Criminal trials are subject to a number of rules and regulations determining what types of evidence is allowed to be used against the defense. This includes both the types of evidence that can be used and the manner in which the evidence is presented to the judge and jury.
What kinds of evidence are allowed in trial?
The reason why some evidence is not allowed in a trial is because anyone accused of a crime has a right to a fair trial. The inclusion of some evidence can taint the trial and unfairly sway the outcome of the case.
Evidence can be broken into circumstantial or direct evidence. Direct evidence works to directly show the guilt of the defendant while circumstantial evidence works to show that the defense may be guilty based on other evidence. Circumstantial evidence may not be anything on its own, but pieced together it can work to cast a shadow of doubt on the innocence of the accused.
While evidence allowed in a criminal trial can be countless, most evidence can be categorized as:
- Computer and digital, such as websites used, emails, and text messages
- Demonstrative, frames the crime by location and time
- Documentary, of any recording to prove a fact
- Physical, any physical item that proves a fact
- Testimony, witness recollections of a crime
If evidence is admitted into the courtroom that should not be there, it is the responsibility of the defense attorney to call the evidence into question. Testimony in particular is held to a strict set of rules to ensure its fairness to the case. For example, details of the case and statements made without first-hand knowledge, but rather by heresy, are unable to be accepted as evidence. The defense can try to establish doubt on the testimonial by attacking the personal character of a witness.
When any evidence is submitted for consideration in a criminal trial, it needs to be just and fair to the case itself. A defense attorney will be on the lookout for evidence that unfairly works against their client.
Facing criminal charges? Hire an attorney that looks out for your best defense! Contact The Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi for a free case evaluation to get started on your case.