Criminal and civil law has different standards as pertaining to evidence. In criminal law the evidence must establish guilt beyond a shadow of doubt, but in litigation it is the preponderance of evidence that wins the day or sometime referred to having 51% of the evidence sustaining your argument. However, the rules of evidence cover how the evidence was obtained and maintaining a chain of evidence.
Crime Scene Documentation
Documentation of the custodial transfer of physical evidence must be maintained. The crime scene tech gathers the evidence and documents it through narrative, photography and schematic diagrams showing the relative geospatial location of the evidence. The tech signs as the collector, preserver and documentarian of the evidence. Documentation will then show the transfer to evidence vault and cataloging of the evidence. When checked out for court, the chain of custody is preserved by logging the custody change, usually on the bag or container of evidence. If opened by an investigator it is logged that the investigator took custody of the evidence, and when done it is resealed and documentation generated showing the return of the item to storage. These rules apply to the private sector as well.
Forensic Accounting Evidence
In the case of forensic accounting, reports and accounting are recorded, but the defendant only has a right to the raw records to build a defense. During the discovery phase both parties have access to the reports and records. Photocopies pass between accuser and defendant parties, but the integrity and completeness of the body of evidence is maintained.
Electronic evidence from computers, PDA’s, tablets and cell phones are obtained under rigid court rules and policies. The interpretation of this evidence is negotiable, as one side strives for inclusion while the other will strive for suppression or attack the credibility of the expert witnesses.
Expert Witness Testimony
Expert witness is someone experienced and knowledgeable and has expertise in some forms of evidence. Crime scene specialists, lab personnel and other academic or specialized achievement recognized by the court as to qualification as an expert witness. Problem is both parties may present expert witnesses with conflicting interpretations of the evidence under consideration. The attorneys will attempt to attack the credibility of the expert witness to lesson or exclude the evidence.
Witness interviews, discovery interviews, interrogations and witness voluntary statements document verbal and witness evidence. Interrogations come under intense scrutiny by the courts. No suggestion of leading statements,
Witness testimony is also subject to credibility tactics. Physical conditions like declining eyesight, geographic positioning to observe any event affect the validity of the testimony. Also, witnesses may tend to exaggerate for public and social claim, in high profile cases it’s their shot at the ‘limelight.’ Education, age and experience, social nurture and core beliefs may influence testimonies as well as prejudice and social interactional histories. Time tends to alter the recalled memory. Interaction with other witnesses also colors the remembered incident details. This is the reason witnesses also must be separated, and no two testimonies should be exact, this prevents collusion, consciously or subconsciously. Hostile or sympathetic. Witness may perhaps represent a fragile asset.
Las Vegas Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada
The body of law concerning evidence is considerable and sometimes confusing as well as fluid. Rules vary from court to court, jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Kajioka & Associates Attorneys At Law can best represent you. Contact us today!