Rights and Implications of Pre-Trial Identification Procedures
Comprehensive Overview of Pretrial Identification Procedures in NJ Criminal Cases
Before charges are pressed formally against someone, pretrial identification is used to identify the perpetrator of a crime. Pretrial suspect identification methods include fingerprinting, line-ups, photo arrays, and spectrographic voice examination. Pre-trial identifications and lineups can be valuable pieces of evidence, but their validity is only as viable as the manner in which they are applied. It is for this reason that hiring a lawyer is crucial. A criminal defense lawyer will view the pre-trial identification procedure and analyze its aspects. If the process is lacking or biased, a pre-trial suppression hearing can be submitted, and the test results can be thrown out.
What Happens in a Lineup in NJ?
The pre-trial procedure most commonly known is the lineup. A group of people stand in a line, facing the victim, looking through one-way glass. To keep the results as unbiased as possible, the witness is told that the suspect may or may not be in that group of people. All group members must resemble the suspect to some extent, and the witness should not be pressured to decide.
What Happens with Show Up Identification?
Show-up identification is where the witness is shown a single suspect briefly after a crime has occurred or the suspect has been caught. Again, the interview must be conducted as impartial as possible.
What is a Photo Array in a Criminal Case?
Photo arrays involve showing the victim several photographs, one at a time. Photos of people resembling the suspect should be used, and the victim shouldn’t receive any extra information from the authorities. The person who gives the test often does not know the suspect. To analyze the test more accurately, a video recording is made. It is a safeguard to evaluate the witness’s responses and the fairness of the process.
Importance of Pre-Trial Identification Procedures in the NJ Justice System
Imagine a justice system where the accused was not identified before arrest. Identification procedures related to crimes involving strangers can result in mistaken identifications that could have disastrous effects. It could create a scenario where the wrongly accused of crimes are found guilty, and the guilty go free. Mistaken identifications may also affect public confidence in the criminal justice system. Recently, some police departments and prosecutors have implemented a system of checks and balances to guarantee a more accurate system.
Primary Concerns Regarding the Pre-Trial Identification Process
As many as 1 in 4 identifications are made in error. Being under stress can alter one’s perception. The human memory will reconstruct the scene because they don’t have a photographic memory. Witnesses frequently focus on the weapon instead of the perpetrator. Cross-racial identifications are very powerful, especially in front of a jury. When a person is in a high-stress environment, they cannot remember details accurately. They focus on the weapon and possible escape routes as they are in survival mode. Their abilities to remember and recall are severely affected.
Is Legal Representation Required for the Pre-Trial Identification Process?
An attorney’s presence is not a requirement nor a right during the pre-indictment identification stage, but their presence is permitted. Having an attorney with you throughout the process is a good idea because there could be misidentification if the procedure is done incorrectly or with bias.
The Role of Eyewitness Testimony in Identifying a Defendant in a Criminal Case
Legally, eyewitness testimony is a person’s firsthand account of something. Usually, an event is suspected or considered illegal. When an eyewitness confidently points out the defendant as the person who committed a crime, a jury is more likely than not to believe them. This can create a problem for an innocent defendant, leading to a wrongful conviction. Witnesses are not 100% accurate due to the stress of the scene itself.
State v. Dorian Pressly: A Case of Police Identification and Legal Appeal
In State v. Dorian Pressly, Dorian Pressly was convicted of the possession and sale of a controlled substance. According to an undercover detective, he sold drugs to her. While the buy was taking place, a second officer watched the transaction with binoculars. Four blocks from where the buy occurred, a third officer stopped Dorian but quickly released him as he recognized him as a part of an ongoing undercover operation. The undercover officer printed a photo of Dorian saying she was sure he was the person who had sold him drugs.
A few months later, Dorian was convicted on several drug charges. On appeal, Dorian and his attorney argued that he had a right to a pretrial identification hearing, which should have been an array. He claimed that what he was convicted of was a show-up. The appellate court found that police officers are trained witnesses more capable of identifying others. Dorian’s appeal was denied.
Defendants Have Rights when it Comes to Pretrial Identification Procedures
The 5th Amendment establishes that it is essential for anyone who is arrested. It also includes double jeopardy and demonstrates the idea of “innocent until proven guilty.” Concepts include a grand jury, a fair trial, and due process. It protects against self-incrimination and creates the rules the government must follow to protect a person’s rights.
The 6th Amendment includes the right to an attorney, a speedy trial, and the right to an impartial jury. It is of great importance for criminal defendants. The trial must be public, giving the reason for the accusation. The defendant has a right to see the witnesses who have accused them and the right to legal counsel.
Hackensack Defense Lawyers Assisting Clients with the Pre-Trial Identification in Criminal Cases
Being arrested is an anxiety-producing situation like no other. An arrest can change your life. Our seasoned attorneys will make sure your rights are upheld and fight to get you the best possible result in Garfield, Fort Lee, Teaneck, Paramus, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Lodi, Hackensack, and other cities in the Bergen County, New Jersey area. We will work tirelessly and develop a strategy to get you through this challenging time. It is important to know how the system works. We will explain everything you need to know and keep you up to date about your situation. You are our primary concern.
If you or someone you know requires representation for an arrest, criminal investigation, or charges that have been filed against you in Bergen County, NJ, call us at (201)-330-4979 or use the online contact form and leave your information to set up a free initial consultation.