Fear and anxiety are natural responses to pending criminal charges. When the police arrest you, you may feel powerless. Even if you know that you are innocent, their claim to have evidence against you and make you feel like you need to plead guilty. No one wants a conviction by jury to put them at risk for the worst possible penalties for an offense.
Rather than looking at the evidence against you as a sign that you have no options, you may want to think of it differently. Evidence can create multiple opportunities for you to strategically defend yourself against those criminal charges.
Sometimes, experts don’t agree about what the evidence means
Police officers collect evidence, and prosecutors present it to the courts. Both groups of professionals depend on the analysis of experts to make a case against someone.
Looking at the evidence gathered and public records of trials involving the expert the state plans to use could help you find a way to undermine their analysis and present your own interpretation of the evidence.
Defendants can even challenge the way police officers got the evidence
Trying to have a high solve rate or a high conviction rate can lead to law enforcement officers doing things that they know they shouldn’t.
If police officers questioned you after arresting you without notifying you of your Miranda Rights, you may be able to ask the courts to exclude any statements you made from your criminal trial. If the officer who gathered evidence did not have probable cause, a warrant or permission to search your home, the courts may exclude that evidence as well.
Other times, police may have made a mistake when handling the evidence
To understand what the evidence says about a crime, police have to be careful to avoid contamination of the crime scene. People moving through an area could disturb items or alter the scene. They could accidentally drop genetic materials like hair or skin cells. Taking too long to secure a crime scene could make the evidence less reliable.
Once the police start to gather the evidence, they need to carefully maintain chain of custody records. Any gaps in the record or documentation showing an obvious mistake in the storage or handling of evidence could lead to the court excluding that evidence from the trial.
Challenging or eliminating certain evidence from your criminal proceedings can be a successful defense strategy. Understanding when you can challenge evidence can help you decide if this is the way for you to defend against pending criminal charges.