WHAT IS AN ALIBI?

 

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An alibi is any evidence showing that a citizen accused of a crime was somewhere other than at the scene of a crime when the crime occurred. While T.V. and movies often portray the alibi as a fraudulent and untruthful, in the real world, the alibi is a perfectly respectable legal defense. 

Does giving an alibi mean the accused citizen has to testify?

No, it does not. Accused citizen can still exercise their constitutional right to remain silent while providing an alibi defense. Which can be established through other witnesses who can place the accused at a location other than the scene of the crime.

What does using an alibi defense do to the prosecution’s burden of proof?

Accused citizens who offer alibi defenses don’t have a burden to prove to the judge or jury that it is accurate or true. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution at all times, who must prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 
Providing an one can cast doubt onto the prosecution’s claims and establish that there is “reasonable doubt.” 

Do accused citizens have to let the prosecutor know they are going to use an alibi defense?

In Louisiana, laws called “discovery rules” state that if the prosecutor files a request for notification of an alibi defense; the defendant must inform the prosecutor ahead of time that he is going to put on alibi evidence at trial. These rules are in place to give the prosecutors time to investigate it and dismiss wrongful charges.

The citizen on trial can effectively often demonstrate that he State did absolutely nothing to investigate or interview the accuser’s witness, despite being provided their contact information weeks or months prior to the trial.

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