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Florida Tattoo Likely Eliminates “Mistaken Identity” Defense

Burglaries and other theft crimes happen on a regular basis in and around Boca Raton and throughout Florida. In too many cases, one person commits the offense yet police mistakenly arrest another individual, either based on misinformation or due to similar physical appearances. A victim of a burglary or robbery may even identify the wrong person as the perpetrator in a lineup, a “show up,” or in a photo lineup. According to the statistics published by the Innocence Project, misidentification from an eyewitness results in over 70 percent of wrongful convictions that have been overturned in the United States.

Misidentification is almost always unintentional, as victims believe they accurately remember the person who came into their home or who robbed them. However, stress, fear, and the quickness of many criminal acts can lead to cases of mistaken identity. Despite this fact, prosecutors continually rely heavily on eyewitness identification evidence when trying to prove that a particular defendant committed a particular offense.

In such cases, there are several different ways that a skilled criminal defense attorney can challenge an identification, including the following:

  • Providing evidence that the lineup or show up was unreasonably suggestive on the part of police;
  • Challenging the memory of the eyewitness on the stand;
  • Challenging the capacity of the eyewitness to properly see the suspect due to vision problems, darkness, time constraints, or similar circumstances.

These are only some of the ways an attorney can defend against charges based on mistaken identity.

When Identity Is Clear

The mistaken identity defense is not always available in every case, however, because in many situations, the identity of the offender if clear. This can occur when law enforcement directly witnesses the offense, pulls someone over for a DUI, or due to other circumstances that leave little doubt as to identity.

In one recent case in Florida, a home surveillance system captured a burglar coming into a house and allegedly taking a firearm and some watches. The camera footage indicated that the man had a tattoo of the state of Florida on the side of his face. Police matched the tattoo with one already in their database and arrested the man with relative certainty he was the right offender. While the man’s attorney likely will not use a mistaken identity approach, there are likely many additional legal defenses available in this case.

Discuss Your Case With A Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney

There are many legal defenses available to fight against criminal charges in Florida and the defenses available to you will depend on the circumstances of your particular case. At the law firm of Lavalle, Brown & Ronan in Boca Raton, we will thoroughly evaluate your entire case to identify any possible legal defense that can help to have your charges reduced or dismissed. We will take your case all the way to trial if needed to avoid wrongful conviction, so please contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at 888-646-1315 as soon as possible if you have been arrested for any reason.

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