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When might evidence be inadmissible in criminal court? 

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Theft & Property Crimes

Facing criminal charges can be an extremely worrying time. To get to this stage, both law enforcement and the prosecution must feel that they have evidence that is compelling enough to make a case. 

Typically, when a criminal case goes to trial, all evidence will be heard and the jury will come to an opinion on whether or not the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on the facts. However, not everything that law enforcement and the prosecution brings forward will be valid. 

It’s possible that evidence could be inadmissible in court, and here are a few reasons why this might be the case. 

Hearsay testimony 

In most cases, eyewitnesses are called to give testimony of what they have seen. The important phrase here is “what they have seen.” It is the direct experience of a witness that matters in criminal cases. Hearsay evidence is nearly always inadmissible in criminal courts. For instance, if a witness said, “my brother told me they committed the crime so it must be true,” then this would be hearsay evidence and prejudicial to the accused if it was permitted. 

Evidence gathered unlawfully 

The prosecution may also produce physical items as evidence. For instance, a bag of white powder, a handgun or essentially any physical object they deem relevant to the case. Nonetheless, these items must have been obtained lawfully for them to be admissible. For instance, if police officers had searched a house without permission, a valid warrant, or probable cause, and removed items, the court may not allow them to be used in the case.  

During a criminal case, it’s important that your rights are upheld. Having legal guidance behind you can ensure that this happens.