Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

2 reasons that evidence may not lead to a criminal conviction

Those accused of criminal acts in New Jersey all too often let the state intimidate them into making mistakes in how they respond to their charges. Quite a few people plead guilty despite never admitting that they broke the law.

When police officers or prosecutors inform defendants that there is some kind of compelling evidence connecting them to criminal activity, defendants frequently panic. Even those who know that they did not break the law may start contemplating a guilty plea in the hopes of avoiding the worst charges or criminal penalties possible. Despite that sense of panic people often feel when they hear that the state has evidence against them, it is often possible to successfully defend against criminal charges, even when there is seemingly airtight evidence. How can those accused of breaking New Jersey law potentially avoid a conviction despite state evidence?

They keep evidence out of court

There are many restrictions on how police officers conduct themselves when interrogating individuals or searching private property. Violations of an individual’s rights and of the law can have implications for any evidence collected by police officers. In scenarios where defense attorneys can show that police officers violated someone’s rights or broke the law, they may be able to convince the courts to keep that evidence out of their client’s criminal trial.

They change the story that the evidence tells

Prosecutors can’t just present genetic tests to a jury and demand that they convict an individual. They have to show how that evidence connects someone to criminal activity. Defendants and their attorneys have a right to discovery allows them to review and plan for the state’s case.

Some defendants decide to bring in expert witnesses who can create an alternative narrative using the same evidence that the state believes shows that the defendant broke the law. By proving that there is more than one way to interpret the evidence or by showing that there may have been mistakes made by the police or the prosecutor, expert witnesses can raise a reasonable doubt that may prevent the courts from convicting the defendant.

Recognizing that evidence doesn’t always lead to a criminal conviction may help people feel more confident about fighting back against their pending criminal charges.

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