We’ve all heard the phrase, “Just the facts, ma’am.” What you might not know is that not all facts are admissible in court. Prosecutors and defenders need to know which facts are allowed as evidence in a case, and we spend quite a bit of time learning about the subject.
If you are facing trial, you might suddenly feel like you’re under a microscope. Will prosecutors dig up a scandal to assassinate your character in front of the jury? Can your estranged ex get on the stand to testify about that time you forgot your anniversary? On the other hand, can you get on the stand and explain to the jury that you spend a lot of time fighting hunger and homelessness, in order to prove you’re a good person who would never commit a crime?
Facts Need to Be Relevant To The Case
Sometimes, less is more. Focusing on the relevant facts of your case that demonstrate reasonable doubt is our first priority. The fact that you were miles away from the scene of the crime at the time it was committed holds far more weight than biographical facts about yourself. Giving the jury the old razzle dazzle is for Broadway shows and legal dramas. In real life, we want to stick to the facts that matter most to defending your constitutional rights. If the prosecution veers away from relevance, the judge can deem those facts inadmissible.
Throwing Out Illegal Evidence
Other inadmissible evidence includes information that was obtained illegally (through violating wiretapping laws, for example). If police illegally collect evidence, we can move to have it thrown out.
Additionally, prejudicial evidence is considered inadmissible. That means you can only be tried for the charges you’re presently facing. It’s true that a second DUI offense carries harsher sentencing, but your first DUI holds no bearing on whether or not you are guilty of the second one. The judge and jury need to look at the evidence for the second DUI as an isolated event, the same way they considered evidence for the first one.
Rules of evidence vary in different jurisdictions. Your attorney can help you present your case strategically. Call today to find out how Steve Garcia can help sort out the facts to defend you from criminal conviction.