Every criminal case has different evidence that helps the state connect the person they accuse with the alleged crime. Sometimes there are witnesses who help build a case for state prosecutors. Other times, the strategy for the state will focus more on physical evidence, like fingerprints or genetic evidence.
If the state claims they have physical evidence against you, you may feel like defending yourself is impossible. Thankfully, there are several ways in which you can potentially prevent physical evidence from impacting the outcome of a criminal trial. There are at least three ways that you could theoretically challenge the evidence brought against you in court.
- You can challenge how the state gathered the evidence
If investigators or police officers broke the law or violated your civil rights during their investigation, it might impact what evidence the courts can hear in your case.
If officers conducted a search without a warrant or intimidated someone into a false confession, challenging the inclusion of the evidence based on the civil rights or legal violations of the people collecting the evidence could be the best approach.
- Challenge the way that police gathered, stored or tested the evidence
The accuracy of genetic tests and other kinds of physical evidence depends largely on how careful investigators are when they gather and collect their evidence. Contamination of physical evidence, the presence of other people at a crime scene, gaps in the chain of custody or bad internal recordkeeping from those handling the evidence could all undermine its credibility in court.
Reviewing the state’s information about the evidence might help you find gaps, oversights or mistakes that could exclude that evidence from your trial.
- Challenge how the state interpreted the evidence against you
If you can’t challenge the way that the state gathered the evidence or the way that they handled it, it might be a better approach to challenge how they analyzed it. Bringing in your own forensic experts to provide alternate explanations for what the state views of irrefutable physical evidence could be the best approach for some people facing serious charges.
Challenging the evidence against you is only one of many potential strategies that could help you avoid a conviction and all of the consequences it carries.