wrongful arrest attorney in Alabama

Situations That Can Lead to Wrongful Convictions

Being wrongfully accused and charged with a crime can be a nightmare for the victim. In some cases, the state of Alabama might provide $50,000 for each year a person was wrongfully imprisoned, as these cases are also reported in the media.

With that said, facing prison time when you have done no wrong can be a scary prospect for anyone. If you or someone you love has been wrongfully convicted, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and be prepared to fight to clear your name.

Misidentification in Eyewitness Testimony

The total number of individuals that have been wrongfully convicted in the United States remains unclear. However, the National Registry of Exonerations (NRE) claims that over 1,793 people have been exonerated till now.

The leading cause of wrongful convictions is misidentification on the part of eyewitnesses. The evidence usually gets overturned on the basis of DNA evidence, according to a report published by the Innocence Project.

These errors may be innocent in nature and occur because of limitations of human memory or due to certain procedures used by authorities to identify perpetrators. Research shows that witnesses can easily get biased by authorities without adequate safeguards in place. Police officers can inflate a witness’s confidence or use prejudice to pick a suspect, which can result in incorrect identification.

Misidentification is a major risk even in violent crimes, alleged sex crimes, and other similar crimes where identification errors may seem unlikely. Eyewitness testimony has played a major role in over 70% of convictions in the United States, which were later proven wrong through DNA testing. As per the NRE, eyewitness errors have contributed to over 50% of overturned wrongful convictions in Alabama.

Flawed Forensic Evidence

A third of wrongful convictions reported in Alabama involve misleading or false forensic evidence. Many widely used techniques, such as hair microscopy and firearm tool mark analysis have not been scientifically proven to be effective or accurate. An alarming 47% of people have been exonerated on the basis of fresh DNA evidence.

Wrongful convictions usually occur in many cases due to the overrated reliability of forensic methods. The Washington Post recently published that the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted to giving flawed testimony for nearly 20 years involving both federal and state criminal offenses. In 2015, the agency stated that it found analysts to have exaggerated the strength of matches regarding hair microscopy analysis to favor prosecutors.

False or Under Duress Confessions

False confessions form a quarter of wrongful convictions as per the Innocence Project. There are various reasons for innocent people to give such confessions:

  • Fear of harsh sentencing or physical harm
  • Misunderstanding the situation or their legal rights
  • Intoxication, exhaustion, and other factors leading to mental impairment
  • Duress
  • Coercion

The legal system sees confessions as the most compelling form of evidence where criminal cases are concerned. Hence, the likelihood of wrongful conviction is increased significantly with false confessions. You should not have to go through the nightmare of being wrongfully convicted.

A profound and astute criminal defense attorney with the right resources can help you from the beginning of the process through the end. Your attorney will do everything they can to find evidence that proves you are innocent.

Ineffective Legal Representation or a Poor Defense Strategy

Wrongful convictions usually occur when an individual doesn’t have adequate legal representation. Inadequate legal defense is a major factor in most wrongful convictions in Alabama as per the NRE. For this purpose, anyone accused of criminal activity in Alabama should consult with a private attorney even if they have been assigned a public defender.

Private attorneys have the necessary resources to craft a more thorough defense. They can also carefully weigh and take the right decisions to mitigate the potential shortcomings of forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony, and self-incriminating statements.

There are several other instances that can result in a wrongful conviction, such as perjury, official misconduct, and snitches. The first essential step you should take to ensure your case is properly handled is to have an experienced and trustworthy criminal defense attorney on your side.

Steps to Take if You are Wrongfully Convicted

You should obtain as much evidence as you possibly can to support your claim if you have been wrongfully convicted. These are a few steps you can take to prove your innocence:

  • Hire a forensic analyst: You should hire an independent forensic examiner whether DNA is applicable or not to your particular case.
  • Witness statements: You should review eyewitness accounts and try to get more statements from other informants.
  • Document everything: You should save every piece of document and communication as you track down evidence.
  • Remain discreet: You should remain calm, professional, and discreet while getting the information you need.
  • Hire a defense attorney: You should have a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney on your side, who can help you through the process of proving your wrongful conviction.

Get Legal Representation from an Experienced Auburn, AL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated, it is time to reach out to the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group. We take a tough stance on innocent people getting convicted.

Our attorneys will do everything to build a powerful defense for you in order to have your conviction overturned and restore your freedom. We are happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us at 334-737-3718 or reach us online.