting crime scene more dramatic, popular movies and television shows sometimes take certain liberties. For example, police shows have claimed that people cannot use family members as alibis in court, leading to some people mistakenly thinking that an alibi has to be someone who has no previous relationship with them.
In many cases, the alibi a person relies on when defending themselves in court will involve their direct family members, including their spouse, parents, siblings or children. Other times, their alibis may be close friends or other people they spend a significant amount of time with. Although a neutral alibi from someone you don’t know may be more convincing, there is no issue with a loved one providing an alibi.
Using an alibi as part of your criminal defense strategy can help you push back against claims that you committed the crime in question. Exploring what evidence exists and the details of the alleged offense can help you make more informed decisions about the right defense strategy in your case.