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Line up

Line up

I have a case where I was at a party and there was a fight. I was not in the fight. I broke up the fight. I was arrested for being in the fight. The allegation is unclear as to whether the police say they saw me in the fight or they are saying they were told I was in the fight. I want a line up. How do I get one?

In Philadelphia county, if you want a lineup, you just tell your lawyer and the lawyer asks the judge at the beginning of the case. The judge asks some questions to the district attorney and/or the eye witness as to whether a post incident identification was made, the ability to observe, and whether the DA plans to have an eye witness identification made at trial. Based on the testimony the judge decides.

In counties other than Philly, its a much different thing. My experience has been that your lawyer has to file a motion in the court of common pleas in that county and have the case removed from the district judge until such time that the common pleas court decides whether or not a lineup should be granted. After the lineup matter is disposed, the case goes back to the district court for the preliminary hearing.

As to whether you can ask for a lineup for a police officer, I think in general its a bad idea. First, I can’t see any judge making an on duty police officer go to a lineup for any reason at all. Somehow this notion is insulting to the system. I don’t really get it, but in any event, the officer probably had the file and saw a picture of you from the night you were arrested, so it may be a crooked line up any way.

However, if the reason there is confusion about the lineup and the case is because an off duty police officer was present at the party and he identified you as being one of the fighters, so long as the officer was not involved in the paperwork on the job, a judge might consider the line up request. Just consider though that someone may tell that officer what you look like before the line up or show him your picture.

Line Up
Line Up

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