Immigration And Criminal Defense Lawyers

What’s a SODDI defense?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Courthouses and trials have a language all of their own. When you’ve been charged with a crime, however, you usually get a crash course in the terminology of the criminal justice system.

One of the most common defenses raised in criminal trials is something that courthouse regulars often call the “SODDI” defense.

Reasonable doubt by another name

SODDI stands for “some other dude did it,” and it is one way of trying to inject reasonable doubt into a case. In general, a defendant is never required to prove their innocence in court, since it’s up to the prosecutor to prove their guilt – but a SODDI defense is often an effective way to poke holes in a prosecutor’s version of events. 

SODDI defenses come up in many situations where there is no question that a crime was committed, but there may be doubt about who was involved. A SODDI defense may be appropriate when:

  • You’re accused of robbing a store but the security camera footage is barely visible 
  • You’re accused of carjacking based on the eyewitness testimony of a traumatized stranger
  • You left a party moments before a fight broke out but you’re incorrectly blamed for someone’s assault 
  • You’re unjustly accused of homicide but there are credible reasons to believe that someone else wanted the victim dead

In essence, any time you know that you did not commit the crime, but you have no real idea (or no evidence about) who did, the SODDI defense may come into play. This is often most effective when combined with an alibi, but that’s not always necessary.

When you’re discussing your defense options, this is just one avenue to explore. Every defense is fact-specific, and appropriate legal guidance can help you understand the best defense options for your case.