The evidence brought forth by a private investigator can be the deciding factor in your court case. Evidence, or proof of validity, is offered during a trial to either prove or disprove your presented claims. That’s why it’s important to have as much relevant evidence as possible for success in court.
Hiring a licensed private investigator can help you gather more evidence than you would have with only a lawyer. They are skilled in legally obtaining different types of evidence in investigation. They help you strengthen and support your case. In this article, we’ll define different types of evidence and show some examples of how they’re used in the business today.
Types of Evidence Used in Court
As stated earlier, both the prosecution and the defense use evidence to establish the validity of their side of the case. You can present several types of evidence in court. That said, the evidence provided has to be admissible. This means that it must be relevant to the case, reliable and not unfairly prejudicial.
Since you can’t present just anything as evidence, it’s important to have a skilled investigator on your side. The judge and jury can only make their decision based on what is presented to them. That’s why it’s imperative to have as clear and strong a presentation of your facts as possible. A private investigator can help collect quality evidence to create a strong basis for your case.
So what can you present in court to bolster your case?
Examples of Evidence
There are four different types of evidence that are admissible in court. These types of evidence are:
- Physical Evidence. This is the type of proof that a jury member can see, or physically touch if necessary. It can be a physical object, a photo or a video of evidence. Some examples of physical evidence include weapons, fingerprints, DNA samples, impressions and more.
Physical evidence is some of the most reliable evidence possible. It can back up or disprove witness testimony, link people to crime scenes and help to reconstruct a crime.
- Documentary Evidence. This type of evidence refers to documents that can be physically presented for the jury to examine. Written evidence isn’t the only type that qualifies — recordings and other mediums are also admissible.
Documentary evidence can include diaries, contracts, wills, written statements, photographs and videos. It can also include computer records, emails and text messages. If presenting this type of evidence, you must be able to show that the documents are authentic and come from a reliable source.
- Witness Testimony. This type of evidence comes from a person or people who have knowledge of the facts being presented. Testimonial evidence can be in person or written in a signed statement. Since the jury has to put their trust in the honesty of the person testifying, there are ways to regulate what makes a credible witness.
Any person who takes the stand must swear an oath or an affirmation that they will be entirely truthful. Every witness is considered competent to testify, meaning they have the mental capacity to understand, recall and describe the fact accurately. If there is reason to believe that a witness is not competent, they can be impeached. This happens through cross-examination or by presenting evidence that contradicts the witness.
- Demonstrative Evidence. This type of evidence visually supports the facts that are presented. Unlike documentary evidence, demonstrative evidence helps to clarify or explain the presented information, such as witness testimony. Examples include maps, graphs, charts, images and diagrams.
Demonstrative evidence serves other important purposes. Jurors can better retain the information they receive visually than information they only hear. It can also keep their attention and interest focused on what you are saying.
This evidence must meet three criteria to be admissible: relevancy, materiality and competency. It must make the presented facts more or less probable, directly illustrate the evidence without other inference and fit with the decorum of the court.
How Evidence Is Used
Once you’ve collected your evidence, it’s time to bring it to court. Your lawyer presents it to the judge and the jury for their consideration in an effort to prove that your case is true. The judge or jury needs to be so convinced by your evidence that there’s no room for reasonable doubt.
Private investigators are well trained in gathering this evidence while staying within the confines of the Legitimate Interests Assessment. The LIA requires evidence collection to have a legitimate purpose, necessary and unbiased. Your private investigator can gather the irrefutable proof you need through legal surveillance and public records, among other methods.
Presenting evidence is essential to winning your court case. The more credible evidence you have, the more likely you are to win in court. Hiring a licensed private investigator can help you strengthen your case by legally collecting evidence that you can’t. To learn more about how Barefoot Professional Investigations can help you, visit our resources page or contact us today.