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Can forensic evidence always be used?

| May 4, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

There are many misconceptions about the U.S. criminal justice system. The use of forensics evidence in a criminal case is one area in which the public-at-large has an understandable degree of confusion. There is a common belief that forensics evidence can always be used during the course of a criminal prosecution. In fact, while many types of forensics evidence are deemed highly reliable, no all evidence of this nature is admissible in a criminal trial.

Situations in which forensics evidence cannot be used in a criminal case

In many trials, both the prosecutor and the criminal defense attorney make use of forensic evidence in order to make their own cases and to counter evidence submitted by opposing counsel. With that noted, an example of forensic evidence that is inadmissible in a criminal proceeding is evidence of this nature that is not generally accepted in the scientific community.

In order for forensics evidence to be admissible in a criminal proceeding, it must be widely recognized in the scientific community as reliable. The unique nature of fingerprints is an example of widely accepted forensic evidence. The same holds true for DNA evidence as well.

Forensic evidence court hearings

The admission of certain types of forensic evidence is not necessarily and black and white issue in a criminal case. One side in the case might make the argument that a particular type of forensic evidence is in fact reliable and generally accepted while the opposition takes a counterpoint. As a consequence, a court may conduct what might be called a “mini-trial” to make a determination about the admissibility of a certain type of forensic evidence.