Get Evidence Thrown Out Of Court – It’s Possible!
When building and presenting a criminal defense case, one of the most effective strategies for strengthening the defense (and simultaneously weakening the prosecutor’s case) can be to get evidence thrown out of court.
When arguing to get some of the prosecutor’s evidence deemed inadmissible is successful, it can lead to some – or possibly all – of the charges against the accused person being reduced or, in the best cases, dismissed altogether.
In this blog series, we will point out just some of the ways that it may be possible to get evidence thrown out of court and, in doing so, strengthen a defense case.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, however, don’t hesitate to contact the trusted Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers at The Kohn Law Firm for experienced help and the best defense.
How to Get Evidence Thrown Out of Court: Possible Arguments
When it comes to trying to get prosecutors’ evidence against accused individuals deemed inadmissible, the facts of the case will be essential to determine what the best arguments may be for a given case. That being said, however, in general, the following may be viable arguments to get evidence thrown out of court:
1 – The evidence is partial or incomplete.
If the evidence in question is an audio or video recording, it may be possible to argue that this evidence:
- Only presents a portion of a larger recording
- Needs to be viewed or considered within its greater content
- Should be thrown out of court if it cannot be wholly presented.
- Was improperly obtained.
Get Video Surveillance Evidence Thrown Out Of Court
Is it possible to get video surveillance evidence thrown out of court? The short answer: Yes!
So, for instance, let’s say that part of a prosecution’s case is relying on video surveillance footage of the accused person doing or saying something and that only a portion of this footage has been admitted as evidence. If the rest of that footage could be viable to the defense (because, for example, it may show the accused person doing or saying something else that backs up the defense case), then the court may:
- Order the prosecution to present the entire portion of the recording; or
- Throw this evidence out of court (if the entire portion of the recording cannot be provided for any reason).
Maybe the video that’s being used as evidence was improperly obtained. What exactly does that mean? If not properly obtained, evidence obtained, and any discoveries that evidence leads to can be thrown out. Refer to “fruit of a poisonous tree.”
- Was the video obtained by the police with a warrant? If not, your 4th Amendment rights may be violated.
- Timestamp on the video – According to Caught On Camera (an FBI training video), more than half of all security video systems have the wrong time stamped on their surveillance videos. If incorrect, the incorrect timestamp makes it impossible to know if the supposed chain of events was synchronized with the actual events that led to charges.
- Was the entire story shown on the video evidence? Sometimes mere snippets of a video that are used as evidence for a supposed crime reveal an entirely different scenario when viewed in full. If used properly, oftentimes a defense lawyer can use the video evidence to clear his or her client
2 – The evidence has been contaminated.
This can be a powerful argument if the prosecutor’s case includes DNA evidence. In particular, arguments alleging that evidence may have been contaminated can specifically contend that:
- Investigators didn’t follow proper procedures in collecting the evidence.
- The chain of custody for the evidence was broken at any point.
- The lab that analyzed the DNA evidence has a history of mishandling samples, misreading test results, etc.
Here, it’s also important to point out that, even if the above arguments are not sufficient to get evidence thrown out of court, they can be powerful enough to:
- Create reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind
- Weaken the prosecutor’s case while strengthening the defense case.
For our continued discussion of how to get evidence thrown out of court, don’t miss the second installment of this blog series that will be published soon!
Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kohn Law Firm
Have you or a loved one been charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime? Maybe you were arrested for a DUI or even given a traffic ticket. If so, the Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys at Kohn Law Firm are ready to aggressively defend your rights and help you bring your case to a successful resolution.
To learn more about how we can help you, set up a free initial consultation with us by calling us at (719) 328-9555 or by emailing us using the contact form to the right of this page.
Make sure you read Part 2 of this series – click HERE to read!
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