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Evidence and Witnesses: Crucial Elements of a Criminal Case

Evidence and Witnesses: Crucial Elements of a Criminal Case

Evidence and Witness Testimony

Evidence and witness testimony are used throughout the criminal process. Understanding the importance of these elements, as well as the importance of having a criminal attorney, go hand-in-hand.

Before Trial

Either shortly after the arrest or arraignment (depending on when a criminal attorney is hired), a criminal defense lawyer will typically meet with the prosecution to discuss the evidence and witness testimony that it has prepared against the defendant.

In most instances the prosecutor and criminal attorney for the defendant will attempt to reach some type of agreement (sometimes a dismissal) so that the case does not have to go to a trial. If the criminal attorney thinks the evidence or the witnesses are not strong, he or she will attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. Without the legal representation of a criminal attorney, you will likely not have the benefit of discussing your case with the prosecutor.

At Trial

If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor will have the burden of proving that you committed the offense in question “beyond a reasonable doubt“. The prosecutor will likely call witnesses to the stand to testify what they know about you and the crime.

In addition to witness testimony, the prosecutor will also provide evidence in an attempt to prove that you are guilty of committing the crime of which you are charged. It’s important to understand that the prosecutor cannot use any and all evidence. Your state’s Rules of Evidence govern how evidence is admitted to, and handled, in court proceedings.

An experienced criminal attorney will understand these rules and know when to counter with objections. A defense attorney will also usually provide rebuttal witnesses and evidence to support your defense. In order to prepare such a defense, you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you are able to hire a criminal attorney to assist with your criminal case, the better.

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