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3 ways to respond to the state’s evidence in a criminal case

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Whether an individual gets arrested for shoplifting or a drug charge, he or she may worry about trying to defend themselves. It has become common practice for those facing criminal charges to simply plead guilty instead of trying to defend against the allegations they are facing.

People sometimes believe that if the prosecutor has enough evidence to warrant charging them with an offense, then they are dead to rights. In reality, prosecutors and police officers quite frequently makes mistakes which result in dismissal of charges or an acquittal at trial.

The following are some of the ways that people effectively respond to criminal charges backed by state evidence.

Hiring expert witnesses

Whether the state has financial records that they believe prove someone engaged in fraud or physical evidence they claim ties someone to a drug offense, expert analysis of the evidence is typically necessary at trial. Defendants and their lawyers have a right to review the state’s evidence before going to trial, and they can therefore secure the support of a professional with special knowledge in a particular area of science, accounting or technology. Expert witnesses can show that the state improperly analyzed the evidence or can provide a completely different interpretation of the state’s evidence. Their assistance can raise questions about someone’s involvement in a crime and could help them avoid a conviction.

Excluding certain evidence

Police officers and other law enforcement professionals have to follow the law and the principles of the constitution. If a defendant can prove that police officers broke the law or violated their rights in an attempt to gather evidence, it is sometimes possible to exclude that evidence from criminal proceedings in court. Under the exclusionary rule, an attorney can convince a judge to prevent a prosecutor from presenting certain evidence during a trial. The exclusionary rule applies in cases involving police misconduct or civil rights violations that occurred when gathering evidence.

Questioning issues with the evidence

Police officers don’t have to break the law when conducting a search for there to be questions about the evidence they gather. Maybe a crime scene sat unsecured for several days before police officers arrived to gather evidence. Perhaps they failed to fill out appropriate paperwork regarding the chain of custody for that evidence. Mistakes when gathering, storing and evaluating evidence can compromise its usefulness during criminal proceedings. A defense lawyer can help someone to potentially identify failures in police procedure and deviations from best practices that could raise questions about the evidence the prosecution intends to present at trial.

Making use of one’s right of discovery and conferring with a defense attorney can help those concerned about state evidence plan a criminal defense strategy. Defendants who understand the rules that apply to state evidence may feel less frightened than most defendants when it comes to fighting criminal charges.