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There are times when you might be erroneously suspected of having committed a crime simply because you look like a person that was in the area at the time the crime was committed. If a robbery took place at a store where CCTV recordings show a person who looks like you, stealing merchandise from that store, you can prove it was not you if you had on different clothes or have store receipts from somewhere else at the time the crime was committed.

A Scenario

You and your spouse are shopping on a bright sunny day on Main Street. As you walk down the sidewalk where there are several small novelties and boutique shops, you both are window shopping and, sometimes, going inside to view some of the merchandise for possible purchase. You enter ABC Toy Store because they might have something you can buy for the grandkids.

After browsing for a few minutes, you do not see anything that really appeals to you that your grandchildren might like. Your husband has already stepped outside, so you leave, meeting up with him just outside the door, and continue down the street. There is a restaurant several doors down, so you stop in to have a quick lunch.

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, call at once for a consultation

About 20 minutes after you left ABC Toy Store, another woman who looked somewhat like you, enters that store, looks around for about 15 minutes, quickly puts something in her pocket, which is caught on CCTV, and then leaves the shop. A store clerk happens to catch a glimpse of the event while waiting on customers, has the store manager call the police and then steps outside to see if she can see the thief.

You and your husband step outside of the restaurant to continue shopping just at the time the police show up at the toy store a few doors down. The store manager sees you and thinks you are the culprit she saw in the video. The police stop you and ask you to come back to the toy store where you find out that you are suspected of theft.

However, when the video is played back, everyone realizes it is not you because the woman in the video has different colored pants on and is wearing running shoes. You have on sandals.

You also have a lunch receipt from the restaurant which was paid by credit card at the very moment the woman committed the theft in the store, according to the time stamp on the store’s video. When the video is run further back, you show up as being there earlier than the suspected thief. The police now must search for the right person.

When Being Elsewhere is Not Enough – Murder for Hire

You purchase a plane ticket to fly to visit a friend in another state, leaving behind your husband who plans to hit the golf course while you are gone. There is a home invasion the second night during which your husband is murdered. The suspect is caught because of fingerprints left at the scene. When you hear the terrible news from local police, you grab the next available flight home.

Upon examining the suspect’s phone, your phone number shows up on the suspect’s contact list. There is also a saved audio recording of the two of you where you hire the suspect to commit the murder. Both you and the suspect are now charged with murder, even though you were not there and did not commit it. You are still guilty of murder for setting up the event.

If you have been falsely accused of a crime, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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