Primary Forms of Evidence in Criminal Cases

working on a case

When faced with a criminal case, different things will determine whether you get a conviction or an acquittal. The primary one is the lawyer you hire to handle your situation. Most people do not pick the best lawyer in their locality because they assume that it calls for a substantial financial investment. However, you should spare no expense in your legal fees to get an acquittal in your case.

Hiring a criminal attorney is also not expensive in Provo nowadays as it was in the past. Thus, the cost should not hinder you from getting the best legal representation. One of the things that a reputable lawyer will help you handle is the evidence for your case. Not all forms of evidence are admissible in court, and different state laws govern what forms of evidence the courts will accept. Here are the primary categories of evidence allowed across all states for criminal cases:


These come from witnesses who make statements. Testimonies can be written or spoken under oath. More often than not, the inferences and opinions in declarations are limited to expert witnesses. However, the prosecutor in your case will employ all tactics to intimidate or wash down your expert witness’s testimony. Your attorney will sufficiently prepare him/her for this.

Documentary Evidence

This is presented in the form of videos, photographs, papers, and audio in court proceedings. In some cases, some kinds of documentary evidence are essentially physical evidence. A letter with blood, for instance, will be entered as physical evidence even if the blood is the primary point of focus for your case.

Detectives working in a private agency and conducting an investigation

Exculpatory Evidence

This form of proof is designed to clear a defendant’s guilt in a trial. Prosecutors and the police should disclose all types of exculpatory evidence that might help your case. If they do not, your lawyer can move to have the hearing dismissed based on the withholding of this form of proof. If for example you are on trial for murder, but one of the people interviewed by the police implicates someone else, this witness’ testimony is your case’s exculpatory evidence.

Scientific Evidence

This is sometimes referred to as forensic evidence. It includes fiber or hair evidence, DNA, fingerprint IDs, and ballistics. Scientific evidence requires expert interpretation and is hence generally used in conjunction with testimonies. If your case includes scientific evidence, you might need to dig deeper into your finances to facilitate the expert work required to handle it. Most states also have separate rules on the forms of scientific evidence that are applicable in their courts and their impact on the criminal case.

Most people facing minor criminal charges assume that they can effectively present and handle the evidence that exonerates them in court. Submitting the given forms of evidence to help your case is not straightforward. There are several legal hurdles involved before the court accepts your proof. Evidence has a powerful impact on your case’s outcome, but a small mistake in its presentation can turn this evidence against you and break it.