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Eyewitness testimony is far from perfect

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | Theft & Property Crimes

If you are facing criminal charges then it means that law enforcement and the prosecution have found evidence against you. They might feel like it’s strong and compelling evidence, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. 

If someone says they saw you do something, this may sound convincing at first. But when we take a closer look at how human memory works, things become a lot hazier. Outlined below are a few reasons why eyewitness testimony is far from perfect

Memories change over time 

It is a common misconception that memories are recorded and stored for later use like a video. This is far from the case. Memory consists of perceptions of key events at the time and even these can be hazy. As time passes, memories may become more unclear. In truth, much of what memories comprise is our minds filling in the blanks. In criminal cases, this can cast doubt over the certainty that is required to convict someone and potentially send them to prison for a long time. 

Crimes are stressful events 

No crime is a pleasant experience for either victims or witnesses. Some criminal events are more shocking and traumatic than others. Violent crimes, especially, can be traumatizing and the whole event is often over within a matter of seconds. With the fight or flight response and shock, it can be very difficult for either the victim or onlookers to remember exactly what happened. 

If there are question marks over the accuracy of witness testimony, then this could benefit your case. Seeking legal guidance will help you to come up with the best possible defense strategy.