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Murder Charges and the Alibi Defense

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, criminal justice systemIn many murder or homicide cases, defendants argue the case of mistaken identity—the prosecution charged the wrong person for the wrongful death of another. When you are facing murder charges for a crime that you did not commit, an alibi defense could be the key to dismissing the charges against you. The alibi defense is based on the underlying premise that you are truly innocent of the charges or any wrongdoing.

In traditional murder cases without an alibi defense, your defense attorney would argue that the prosecution failed to prove that you were guilty of the crime, beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden is on the prosecution to prove every element of the crime. However, when you raise the alibi defense, you have to persuade the judge or jury that the prosecution is charging the wrong person. The alibi defense rests on the credibility of your alibi witness.

If you believe you were wrongly charged with murder, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate your case and determine if the alibi defense would be the best way to challenge the prosecution’s case.

Notice of Alibi Defense

In most states, including Wisconsin, you have to provide notice to the prosecutor that you intend to use the alibi defense in your case. When you decide to use the alibi defense, remember, you need to disclose the location where you were and the contact information for any alibi witnesses. The prosecution, within 20 days of receiving your notice of alibi, is required to disclose the name and contact information for any witnesses they will call to rebut the testimony of your alibi witnesses.

You need to give the prosecution notice of your alibi defense at least 30 days prior to trial. If you do not provide the prosecution with notice, the court will prevent you from asserting the alibi defense, absent good cause for your failure to provide notice. If there is a good reason why you did not file notice of your alibi defense at least 30 days before trial, the court may grant you an extension of time.

Utilizing the Alibi Defense at Trial

Although the focus of your theory or strategy shifts when you choose to use the alibi defense, you are not required to testify in court. If you and your attorney are satisfied only using witnesses to support your alibi, you are permitted to remain silent. Likewise, you are not required to show direct and solid proof that your alibi is true. Although solid proof is preferable, the burden is on the prosecution to prove your guilt.

Contact an Attorney

If you are wrongly charged with murder, you should contact a committed and experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who will inform you of your options, assist you in determining the best course of action and hold the prosecution to their burden of proving their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

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