In a criminal case there are many different types of evidence the prosecution will attempt to use to prove a criminal defendant’s guilty beyond any and all reasonable doubt. Some of the most frequently used classifications of evidence are; testimonial, physical, scientific, and legal.
Testimonial evidence is often the most used type of evidence and is often the most powerful type of evidence to a criminal jury. Testimonial evidence occurs when eyewitnesses, alibi witnesses or witnesses who heard statements made by the defendant, testify in court before a jury. Testimonial evidence invokes the 6th Amendment and the Confrontation clause. The 6th Amendment gives a criminal defendant the right to confront and cross-examine any witnesses the prosecutor intends to use against you.
To combat testimonial witnesses a criminal defense attorney must be a skilled crossexaminer. To effectively represent a defendant a criminal lawyer must ask leading questions. Leading questions limit the witnesses’ ability to testify and force the witness to testify favorably for the accused.
Testimonial evidence is also subject to the rules of evidence and may be inadmissible if not permitted by the rules.
Physical evidence is evidence which is confiscated from the defendant, seized by the police, drugs, weapon, or item used or found during the commission of a crime.
In a criminal trial, physical evidence is not just introduced, it must be put before the court after a proper foundation is laid and the item is authenticated. The rules of evidence provide for the proper entry of evidence into a court of law.
An experienced criminal defense trial attorney is knowledgeable with the rules governing the entry of evidence. A criminal lawyer may be able to keep certain evidence from being used a defendant due to evidentiary problems. The chain of custody may not be established or the evidence was seized illegally.
Scientific evidence can come in the form of opinions or test results. All scientific evidence is subject to a legal standard called the Frye Test. Under the Frye Test scientific evidence may only be admitted if the procedures are “generally accepted in the scientific community.”
Scientific evidence is subject to opposing interpretations and opinions, the so called “Battle of the Experts.”
When a criminal case is fought over the legal sufficiency of the evidence, the case is relying on state statutes and the case law interpreting the meaning if the statutes.
To be effective, a criminal defense attorney must be knowledgeable of all Florida state statutes, the case law and be an outstanding presenter.
When you hire a criminal defense attorney you must hire a lawyer you is knowledgeable in all aspects of evidence. A criminal case involves all types of evidence so an attorney must possess all the skills to protect your freedom.
Call Attorney Bryant to discuss the evidence against you during a free consultation.