Do I have to participate in a Virginia police lineup?

In Virginia, the police are permitted to put you in a lineup with several other people who resemble you to see if witnesses can identify the person who committed the crime. If you have been formally charged with the crime, however, you have the right to have a Fairfax criminal defense attorney present.

While you may be required to participate in a lineup, the police do have certain restrictions regarding the lineup. For example, they may not unfairly implicate one individual by lining up one person who fits the description with five others who are significantly different in appearance. Likewise, they may not point to one person in the lineup and ask the witness if that was the person who committed the crime.

Identification at a police lineup can be powerful evidence against you in court. Thus, it is important to have a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer with you at the time of the lineup. Not only can an experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney prevent unfair bias at the time of the lineup, but your lawyer can also witness the lineup and use any irregularities in your defense, as appropriate.

For more information about how to protect your rights in a police lineup, please contact an experienced lawyer at our Northern Virginia criminal defense law firm. We can be reached via this website or at (703) 385-5529. We would be pleased to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation.

Gretchen L. Taylor
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