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The Validity of Eyewitness Testimony

The Law Office of John Goalwin April 14, 2023

Witness swearing on the bible to tell the truthDuring a criminal trial, an eyewitness – someone who was present at the crime scene – may be called upon by either attorney to describe what they saw or heard. Essentially, eyewitness testimonies play a significant role in determining whether a defendant is guilty or innocent of their charges. Even though the jury or judge might find the eyewitness account quite convincing, you may still be able to challenge the eyewitness testimony and statements or question its validity. 

For more than 45 years, our criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of John Goalwin has been offering aggressive representation and detailed legal guidance to clients in their criminal cases. As your legal counsel, we can enlighten you about the role and influence of eyewitness testimony in a trial. We’re proud to serve clients across Los Angeles, Torrance, Compton, and Van Nuys, California. 

Role of Eyewitness Testimony in a Trial

Eyewitness testimony is a direct testimonial evidence that may be used in a criminal case to shed more light on a case and determine if the alleged defendant is innocent or guilty. It involves calling upon an eyewitness – a person present at the crime scene – to describe what they saw or heard and identify the offender. Generally, eyewitness testimonies are extremely helpful in establishing the facts of a case during a criminal investigation, trial, or prosecution. 

Pros of an Eyewitness Testimony

  • It can help provide an exact account of the incident. 

  • It can help shed more light on the crime or event which led to it. 

  • It can serve as direct evidence during a criminal prosecution or court trial. 

  • It can influence the judge’s or jury’s decision. 

  • It is usually accurate and reliable. 

Cons of an Eyewitness Testimony

  • There is the possibility of error, and an eyewitness testimony may not be completely accurate. 

  • The accuracy of an eyewitness testimony depends on the ability or memory of the witness to recollect. 

  • It is possible to manipulate or buy an eyewitness testimony. 

  • Mistaken eyewitness testimony can result in a wrongful conviction. 

  • The witness can construct some parts of the story. 

A trusted lawyer can fully explain how eyewitness testimony can affect the outcome of your criminal case, as well as determine the best way to challenge its validity and help establish your innocence. 

How Influential Is an Eyewitness Testimony?

For many years, the criminal justice system has relied on eyewitness testimonies and statements to provide a solid basis for arrest, investigation, prosecution, and during trial. In fact, eyewitness testimony remains among the most compelling and convincing pieces of evidence that can be used in the courtroom to establish the facts of a case and decide innocence or guilt. 

Furthermore, the police, defense counsel, prosecutor, jury, and judge usually depend on the eyewitness to give an accurate account of the alleged crime or describe what they saw or heard. Nonetheless, there is still the possibility of error with the eyewitness testimony. So it’s important to remember that eyewitness testimony is not always accurate and could result in investigating or convicting an innocent person. 

In order to protect your rights and avoid getting wrongfully convicted, you should retain a strategic criminal defense lawyer to help outline your best defenses. Your attorney can help interview witnesses, document their statements, and identify which testimonies will assist in your defense. In addition, your legal counsel can determine how to disprove or identify inconsistencies in the eyewitness testimony. 

Skilled & Compassionate Legal Advocacy 

While influential, eyewitness testimonies do not automatically determine the outcome of a case. Different conditions at the crime scene, memory limitations, and previous animosity can make an eyewitness account unreliable and inaccurate. Therefore, working with an aggressive criminal defense attorney is imperative for proper guidance and to decide how to disprove eyewitness testimony. 

At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we have the knowledge and resources to defend and represent individuals who have been wrongfully charged with a crime. As your legal counsel, we can conduct a thorough investigation on every aspect of your case, dispute the allegations against you with factual evidence, and help challenge the eyewitness testimony. 

Contact us today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer. We’re proud to serve clients across Los Angeles, Torrance, Compton, and Van Nuys, California.