Contact Us 301-705-5137

Using the Alibi Defense in Southern MD Criminal Cases

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Waldorf, MD or other areas of Southern Maryland, one possible defense to your case is alibi. An alibi defense asserts, essentially, that you were not at the scene of the alleged crime at the time that the crime allegedly took place. Obviously, in some cases, the alibi defense will not succeed. For example, if you are arrested in Clinton, Maryland or Bowie, Maryland for a DUI/DWI, and you were in the vehicle at the time, an alibi defense will not work. But, the alibi defense could possibly succeed for other types of crimes — such as Maryland burglary, assault or manslaughter charges.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Waldorf, MD or Prince George’s County, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro at (301)705-5137. If you are searching for “criminal lawyers in Waldorf MD,” that is our Law Firm. Here is some information about the alibi defense in Maryland.

What the Maryland Prosecutors Must Prove

In general, Maryland prosecuting attorneys must prove beyond a reasonable doubt ALL of the elements of the crime. If the government prosecutors fail to prove even one criminal element, their case fails and your case will be dismissed. Often, among the elements necessary for a crime is the accused’s presence at the scene of the crime and at the time of the crime. Legally, this is called “criminal agency.”

The Alibi Defense

If the facts support the defense, the criminal defendant may present an alibi defense. An alibi defense will rebut or contradict the Maryland prosecutor’s evidence of “criminal agency.” Essentially, the criminal defendant will present witnesses or other evidence that he or she was, at the time of the crime, at some other place or location. The criminal justice rule in Maryland is that “alibi negates criminal agency.” See Borchardt v. State, 367 Md. 91, 786 A.2d 631 (2001).

What is the Criminal Procedure?

In Maryland, a criminal defendant’s criminal defense team presents an alibi defense by filing a written Notice of Alibi with the Maryland criminal court. In brief, such a Notice is required by the rules and discloses the names and addresses of anyone — other than the criminal defendant — who the criminal defense team will call as a witness to show that the defendant was not present at the time, place, and date of the alleged crime. According to the criminal courts, such a Notice serves four purposes:

  • Preventing surprise at trial
  • Deterring false claims of alibi — since the State can investigate the witnesses prior to trial
  • Avoiding delay in dismissing a criminal case since a proper alibis will warrant dismissal of the case before trial and
  • Affording more respect and credibility to the alibi witness who actually testifies — since the State has investigated the witness prior to trial

Sometimes, the alibi defense is not presented based on a third-party witness, but, rather through testimony of the criminal defendant and other evidence. For example, maybe the criminal defendant can show text messages clearly sent at the time of the crime from a location far from the scene of the crime. In those cases, a general notice must be given to the prosecuting attorneys and the defendant would be entitled to an alibi jury instruction at the completion of the trial.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301)705-5137. We are Southern MD Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is: 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.