In any criminal trial, evidence is key. Whether the prosecution or the defense has more compelling evidence can mean the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict. In domestic battery cases, this is especially true, as the consequences of a conviction can be severe. In some cases, it may be possible for an attorney to get evidence thrown out of court so it cannot be used against their client. However, there is never any guarantee that this will happen. Here’s what you need to know about how evidence can be thrown out in domestic battery trials.
Can Lawyers Get Evidence Thrown Out at Domestic Battery Trials?
Sometimes it’s possible for attorneys to get evidence thrown out of domestic battery trials – but only under certain circumstances. Here are a few:
The evidence is incomplete.
The evidence has been contaminated.
The evidence was collected unlawfully.
The evidence is presented by way of testimony from someone incompetent or who doesn’t have personal knowledge about it.
Here’s a closer look at each – but remember, it’s up to the judge whether evidence can be thrown out.
#1. The Evidence is Incomplete
In order for evidence to be admissible in court, it must be complete. This means that all relevant information must be included. If there are gaps in the evidence, it may be possible to get it thrown out.
For example, if the prosecution has a recording of an argument between the defendant and victim. However, the recording only captures the last few seconds of the argument. The jury would not be able to hear everything that was said leading up to the recording, so they would not have all the information they need to make a decision. In this case, the defense attorney could argue that the evidence is incomplete and ask that it be thrown out.
#2. The Evidence Has Been Contaminated
Evidence can also be thrown out if it has been contaminated. This can happen if the evidence has been tampered with or if it’s not properly preserved.
For example, if the police collect a bloody knife from the scene of a domestic battery incident. However, they don’t properly preserve the knife and it begins to rust. The defense could argue that the evidence has been contaminated and ask that it be thrown out.
#3. The Evidence was Collected Unlawfully
In some cases, evidence may be collected unlawfully. This can happen if the police illegally search a person’s home or in some other, limited circumstances. If the evidence was collected unlawfully, the defense can ask that it be thrown out.
#4. The Evidence is Presented by Way of Testimony from Someone Incompetent or Who Doesn’t Have Personal Knowledge About the Incident
In many cases, evidence can be thrown out if it’s presented by way of testimony from someone who is incompetent or doesn’t have personal knowledge about it.
For example, if the prosecution calls a witness to testify about an argument they saw between the defendant and victim. However, the witness only saw the argument from a distance and didn’t hear what was said. The defense could argue that the witness doesn’t have enough knowledge to testify and ask that their testimony be thrown out.
Remember, it’s up to the judge to decide whether or not evidence can be thrown out. If you’re facing domestic battery charges, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Domestic Battery Defense?
If you need to talk to a domestic battery defense attorney in Illinois, we’re here to help. Call us at 847-920-4540 now – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and talk to you about your options.