Few news items garner the attention or focus that allegations of a sex crime can generate, nor the imposition of a level of negative notoriety on the accused. Unfortunately, the repercussions of the mere suspicion a person committed this type of offense are enough to turn friends, neighbors, and even family against a person. The prosecution will always try to argue they have a strong case with well-supported evidence, but not all types of evidence are available in every criminal case, and even for the evidence that does exist, there are often ways to attack its validity or relevance, thereby weakening the government’s position. Despite the depictions of criminal prosecutions on television, there is rarely a surprise that emerges during the trial, and understanding the main types of evidence an accused is likely to face can help build a stronger defense. A discussion of evidence that commonly appears in sex crime cases, and a few ways it can be attacked by the defense, will follow below.
Victim Statements/Testimony in Columbus
One of the most powerful pieces of evidence a prosecutor can present to a jury is the testimony by the victim during the trial depicting a violent and unanticipated attack that left him/her forever traumatized. However, in many cases, sex crimes are a situation of he said/she said. Thus, Columbus criminal defense attorneys will look for inconsistencies in statements the victim made to police, at deposition, or during testimony to demonstrate the story presented is not what actually happened. Further, evidence the victim had the motivation to punish or seek revenge on the defendant can also be an effective way to counter this presentation. Finally, not all victims are willing to press charges, but the state can still choose to move forward if it believes other evidence overcomes this gap. However, a defendant can use the non-cooperation of the victim to argue the state’s case is not true, otherwise the victim would have been involved in the case.
Medical Evidence in Columbus
Medical evidence in the form of hospital reports, and possibly rape kits, are also frequently introduced at trial when available. This type of evidence is used to show the victim was in fact attacked and the types of injury and trauma sustained are consistent with the victim’s version of what happened. Medical or scientific evidence may appear beyond challenge from the outside, but there are several ways the conclusions presented can be questioned. First, a certain procedure must be followed to document injuries and perform a rape kit collection. A medical expert could be used by the defense to show protocol was not followed, which calls into question the validity of any reports or testimony. Further, some rape kits will actually contradict the victim’s story and indicate little or no trauma occurred, or no DNA evidence from the accused was found. This situation can go a long way to convincing a jury to acquit a defendant.
Electronic Evidence in Columbus
Electronic evidence is a growing source of material for both the prosecution and the defense. With the constant use of cell phones to make calls, send texts/emails, and access the Internet, it is much easier to track a person’s location in today’s world. In some cases, this trackability can help the defendant by showing he/she was not in the vicinity of the alleged crime at the time it occurred. On the other hand, cell phone and location data can be manipulated by experts, and defendants may need to bring in technical experts to counter these claims. An experienced Columbus criminal law attorney will know which pieces of evidence to target, and how to limit their effect.
Call a Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal charges are overwhelming, and if you are facing this situation, reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Moffitt Law, LLC understand the consequences of a conviction and will fight to obtain the best possible outcome. Contact the Columbus criminal defense law firm at (762) 212-3846 for a free consultation.