Like many other legal terms, the word alibi comes from Latin. It means “elsewhere”, showing that the person was in another location at the time of the alleged crime. Their alibi, they believe, demonstrates that they were not involved.
But just having an alibi doesn’t mean that it’s definitely going to shake those charges. Some alibis are strong and others are relatively weak. Some may be accepted in court, while others may not really have an impact on the proceedings. Let’s look at some examples of what an alibi may be and why it would be strong.
In the presence of others
One thing that can certainly give credence to an alibi is when the accused individual was with someone else. For instance, maybe they say that they were at work at the time of the alleged crime. They can even produce records from the time clock showing that they punched in just 10 minutes before the crime occurred. This establishes their location and other coworkers can confirm that they were in fact at work that day, making it impossible for them to have committed the crime.
This leads us to another example of a strong alibi, which is when there is printed documentation to back up the claims. This could mean records from a time clock, a computer system that requires employees to log in or just video recordings from security cameras. But it could also be something like a gas receipt. Say that someone is accused of a crime, but they can prove that they were purchasing gas 100 miles away from the location of that crime, so they were too far away to have been involved.
An alibi is just one thing to consider when facing serious legal charges. It’s important for all accused to understand their criminal defense options and their rights under U.S. law.