October 23, 2022

Were you stereotyped based on your physical appearance? 

The criminal justice system is supposed to deal solely with the truth and facts. However, from start to finish, the process of a criminal case is overseen by human beings, so psychology plays a significant role. 

The cognitive process of humans does not always deal with facts and truth. In short, whether through error or corruption, humans get it wrong. 

People find themselves accused, charged and even convicted of criminal offenses they did not commit all the time, and cognitive bias frequently has a lot to do with this. One way that cognitive bias can manifest itself is through stereotypes. Outlined below is one practical example. 

Stereotypes based on appearance alone 

You’ve been part of a motorcycling club for decades. You and your friends go on outings all the time. You visit different places and make new acquaintances across the country. The last thing any of you are interested in is causing trouble. 

But, you’re also over 6ft tall and full of tattoos. Those closest to you describe you as a “friendly giant.” On one of your outings, you were randomly attacked by someone in the street who had too much to drink and you’ve lawfully defended yourself. The assailant was much smaller than you. After assessing the situation, law enforcement has decided, based on your appearance, that there’s no way you were the innocent party in all of this. You’ve subsequently been arrested and charged.

If you’re facing unjustified criminal charges then it’s important to stand up for your rights. Having experienced legal guidance behind you will help to set the facts straight.