Eye Witness Identification: One of the most difficult areas of the law facing criminal trial lawyers is handling eyewitness identifications, both in and out of the courtroom. There is no doubt that eyewitness identifications are often one of the most powerful pieces of evidence against a criminal defendant. They are also extremely unreliable, especially when the identification is the result of a police “show-up.” A show-up is a procedure where a single criminal suspect is shown before a witness who is then asked to make an identification. More often than not, the witness is brought by police to see the lone criminal suspect being held by the police and under circumstances suggesting that the police have captured the right man/woman. There is often much pressure on the victim to identify the suspect simply because it will please the police.
At Marinaro Law Firm our attorneys attack the police procedures used in the identification by arguing that the identification was “impermissibly suggestive.” If the identification is not impermissibly suggestive we then scrutinize whether the identification itself was “reliable.” The defense has the burden to establish a “prima facie” case that the police procedures were fatally flawed.
We are skilled defenses lawyers that have on numerous occasions convinced judges to look at unreliability of the identification as an indicator that the identification procedures were flawed. Many of our clients cases have been dismissed based on faulty eyewitness identification.