Alibi Defense

The Law Office of Steven M. Logan prepares all legal and factual Defenses of merit for his clients who have been arrested in South Florida. My office is located in Palm Beach County which is central to Broward, Martin and St. Lucie Counties.

In Today’s age where almost everyone has a cell phone with a camera or video, you are watched almost all the time. Security videos, by private citizens, banks and the Police have made capturing criminals much easier. But at the same time it has also helped innocent people free themselves from crimes by establishing an unrefuted alibi. One of the Duke Lacrosse players accused of rape was seen on a bank ATM video miles away when the alleged rape was supposed to have occurred. A recent famous Alibi defense occurred in 2003, thanks to “Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator Larry David. Juan Catalan, of Los Angeles, was charged with Murder. Catalan told police he was at a Dodger game, with his daughter, some 20 miles away when the murder occurred. The police didn’t believe him. Catalan was eventually cleared of the charges because he was actually seen on tape during the filming of the "Carpool Lane" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that was shot in Dodger Stadium. That Alibi defense was “pretty-pretty-pretty-good”

In the Defense of Alibi, the Defendant asserts that at the time and place the crime was committed; he or she was physically in a different place. If an alibi is established, then the Defendant could not have committed the crime as a matter of legal impossibility and therefore is entitled to an acquittal. Florida Rules of Criminal procedure 3.200 requires that Notice be given to the State Attorney’s Office at least 10 days before trial. The notice should include the exact place and time where the Defendant was when the alleged crime was committed, as well as the names and addresses of anyone who can corroborate your whereabouts. This Notice requirement was a big issue in case from Broward County in the case of Martin v. State, 41 So 3d 1100 (4DCA 2013). The Defendant was denied testimony of 2 alibi witnesses, because he failed to notify the State Attorney’s Office within 10 days of trial. The Appellate Court determined that the 10 day Notice requirement only applies if the State first Demanded a Written Notice to the Defendant if an Alibi Defense will be used. In Martin’s case the prosecutor failed to give such Demand for Notice, thus the 10 day requirement does not apply. However failing to list the witnesses timely can be considered a Discovery Violation. Martin was granted a new trial. The bottom line, it is best for your Defense attorney to provide an Alibi Defense in an early and timely manner, because the State may decide to drop your case if they feel your Alibi is credible.

Alibi Case Law Update: When the defendant testifies that he was not present at the scene of the crime, two other witnesses testify that he was not there, and defendant’s roommate testifies that defendant went to bed at 10:45 and he did not hear the defendant leave, the court errs in failing to give an alibi instruction. An alibi instruction is proper when defendant presents evidence he was elsewhere at the time of the crime. The fact that it is negative evidence (Defendant was not there or the witnesses did not see him leave a different place) constitutes an alibi. Truett v. State

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