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3 approaches to challenging evidence in a criminal case

On Behalf of | May 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Getting arrested or indicted for a criminal act is a very intimidating experience. Depending on the accusations that someone faces, the possible penalties might include jail time, large fines, the loss of their driver’s license, the loss of their professional license and probation. There is usually a range of penalties possible for different offenses, and the unique evidence that the state has will determine the possible penalties someone faces after their arrest.

Typically, the state does not file a charge unless there is enough evidence to potentially convict that individual in criminal court. Those who are facing charges backed by strong evidence may feel hopeless and like a guilty plea is their only option. However, challenging the evidence can be a way to avoid a criminal conviction. These are three of the possible means of preventing the inclusion of specific evidence in a criminal case.

Invoking the exclusionary role

One of these simplest ways of preventing a prosecutor from presenting specific evidence during a criminal trial is to establish that the police violated the law while Gathering that evidence. The exclusionary rule prevents prosecutors from using illegally-obtained evidence. When police officers have violated someone’s rights or the law while conducting a search or gathering evidence, a defense attorney can ask the courts to exclude that evidence from the trial.

Raising questions about accuracy

Perhaps police officers used digital enhancement to pull a voice out of the background on a recording or to turn a dark image from a security camera into an identifiable photo. There could even be a chemical breath test result from a drunk driving traffic stop that will serve as the main evidence against a defendant. If there are questions about the accuracy of the evidence or the testing system used, it may be possible to prevent the inclusion of that evidence in the court case or push back against it during a trial.

Exploring concerns about contamination

Was a crime scene open to the public for several days before police discovered it? Were there mistakes made during the evidence collection process or in the laboratory? Issues with the chain of custody for specific pieces of evidence or the possibility of outside contamination can undermine the accuracy and reliability of physical and chemical evidence.

Those who successfully challenge evidence may have an easier time avoiding a conviction during a criminal trial. Seeking legal guidance and reviewing the evidence that the state has against someone is often the first step toward putting together an effective defense strategy.