Few factors dictate just how far a criminal case is likely to go as much as the evidence and testimony that the prosecution might present. This means a criminal defense lawyer will work hard to keep as much evidence and testimony out as possible. You may be wondering what exactly can be presented against you during a case. Here are just three kinds of evidence that can appear in a criminal case.
A criminal case is about proving that someone did something wrong in the eyes of the law. This means the focus is aimed narrowly at relevant information that details what happened and why it was illegal. Contrary to what you might have seen on TV or in films, neither side has much interest in discussing a defendant's character. Although character witnesses and evidence can be presented in a criminal defense, they open up long avenues of attack from the prosecution so lawyers just don't go there.
Direct and Circumstantial Evidence
Every prosecutor is giddy to have direct evidence that ties someone to a crime scene. An example of direct evidence would be something like a gun that was thrown into a bush while a perpetrator fled the police. Direct evidence is the classic "drugs on the table" scenario that cops show off to the media after major busts. Examining the admissibility of direct evidence during preliminary hearings is one of the stages in a case where you find out how much of a fighting chance you have.
Circumstantial evidence, however, serves its purpose, too. It's a myth that circumstantial evidence can't be presented in court. If there are enough circumstances surrounding a case, it's even possible to be convicted on circumstantial evidence. For example, an assault with no witnesses might lead to a conviction if a suspect were in the circumstances of having recently threatened the victim and visited a hospital for injuries to their hands. While it's hard to convict on circumstantial evidence, bad circumstances can and do add up.
Testimony and Hearsay
Witness testimony provided under oath can be very compelling, especially during jury trials. Hearsay, on the other hand, is a trickier business. Contrary to the popular myth, again, hearsay is not flatly inadmissible. There are many exceptions that allow hearsay to be entered into a case, including expert statements, documentation and utterances made at the moment. While a criminal defense lawyer will work hard to exclude hearsay, defendants should be aware that some may come into play.Share
18 November 2019
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