Andrew H. Stevenson, Attorney at Law
What role does forensics have in criminal justice?
Some people who are facing criminal charges balk at the thought of having to take the time to go through the evidence that is being used against them. These individuals might not realize that being meticulous in reviewing this evidence can often help the defense to find points that can be disputed in order to introduce reasonable doubt. In many cases, scrutinizing forensic evidence is a must for the defense.
What is forensic evidence?
Forensic evidence includes evidence that falls under the umbrellas of biology, chemistry, and physics. Forensic science takes verified scientific methods and procedures and puts them together with the evidence that is often collected during the investigation of a crime. Forensic science is a field that evolves rapidly based on the improvements of current technologies and the introduction of new technologies. For this reason, defendants who are hoping that the forensic evidence in their case holds their ticket to freedom must work with someone who is familiar with forensics.
What are some examples of forensic evidence?
One common bit of forensic evidence that most people have heard about is DNA evidence. This is one type of biological evidence that be used to include or exclude a person of interest as a suspect in a case. Another bit of forensic evidence that is sometimes used in criminal cases is fingerprints. Similar to DNA evidence, this can be used to either rule out a person as a suspect or to include that person as a suspect.
In drug cases, the substance that the person had in their possession might be tested. This is an example of forensic evidence that falls under the chemistry umbrella. Evidence regarding blood spatter at a murder scene would fall under the physics form of forensic evidence.
How is forensic evidence questioned in a criminal justice case?
There are many different points that can be called into question when dealing with forensic evidence. When the defense is scrutinizing evidence, everything from the collection through the storage will be checked. Determining if the evidence was collected, processed, and stored properly is necessary. Finding out if the equipment used at each step was properly maintained and that each person who handled the evidence was trained is also crucial.
Understanding the exact points about the forensic evidence in the case can provide the basis for a firm and no-nonsense defense strategy regarding this evidence.