What is the Role of an Eyewitness in a Criminal Defense Case? 


Eyewitness testimony is crucial in any criminal defense case. In some cases, it might be possible that eyewitness testimony is the only evidence for the person, and therefore, it becomes crucial in such cases. Eyewitnesses are under oath to provide correct and accurate information; their testimony holds enormous importance. 

A criminal defense attorney always tries to get proper information from the eyewitness to make their case more robust; therefore, they play a significant role in your case. In this article, we will learn about the role of eyewitnesses in criminal defense cases and how they can make or break a case. So, let’s begin our discussion about eyewitnesses. 

What is the Role of Eyewitness Testimony in Criminal Defense Cases? 

Eyewitness testimony is considered first-hand information because the person was present at the time of the crime and has witnessed every incident. The eyewitness can be a defendant, victim, or bystander present during the crime. 

There is a critical role for eyewitnesses in the trial procedure because their statements are considered necessary by judges. The views and testimony are held reliable in the case. Therefore, the eyewitness is under oath to provide accurate and correct information. If there is any false or inaccurate information, the defendant can be wrongfully convicted, and therefore, an eyewitness needs to provide the correct information. 

What is the Impact of Eyewitness Testimony in Criminal Defense Cases? 

Eyewitnesses serve as the primary piece of evidence in the investigation procedure. Therefore, it is essential. The testimony of the eyewitnesses can arrest a person or save them from conviction. Thus, the eyewitness holds a special responsibility in such cases. 

During the investigation, the eyewitness has to identify a suspect by physically describing the incident and lining up all the events. If the case goes to court, the eyewitness has to appear in court for such cases in front of a jury and judges. It is important to note that their testimony is first-hand evidence in criminal cases, but it cannot be as accurate and reliable as other types of evidence. 

Pros and Cons of Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness testimony is essential in cases where there is no other evidence in favor of the defendant. This testimony can lead to the conviction of a person who was genuinely involved in the crime.

However, even though the testimony is essential, it is only partially reliable because certain factors can provide inaccurate information. For instance, eyewitness memory problems, level of trauma, distance between the eyewitness and the location of the case, threatening calls to eyewitnesses, and other factors can modify the statements of eyewitnesses. Therefore, it is said that they could be more reliable. But it is associated with other evidence, which then guides the case correctly. Thus, the eyewitness factor is very critical in criminal defense cases.