Evidence planting or tampering is not always easy to uncover, but it is a serious issue that should be explored. When criminal charges are pursued against a person, the prosecution is required to prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard is a high burden of proof. Because of this, the police must have plenty of evidence to argue that a crime was committed. Unfortunately, police may fail improperly plant or otherwise tamper evidence to try and strengthen a case.
There are laws and procedures in place to protect individuals against evidence planting or tampering. While these laws and procedures are not perfect and do not necessarily always prevent evidence planting or tampering, they can provide some protection in certain circumstances. A criminal defense attorney can review your case to determine whether evidence planting or tampering may be an issue.
When the prosecution seeks to present evidence, it must follow certain procedures to ensure that the evidence has not been tampered with. For example, if an item of evidence is recovered from a crime scene, the prosecution must show the “chain of custody” the evidence followed. This means that witnesses who handled the evidence must establish where the evidence has been since its initial collection. If there are any gaps in where the evidence was located, or other proof that the validity of evidence may have been compromised, then a criminal defense attorney can object to it being considered in your case.
In any case, if you have witnesses or other information to suggest that evidence has been planted or tampered with, you should inform your criminal defense attorney immediately. You may be able to have these witnesses testify about the evidence. This will raise questions about the validity of the evidence. Also, disclose to your attorney any information that could be used to call into doubt the evidence.
In all criminal cases, the person charged has the right to review the evidence that is being used in the case and to confront witnesses in court. These rights are especially important when there may be evidence planting or tampering. It is important that you take the opportunities to reveal wrongful behavior of law enforcement. You should not be punished when officers try to cheat the system.
In our modern world, there are many things officers can do to preserve the integrity of evidence. This includes using video recordings and photographs to document crime scenes and evidence. Also, developments in DNA and other scientific areas give defendants additional safeguards. If the police fail to utilize the available tools to preserve evidence and prevent tampering, then that failure should be addressed. A criminal defense attorney can confront police officers and demand answers for their failures to use the available tools.
The criminal justice process is complex and subject to a variety of rules and procedures. These apply to defendants, as well as the prosecution and law enforcement. A criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your case is properly presented and compliant with the rules. Also, a criminal defense attorney will ensure that the prosecution and law enforcement likewise play by the rules and do not try to cheat the system.
Evidence planting and tampering is a serious issue that cannot always be identified. If you suspect that this may have occurred in your case, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can represent you in your case and will make sure your rights are not violated. Call a criminal defense attorney to learn more and for advice.