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Eyewitnesses are prone to making errors 

On Behalf of | Sep 19, 2022 | Firm News

You’ve found yourself in the troubling situation of facing criminal charges. This puzzles you as you know you did not commit the crime in question. The problem is that a witness has come forward to say that you did. Why would they do this? 

The truth is that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable, and here’s why:


It can take some time for a criminal trial to finally hit the courts. This can be months or even years after the alleged crime took place. During this period, the rumor mill will have been circling and there might even have been news articles and other media pieces published. A witness may have been unsure of what happened at the time but they have used outside influences to form a clear, but inaccurate picture. 

The police have also interviewed the witness a number of times. While they didn’t tell them what to say, they have dropped subtle hints about identifying you as the suspect.

Limits to human memory 

Human memory cannot record and recall events perfectly at a later date. As mentioned, a number of months may pass before the trial comes around. What may have been a hazy memory at the time will become less clear as time goes on for the witness. 

Stress impacts memory 

Despite the fact that you were not the perpetrator, a crime did occur and the witness did see something. The problem is that they were so stressed at the time and couldn’t take everything in. They know they want someone to pay for what happened, and you have provided the perfect scapegoat. This is rarely done out of malice, it is simply human nature to want someone to be punished after a crime has occurred. 

Facing criminal charges is a serious matter that can have lasting impacts on your life. You don’t want to face them alone. Make sure you have some legal guidance behind you throughout your case.