Recently we tried a criminal case where our client was facing significant jail time if…
In criminal defense, it is sometimes the case that there are no witnesses to an alleged crime. In this situation, it is simply the victim’s word against the defendant. When we are defending a client against an unwitnessed crime, we immediately look at all available documents related to the incident. A good criminal defense attorney will take immediate action to obtain medical documents and police statements that can help determine what actually took place.
Victim Has Inconsistent Story
It is possible that the alleged victim is mistaken, exaggerating the situation, or simply not telling the truth. We recently represented a client accused of physically attacking another person. The victim stated in the police report that she was knocked unconscious and she had her nose broken during the assault.
As part of our criminal defense strategy, we requested the production of the medical records related to the alleged attack. In this particular case, the records indicated multiple inconsistencies with the police report. Most importantly, the victim identified the person who assaulted her as someone other than the defendant! In addition, the victim’s story in the medical records did not match the story given to the police.
An aggressive criminal defense attorney will ensure that the victim is telling the truth. Of course, if the allegations are true, then the defendant will need to accept responsibility for the crime. But if the statements or documentation are inconsistent, it is likely that the jury will have reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.
Victim is Mistaken about Defendant’s Appearance
There are multiple reasons why a victim may make a false allegation. The victim might be mentally unstable or may hold a grudge against the defendant. Sometimes a victim is just honestly mistaken. My law firm represented a client accused of armed robbery. When we obtained the information from the arrest affidavit, the description of the defendant did not coincide with the photographic lineup. The victim described the defendant as 6 foot 2inches, but the man she identified in the photo lineup was 5 foot 10 inches.
Finding these types of inconsistencies can be important to ensure the defendant is actually guilty of the crime. Especially when a crime has no other witnesses, it is vital to obtain and scrutinize all documents to make sure the victim is being accurate and truthful. If the allegation is not true or statements or inconsistent, then we intend to get those records to help our client. They may indicate our client is not guilty.