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Suggestive Lineups Can Cause Mis-identification

A pretrial identification that is impermissibly suggestive can prevent the admission into evidence of the victim’s identification at trial.

In Albee v. State, the police arrested the defendant for going into the bathroom of a sorority house where he watched M.S. shower. Moments later, the defendant opened M.S.’s bedroom door. They briefly made eye contact and the defendant left.

When the police arrested the defendant, they brought M.S. to the arrest scene to see if the defendant was the perpetrator. In M.S.’s presence they referred to the defendant as “the suspect”. M.S. saw the defendant in handcuffs and surrounded by police officers. Later, she was allowed to later observe the defendant at the police station through a closed circuit camera. It was only after three opportunities to observe the defendant that M.S. finally identified him.

The Court of Appeal determined that M.S.’s identification of the defendant was not sufficiently reliable to overcome the suggestive procedures used by the police. M.S. was in the defendant’s presence for only a short time, her attention was divided when she noticed him, and she was only able to identify him the third time she saw him. The defendant’s convictions for residential entry and voyeurism were reversed.

With over 33 years of handling thousands of criminal cases, Steven Knecht is familiar with the possible defenses to drug offenses and other criminal charges. Few other attorney can match his trial experience and knowledge of criminal law and he can use that experience and knowledge to help you. If you find yourself having been arrested, you should immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that you can trust such as Steven Knecht to help you fight the State because you have a lot at stake on the outcome.

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