Your Virginia Legal Team

Evidence and the Burden of Proof in Richmond Criminal Cases

The prosecution first must show that a violation of law occurred and then must show that all the elements of that crime took place. Prosecutors must show beyond a reasonable doubt that these violations occurred. Call a Richmond criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through your court proceedings.

How Richmond Prosecutors Prove Their Case

The prosecution must show that a violation of the law occurred and that the elements of that crime occurred.  Prosecutors must show the elements of a crime occurred, elements can be the need to show intent or showing that a serious injury occurred and/or that property was damaged and the value of that property.

The prosecution will move through the testimony of their officers to show how the charge originated and they will also use any witness testimony that’s available. In addition to that they will attempt to provide physical evidence and/or scientific evidence. Physical evidence can be photos, maps, tools of the crime like a knife or firearm. Scientific evidence can be DNA or forensic analysis of the drugs that may have been seized in an arrest.  The prosecution will present this evidence together to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the commission of the crime took place.

Refuting Evidence in Criminal Defense Cases in Richmond

A criminal defense attorney in Richmond goes about refuting the State’s evidence in a number of ways.  The surest way to challenge the state’s evidence is by cross-examination of their witnesses in an attempt to show their testimony is not reliable or that what they claim is not a violation of the law. Next you must attempt to challenge how the State obtained their evidence and how it was handled once it was obtained. These arguments revolve around constitutional and chain of custody issues. If available we would then attempt to provide our own evidence or witnesses to support our client or theory of what occurred.

The goal in refuting the State’s evidence is raising doubt in their case and/or challenging the legality of their case.

Constitutional Issues in Richmond Criminal Cases

The primary constitutional issues we see in Richmond criminal cases issues involve the Fourth and Fifth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment issues involve probable cause and searches or seizure issues.  We examine if there was there probable cause for an officer to stop and detain someone, was there probable cause for them to search a car to search a home.

If we can show there was a constitution violation a court will rule the search to be illegal and then any evidence they obtained from that search would be invalid or thrown out of court. The other issue there would be if – issues regarding the Fifth Amendment regarding statements, against self-incrimination.  We look to see if someone was advised of their right to counsel, was someone pressured into giving a statement for the police, and was that a voluntary statement.

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