Mistaken Identity

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The defense of mistaken identity happens where a person is accused of domestic violence when he or she is not the cause for the marks on the victim. Because it is an element of every crime, it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove that the defendant committed domestic violence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mistaken identity sometimes occurs when two children are playing and one pushes another causing marks. If the parent subsequently disciplines the child, that parent may be accused of domestic violence even if the discipline is not the cause for the marks. That’s especially true if the child’s parents are separated and don’t have a good relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent’s motive to obtain grounds for a change in custody or parenting time is too great to ignore.

Mistaken identity can also occur if the victim wasn’t sober at the time he or she was harmed. It’s important to establish the victim’s consumption of alcohol or controlled substances on date of the event. Sometimes the victim is so inebriated that he or she falls down or walks into objects, which is the cause for the victim’s marks. Othertimes, it may be someone else who caused the marks, but the defendant is the last person entering the victim’s faulty memory. An alibi defense tends to appear in these circumstances.

There are many scenarios in which the defense of mistaken identity arises. That said, its always important to perform an independent investigation and determine if there are any other witnesses or evidence that corroborate or discredit the victim’s version of events.

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