Home Evidence

Evidence

Admitting Hearsay Into Court

Admitting Hearsay Into Court

Hearsay can be admitted into a court as court evidence. Hearsay is described as any evidence that is contained in any out of court statement such as an oral statement or a written statement that an individual had made. Common examples of hearsay court evidence are found in police reports, phone records, recorded interviews, and bank statements. 
 
 
Often times, hearsay will require a witness to agree with the statement. This further ensures that the statement is validated and can be used as court evidence.  Typically, hearsay evidence is generated from third or fourth party members, meaning that the individual who committed the crime told another individual; and then that individual told someone else. Hearsay can be admitted into court by numerous ways, most notably, by having proof of statement and through a witness. 
 

The Use of DNA Evidence in a Crime

The Use of DNA Evidence in a Crime

DNA evidence is a particular kind of evidence associated with DNA profiling. DNA evidence is one of the most commonly known kinds of scientific evidence, due to its extensive use in any number of different police procedural drama television shows. 
 
 
DNA evidence is, in general, gathered by examining a crime scene thoroughly using a forensic toolkit in order to obtain any substances at the crime scene which might be used for matching DNA in a test. For example, semen might be gathered from a crime scene so that it can be checked for DNA evidence in order to ascertain who was at the crime scene. DNA evidence thus uses this scientific evidence in order to provide conclusions for proving a particular case in the trial.
 
 
It is important to remember, however, that DNA evidence, like much scientific evidence, is ultimately considered to be circumstantial evidence. This means that it does not definitively prove anything the point which needs to be proved within the trial, and instead provides only a strong inference in favor of the point. 
 
 
For example, collecting DNA evidence from a crime scene might prove that an individual was at the crime scene, at some point, but it would not prove that he or she committed the crime, or even necessarily that he or she was at the crime scene at the time of the crime. This is why DNA evidence and other forms of scientific evidence are not necessarily as conclusive as some might think.  
 

Preponderance Of Evidence

Preponderance Of Evidence

 
The preponderance of evidence is significantly related to the notion of the burden of proof, and it refers to which side of the trial needs the majority of the evidence in order to prove its point. 
 
 
By majority of evidence in the prior sentence, what is meant is the importance of evidence, the accuracy of the evidence, and the convincing nature of the evidence, as opposed to pure quantity of evidence. A preponderance of evidence thus might be generated from a single witness who provides reliable, clear, and truthful testimony which invalidates all the numerous points of evidence generated by the other side of the trial.  
 
 
In a civil trial, in order for either side to be considered to have successfully proved its case, it must generate a preponderance of the evidence for its side. This means that its evidence must ultimately outweigh the evidence of the other side, and fits into the conception that the jury ultimately picks the better argument for the trial. 
 
 
This is significantly different, however, from what is involved in a criminal trial, where the burden of proof is much stronger upon the prosecution. In a criminal trial, the case must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, as opposed to simply with a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that if the prosecution makes an argument which is better than the argument of the other side, but does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, then the prosecution will not win the case. A preponderance of the evidence is thus much more easily achieved.  
 

Physical Evidence Overview

Physical Evidence Overview

Physical evidence is evidence which takes the form of an actual, physical object. This means that most of the exhibits introduced into a case are likely to be pieces of physical evidence. Documents which attest to the matters of important within the case, or weapons that might have been used in the criminal act involved in the case, or even pieces of clothing which the defendant might have been wearing at the time of the incident in question within the trial might constitute types of physical evidence. 
Physical evidence might also include smaller pieces of evidence such as fingerprints taken from the scene of the crime, or residue from the firearm involved in the crime. The use of physical evidence within a trial usually involves analysis of the physical evidence by an expert of some kind, who can then determine, based on that physical evidence, some important conclusion with regard to the trial as a whole.
 
Physical evidence is differentiated significantly from documentary evidence. Physical evidence is an actual physical object which is important for understanding the situation in contestation, whereas documentary evidence is more removed from the actual case in question. 
For example, documentary evidence might include a video taken of a crime, or it might include documentation for a device which speaks to the device’s proper functioning. Physical evidence is thus implicitly involved within the issue in question, somehow. Instead of being documentary evidence and a description of how the device might break, for example, a piece of physical evidence would be the actually broken object.  

The Use of an Evidence Bag

The Use of an Evidence Bag

 
An evidence bag is a specialized type of bag which is used to take and store evidence. Evidence bags might be paper, or they might be plastic. In general, an evidence bag will be designed to be particularly hardy, so that it will not break or tear with the evidence inside, especially because an evidence bag might be used for any of a number of different kinds of evidence, including knives and other sharpened objects. 
 
 
Evidence bags will also usually contain spaces on their fronts which will allow for the filling in of important information concerning the evidence within the evidence bags, such as the exact chain of custody, the case to which the evidence is relevant, where the evidence was initially gathered, and so on.
 
 
Separate evidence bags are usually used for each important piece of evidence, although pieces of evidence which are associated with each other significantly might be stored in the same evidence bag. For example, shell casings from a gun, which are of the same caliber and therefore are all likely to have been fired from the same gun, might all be stored in the same evidence bag. 
 
 
Generally, each evidence bag will become its own exhibit within the case. This means that the evidence bag will be given an exhibit number, and as an exhibit, will be put up for observation by the court and by the jury in particular. A potentially dangerous or very sensitive item in an evidence bag might not be treated for open observation as an exhibit, however.
 

Using a Tamper Evident Device

Using a Tamper Evident Device

 
A tamper evident device is a device which is specifically designed or set up in some fashion so that any tampering of the device would be immediately evident. A common form of tamper evident technique is found on objects with seals, for example, wherein if the seal is broken, then the object has been tampered with. 
 
 
A milk gallon might have a tamper evident seal at the top, which, again, if broken, would alert a potential consumer to the fact that the milk might not be safe. Tamper evident designs also often are designed to prevent forgery and imitation, so that only the true objects can be used. Thus, watermarks on checks and holographic pictures on credit cards are common forms of tamper evident devices.
 
 
In terms of evidence for a trial, tampering is a major concern, as tampering with evidence could lead to a mistrial, or worse, an improper dispensation of justice. As such, tamper evident devices are sometimes used with reference to evidence in a trial. 
 
 
For example, putting a piece of evidence into a container, and then putting a tamper evident seal on that container, would allow the court to know if any has attempted tampering with the evidence by the fact that the seal might be broken by the time the evidence was taken to court. There are more complex methods of tamper evident devices, however, which might even go so far as to make the individual who performed the tampering be easily identified.  
 

The Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984

The Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984

 

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 was an act passed within the United Kingdom which was designed to help define the rules regarding evidence and the powers of law enforcement officers in the UK. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, or PACE as it is sometimes known, sets out the powers of police with regard to a number of different situations, include the powers of the police with regard to situations in which they are conducting a search without having first made an arrest, the powers of the police with regard to situations in which they interviewing individuals at the police station, and the responsibilities of the police with regards to keeping individuals in detention at a police station or otherwise in police custody. If you find your rights violated, consult with a criminal lawyer.

As the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is designed to keep police powers in balance with the powers and rights afforded to the public, it is very much concerned with how evidence can be obtained by the police, as evidence which is obtained through an unlawful exercise of power from the police according to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 would thus be disallowed from trial.

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 is still being modified in the United Kingdom, as new cases come up which imply that it should be altered for the better. Codes have been added to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which provide for detention of suspected terrorists, and case law regarding issues of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 has led to further refinements of the act.  

The Use of Anecdotal Evidence in a Crime

The Use of Anecdotal Evidence in a Crime

Anecdotal evidence, which is more of a logical term regarding argumentation, and hearsay evidence, which is a legal term, means somewhat similar things as terms. In general, anecdotal evidence or hearsay evidence can refer to evidence which is obtained through secondhand means, and is thus not directly attributed to the individual providing such anecdotal evidence, and is, in turn, doubtful in its veracity.  
 
 
Hearsay evidence is not always considered to be anecdotal evidence, as there are situations in which evidence heard secondhand by a witness might be admissible in court, but if the evidence in question is doubtful in terms of its truthfulness and f actuality, then it might be considered anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is not, thus, based on clear, definitive fact, and as such, it is not generally considered useful or admissible in court.
 
 
Anecdotal evidence in a more logical sense is related to this notion of hearsay evidence, as anecdotal evidence can refer to evidence from an anecdote or personal story being used to imply a conclusion for which it actually provides no evidence. For example, anecdotal evidence might cover a situation in which an individual explains that his sister went skiing and wasn’t hurt at all, thus meaning that skiing is not that difficult or dangerous.  
 
 
This example of anecdotal evidence would obviously not bear out fully, however. Understanding anecdotal evidence in this way points out some of the flaws of hearsay evidence, as well, in that it can be used to infer a conclusion without actually providing enough evidence.  
 

The Federal Rules Of Evidence

The Federal Rules Of Evidence

The Federal Rules of Evidence is a set of rules which regard the manners in which evidence might be allowed into trials, and might function within trials, within the federal court system, specifically. 
The Federal Rules of Evidence do not, thus, control the rules of evidence with regard to state courts, as each state is free to adopt its own rules of evidence which might differ from the Federal Rules of Evidence, although most states ultimately adopted evidence-based rules which are based on the Federal Rules of Evidence. 
The Federal Rules of Evidence are designed to provide a fair and balanced basic framework in which the jury can understand how it should be considering different pieces of evidence, and what exact evidence should be allowed into consideration.
The Federal Rules of Evidence include rules concerning any evidence about a given individual’s prior crimes, which state that considering those crimes is not allowed in terms of considering the crime or issue at stake in the current trial, unless those previous crimes are somehow directly relevant, and they also include rules concerning the admission of hearsay into the trial, as hearsay might sometimes be an important piece of testimony, but it is often disallowed.
The Federal Rules of Evidence were adopted fully in 1975 under the Act to Establish Rules of Evidence for Certain Courts and Proceedings. The Federal Rules of Evidence do not often set out the punishments for violations of the Federal Rules of Evidence.