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When an eyewitness identifies you

As summer approaches, police become concerned. Warmer weather typically means people are away from their homes for extended periods of time or are involved in summer activities. This season tends to bring an uptick in crimes, and law enforcement has already seen more cases of theft and burglary this spring.

Officials are warning residents to take standard precautions, such as locking their vehicles, keeping valuable items from sight and keeping their garage doors closed. However, police are also asking citizens to participate in the apprehension of people who commit crimes in their neighborhoods and recreational venues. In fact, it may have been the report of a good citizen that led to your arrest for burglary.

Police rely on the eyes of citizens

If people believe they are witnessing a burglary, police hope they will remember the basic details, such as when and where the crime occurred. They should also be able to tell police what happened and how the alleged theft took place, based on what they saw or heard.

You may be aware that many public areas already have surveillance cameras in gathering areas and parking lots, but police are asking people to be alert for crime and to report what they see. The public can assist police in making arrests by noticing the person allegedly committing the crime and getting a good description. It is likely that an eyewitness description of you led to your arrest. Some characteristics police ask citizens to remember include:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Facial hair
  • Tattoos
  • Jewelry
  • Other distinct identifying features

When safe to do, police also request that people take pictures or videos. If someone has a video of you committing a burglary, this kind of evidence can be compelling in a court of law.

Don't close your eyes to the consequences

If police have charged you with felony burglary, you don't want to take any chances. A conviction means incarceration, even if you didn't take anything, and that can mean up to 12 years in prison. Even if your charge is only theft, the consequences can be severe and life-changing.

Having legal representation as soon as possible after your arrest is essential. Whether your arrest is based on a questionable description by a so-called witness or police found evidence that you committed the crime, an attorney will be your best ally. An experienced attorney will have the skills to negotiate a plea deal that will offer a better alternative than years in prison.

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