Can I lose a trial if the victim cannot identify me? 48 Answers as of May 18, 2011

Am I still liable to lose at a trial even if the so-called victim couldn’t point me out in court?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
Identification is a key element of a criminal trial.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/18/2011
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Depends upon what other evidence the prosecution has. Other witnesses may be able to make their case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
There can be more evidence against you than just the identification which could result in a conviction if the jury is sure that it was you that committed the crime.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/16/2011
Miller & Harrison, LLC
Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
One element of every charge is identification so if they really cannot identify you, you should win. But maybe they have other ways than using the victim to identify you.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/16/2011
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
You could still lose the trial even if the alleged victim cannot pick you out in court, especially if there has been an id of you right after your arrest by the victim or another eye witness. If the victim is the only witness, and there is no other evidence linking you to the crime, there is a good possibility you will be found not guilty at trial.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/16/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Not necessarily, what if there are other witnesses that can identify you. This is a question you should ask your attorney or if he/she cannot answer it, you may need to find a new one. Visit my website for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    In a word, Yes. There are many forms of evidence other than eyewitness testimony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You can, but that it is not an assured outcome. All the evidence is considered. Thats what you attorney is there to manage, argue and persuade. If you dont have an attorney, which is implied by you asking here instead of to your attorney, you are on a fools mission going to trial. That is not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig | Evan E. Zelig
    Without knowing all the facts of your case it is difficult to say if that will in fact happen. But it is possible to be found guilty at trial and get convicted even with the victim failing to identify you in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes, if there is other evidence to support the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    It depends if they are able to identify you another way. If not then a verdict would be entered in your favor.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, you can still lose a trial based on other circumstantial evidence or other direct evidence that can be introduced against you at trial. The fact that the witness failed to point you out, however, is helpful in your purpose of getting the case dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    There must be other convincing evidence tying you to the crime. You could be convicted without personal identification if there was other evidence, such as another eye witness or perhaps statements you made to others. I can't say more without more facts.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If the alleged victim can't identify you, you should ask your attorney to arrange a show-up identification or a lineup or a photo montage. Any of these require the witness to pick you out of a group of pictures or people. If they cannot identify you then your attorney should be able to get the charges dismissed; especially if the prosecution has no other way to prove you were involved. Obviously, a confession would torpedo that defense so Do not talk to anyone about this case other than your attorney. Girlfriends, wives, best friends and brothers have testified about confessions so adhere to a strict code of silence until after you are found not guilty or beyond if found guilty and on appeal.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Yes. What about independent witnesses, videos, confessions, fingerprints,and DNA, evidence. Who needs the victim to make an ID?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    This is a factual problem. It certainly helps your situation, but it is not dispositive. You should contact a lawyer to go over the specifics of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Possibly, it would depend on what other evidence the state has. If another witness can ID you or you confessed to the police, or if the state also has fingerprints or DNA, any of that evidence would be used against you and could convict you. Consider a murder case, in those circumstances, the victim cannot ID the defendant (for obvious reasons). People get convicted of murder all the time. Now in the absence of other evidence, the state may have a difficult time convicting you without the ID but again it would depend on what the evidence is.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    It depends upon what other evidence police have, e.g. fingerprints, DNA, circumstantial evidence, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. There are many ways to put one in a crime as a perpetrator.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need a lot more information to determine if you would likely be convicted or not at trial. It depends on what other evidence the prosecutor has and if there are other witnesses etc. You should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    It depends upon what other items of evidence are being used in the case. If this is the only piece of evidence against you then the victim's inability to identify you could certainly be a boon to your defense. Most criminal cases involve multiple items of evidence, however, and it is not certain that this single issue will decide the trial one way or another.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The witness identification is only one part of proving a crime against a person. In some instances, the failure to identify may cause the prosecutor to dismiss the case, in other cases there may be alternative evidence which could cause the prosecution to continue.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Hedges & Tumposky
    Hedges & Tumposky | Michael Tumposky
    It depends on what the other evidence is. The short answer is "yes."
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Every case is fact specific so your question is difficult to answer. In general the answer is yes if there is other evidence to prove you are the perpetrator, like other eyewitnesses for example.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    It is possible but very unlikely. If there were other witnesses or there is enough circumstantial evidence the state may be able to prove a crime occurred and that you committed it. It seems like you should have a criminal defense trial lawyer to help you in your case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    I a criminal trial, the prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The real question is, once all the evidence is presented to the jury, is there sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Identification of the accused by the victim is just one piece of this puzzle. Identification is not a necessary element to find guilt if there is other sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    As a former state and federal prosecutor and currently as a criminal defense attorney, I have learned never to be surprised at what can happen in a courtroom. The answer to your question depends upon the strength, or lack thereof, of the corroboration of the state's case. For instance, are there any fingerprints, confessions, or videotapes? You should discuss this question and all other questions with your own attorney! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    If the state has enough other evidence to tie you to the case (fingerprints, DNA, co-defendant testimony, other witnesses, just to name a few) yes, you can lose a trial even if the victim cannot identify you.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If the DA haw more evidence you can lose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    It simply depends on if there is other evidence besides the ID. It also depends on your jury - when you put your fate in the hands of 12 strangers you just never know how they will decide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    Of course if there is plenty of other evidence, such as a video, a confession, etc. Without more information, it is difficult to answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Is there other evidence linking you to the incident (ie., DNA, fingerprints, etc?) I don't have enough information about your case to give a good assessment, but it certainly helps that the victim could not ID you in court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Depends what other evidence they have.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Anything is possible. It will depend if you can be identified through other evidence and what the jury ultimately believes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    It depends on the other evidence in the case. But the lack of identification is certainly something that rests in your favor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    There isn't enough information here. It may be fatal to the case against you if the victim can't identify you. But depending on other evidence, you still could lose. This other evidence could involve statements by you, the victim, the police, or any witnesses. It certainly can't hurt your case if there is a faulty identification, but this is by no means enough. If you don't have a defense attorney, I would urge you to get one immediately. Only a trained attorney can accurately identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and adequately protect you at trial.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    It is not possible to say without knowing all of the facts and circumstances of your case. While identity often plays a large role in a case, there may be other evidence connecting you to the crime. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    It depends what other evidence there is. Were you found with the victim's stolen property? Did someone else see you commit the crime? The victim's testimony is often primary evidence, but it isn't required. This is something to ask your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Benari Law Firm
    Benari Law Firm | Arik T. Benari
    Yes, depending on what other evidence is presented.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Depends on the facts of the case. Circumstantial evidence is valid evidence, but you supply limited facts in your hypothetical. Someone or something needs to identify you beyond a reasonable doubt, or you should be found not guilty. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Can you lose at trial if the victim cannot ID you? Yes, if there is sufficient enough evidence to prove that you committed the crime without the victim's ID. For example, victim is robbed and gives description of robber and car. Your car is stopped four minutes later and her purse is recovered in your vehicle. Can you be convicted without her IDing you? Of course. Good luck. I suggest you get a trial attorney, not a divorce attorney trying to play criminal trial attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Yes. You can be convicted with an in court ID. Murder victims aren't around to testify. It depends on what other evidence there is. Did you make a statement; is the forensic evidence or circumstantial evidence?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry. Believe it or not, the answer is yes! While it is unlikely, the case needs to be postured correctly, and the arguments made in an effective manner to win. An alternative would be to convince the prosecutor that the case is so poor that the case is dismissed prior to trial. I would suggest that you be represented by counsel in this matter to best attempt to get the desired result. You may contact my office to make an appointment to discuss representation. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It is a must that the defendant in any criminal trial must be identified. However, it shouldn't be that difficult since you will be the one sitting at the defense table with your lawyer. If you think that the victim cannot positively identify you, then you should request a lineup before the trial. Usually, the prosecution's case only gets dismissed if they forget to have a witness identify the defendant (which rarely happens but it does occur once in awhile). It is even more rare that a witness cannot identify the defendant, but if for some reason they could not, you would be entitled to your Motion for a Directed Verdict to be granted. Hopefully you have a lawyer that you can discuss all of this with.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/13/2011
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