How could the chain of custody impact your defense?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Evidence is essential to proving any case in court. The prosecution must ensure it has adequate evidence against you to show you committed the crime if it expects to win the case.

In some cases, you may be able to use the prosecution’s evidence against them and use mistakes on their end to get a not-guilty verdict. One consideration to make about every piece of evidence is the chain of custody.

Chain of custody defined

The chain of custody is the documentation of evidence from collection and throughout the time it is in the custody of the state. Every person who touches it must document it. This record enables the court to know where the evidence has been and who has had access to it. It also allows the prosecution to defend against suggestions that it may not be legitimate or could be corrupted.

The chain of custody is an essential element in investigating a crime. It ensures that evidence does not end up lost or get mixed up with evidence from other cases. It is a standard in law enforcement and the criminal system.

Use in a defense

If the chain of custody of a piece of evidence is not clear, you might be able to use it in your defense. Placing doubt on the evidence could mean the court disregards it. If it is important enough in proving the prosecution’s case, then you may be able to secure a win by showing it is not reliable evidence. It is worth checking the chain of custody on all pieces of evidence to see if there is an issue with it.