Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Mistaken Identities in Criminal Defense Cases

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Criminal Law in General » Mistaken Identities in Criminal Defense Cases

There are many situations where a person is incorrectly accused of a crime, due to a mistaken identity issue.  Our firm has represented clients in both Iowa and Illinois who have been accused of a crime that someone else had committed.


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Sometimes, a mistaken identity issue arises when an eye witness, victim of a crime, or a police officer incorrectly identifies someone as the perpetrator.  Other times, the mistaken identity issue is deliberately created by a someone intentionally blaming the wrong person for a crime.  Sometimes a person who is not involved in the crime is used as a “fall guy” to take the blame.

Regardless of the cause, being misidentified as the perpetrator of a crime is a serious matter. People who are misidentified as having committed a crime will often be arrested and charged with the crime.  This can be a bewildering experience, as a person who has not committed a crime does not expect to suddenly face an arrest and criminal charges for an incident that they have never heard about.

Handling such a situation properly is important, since being innocent does not protect a person from prosecution.  Indeed, the jails and prisons contain many factually innocent people who have been wrongfully convicted.  For that reason, a person who is wrongly accused in a case of mistaken identity is well advised to exercise their right to remain silent, refrain from consenting to searches, and seek an attorney at once.  Doing so will put a person in the best position possible to fight the case and prove themselves innocent.


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I have seen cases where a person is accused of a crime in Iowa, despite having never set foot in the state of Iowa.  I have seen similar situations involving charges in Illinois.  When handled properly, such situations can often be resolved in a favorable manner, with a minimum amount of unpleasantness.


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