Requesting an alternativeThere are alternatives to the in-court show-up, but a criminal defense attorney must ask the judge’s permission to use an alternative before the hearing starts. The trial judge has the discretion to order an alternative to the show-up. The options include:
- Excusing the defendant from appearing at the hearing.
- Seating the defendant in the audience and a decoy at counsel table during the eyewitness’s testimony. This works best if the decoy matches the description that the witness provided the police and you can fill the audience with others who resemble your client.
- Requesting that a line-up be conducted in court.
- The last option would be to cover the defendant’s face. Although this can be demeaning, it permits the witness to study the defendant’s carriage and dimensions.