Definition - What does Alibi mean?

An alibi is common type of defense used in criminal court cases. The defendant will use this defense to prove that they were somewhere else when the crime took place.

Many defendants will use an alibi defense, asking any number of alibi witnesses to testify to their whereabouts, without giving up their right to remain silent. An alibi witness is any individual called to testify in a criminal case who can provide testimony and evidence to support a criminal defendant’s allegations that they were not at the location at the time that a crime was committed. The alibi witness provides information to substantiate the claim that the defendant is truly innocent of the crimes for which they have been charged.

Justipedia explains Alibi

Discrediting the alibi witness and proving that they were not with the defendant at a specific time is up to the prosecution. For example, the prosecution may be able to show evidence at trial that an alibi witness was lying or failed to offer information about their location until weeks after they were questioned by the police. Any information that discredits the alibi witness may be considered by the jury when they are evaluating the witness’s credibility.

State laws require all defendants who are going to rely on an alibi witness or an alibi defense to give notice to the prosecution within a specified time period. Information regarding witnesses must be disclosed during the discovery phase of the trial, which allows the state time to investigate all the alibi witnesses and find evidence to discredit their testimony.

Information presented by the defense must include information about where the defendant was at the time that the crime was committed, as well as a list of all the alibi witnesses (including their addresses and phone numbers) that will be called to testify by the defense. Defense teams who fail to provide the proper information to the prosecution may find that the court eliminates the rights of certain alibi witnesses to testify.

If you have been charged with a crime and have an alibi or someone who can testify to your innocence, you may need to talk to your defense lawyer and make sure that the information is presented to the prosecution.

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