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Consequences of not securing a crime scene

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, they are based upon evidence that law enforcement officers have obtained and passed onto the prosecution. The outcome of your case will largely depend upon the strength of both that evidence and any evidence you can present to counter the prosecution’s case. It is up to the prosecution to establish your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. If the strength or credibility of the evidence in your case can be challenged, then this can raise doubt over your alleged guilt.

One thing that law enforcement should have done when the charges in question occurred in a specific environment involves securing the crime scene appropriately. Why is this so important? And what are the consequences of not securing a crime scene?

Preservation of evidence

To preserve evidence accurately, it is vital that the crime scene remains essentially as it was during the commission of the alleged offense. This is particularly important where DNA evidence is concerned. The more people that have access to the scene, the more likely that existing evidence could be erased. For instance, a fingerprint or footprint could be smudged, making it difficult to identify who was actually present at the scene at the time of the alleged offense.

Potential for tampering

While the overwhelming majority of police officers adhere to the rules and would not consider tampering with evidence, this isn’t always the case. Officers may be sure that they have identified the culprit, but feel that the evidence is not strong enough. Even if there are no malicious intentions, evidence should never be tampered with, and an insecure crime scene provides a potential opportunity for this to occur.

The integrity of evidence is key to justice and a fair trial. If you have been charged and the crime scene was not secured properly, seeking legal guidance will help you to highlight this reality in court.