If you’re facing criminal charges and a witness gives an account of what happened that you know does not line up with what actually took place, it’s natural to assume that the witness is lying. However, you may be perplexed as to why they would lie about what happened just to incriminate you. This is often problematic, as a jury also will assume that the witness is not lying because they have no reason to do so.
But the truth may be that the witness is simply wrong. They’re not intentionally lying. They believe they’re telling the truth, but they’re making a crucial mistake that is going to dramatically impact your life. One reason that this happens is that they may remember a version of events that didn’t really take place.
Every time you remember something, it can change
There are many reasons that this happens, and one of the more interesting is that memory can change each time that you actively recall that memory. If you’re telling someone a story about what occurred or merely thinking of it on your own, you may accidentally add in details that weren’t there initially. This can alter the memory so that you remember those details the next time you think about it. It becomes very hard to decipher what is actually the core memory and what may have been changed by outside influences.
Of course, knowing why this happens doesn’t necessarily stop it from happening. If you are facing charges, this is just one of the reasons why you need to take the time to consider all of your legal options.