Questions tagged [evidence]

For questions concerning evidence - including the handling of evidence, rejection or admittance of evidence in a court of law, and serving evidence in civil matters.

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50
votes
4answers
18k views

A man killed my son and married one of the witnesses. Can the witness's statements still be used in court against him?

In Florida a career felon, who is a complete stranger to my son, killed my son. He is being prosecuted for this crime in a state court in Florida. There are two witnesses. One of them is the the ...
17
votes
2answers
9k views

No evidence is required for an indictment by a grand jury?

I just read the indictment of Christopher Collins, a congressman, for relaying insider information on a company with publicly traded stock, and for "lying" to a federal agent, ie for denying he ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Are unaudited server logs admissible in a court of law?

Are internal server logs produced by a firm that has no standards compliance certification and does not conduct any third party audits admissible as evidence? If not, what certification is generally ...
15
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2answers
111k views

UK: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting or a phone call? Is it possible to use such recording in court?

In the United Kingdom: Is it legal to secretly audio record a meeting (in an office) or a phone call while being a participant? Is it possible to use such recording as an evidence in court or ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a covert recording be used as evidence in UK civil court?

I have a court case against my landlord for disrepair. At the end of last year I had enough of waiting for him to respond to all the issues we have in the property, and I've sent him a letter of claim....
13
votes
2answers
4k views

What if police find a dead body during an illegal search?

Suppose police conduct an illegal search of a residence (no warrant, no consent, no probable cause) and find a dead body. There is plenty of evidence in plain sight that it was a murder and also ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

Does killing witnesses before trial suppress them?

If a witness is killed, or dies, before formally testifying at a criminal trial in what manner, if any, can his relevant statements be admitted or used against a defendant? For example, if sworn ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Self incrimination vs. obstruction of justice / destruction of evidence

Suppose a police officer has probable cause to arrest me based on evidence in plain sight. He wants to initiate a search pursuant to arrest. Before the officer can detain me, I put the (alleged) ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Are there penalties for withholding self-exculpatory evidence during a trial?

Suppose a person is put on trial for a crime, but he has video evidence showing his innocence. Out of malice or spite of a personal nature towards his accuser, he allows the trial to proceed, and ...
8
votes
6answers
702 views

Can a lawyer subject the court to a (temporarily) ruse for a legitimate purpose?

This question is about the legality of a possible defence tactic that might be used in a criminal trial. It is a variation on things you see in lawyer movies fairly commonly. Suppose that a criminal ...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

What remedies are there if it was subsequently discovered that a witness lied at trial?

Suppose this is a tort case (my understanding is unlike a criminal case there is no double jeopardy in tort cases), where a plaintiff was suing a defendant for a lot of money in a tort. A witness ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are jurors instructed to not be influenced by the emotions of the witnesses?

The 61 year old witness for the prosecution of the Floyd case broke down and cried uncontrollably. Does the judge give instructions to the jurors that they cannot allow the emotions of the witnesses ...
7
votes
3answers
657 views

If police collected evidence based off of a call they suspected, but couldn't prove, was fraudulant would the evidence be upheld?

I'm asking this hypothetical situation mostly as I was considering writing a story with the premise and want the story to be legally accurate, but also because I'm frankly curious how the law would ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it illegal for police officers to delete video evidence of an arrest?

With how common smartphones are these days, many people film encounters with police officers as evidence in case things go wrong. In stories that make the news, occasionally police dashcam videos show ...
6
votes
1answer
985 views

Are there “rape shield” laws in the UK?

This question is prompted by the BBC program "Is This Rape?" which is currently on iPlayer. The program contains a story of a fictional sexual assault, which goes to court (starts in the program at ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Secretly recorded audio to meeting with landlord and now starting a dispute against him. Can I submit it as evidence?

My ex-landlord preferred to communicate by in person meetings. I began covertly recording our meetings with the microphone on my phone. Only the audio was recorded, not the video. My ex-landlord was ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Offering money to potential witnesses in criminal proceedings

A friend of mine was involved in a confrontation with a police officer in the UK, in which the officer basically accused him of assault. While the officer was arresting him, a bystander shouted ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Can I have my personal information redacted from evidence in a case that doesn't directly involve me?

There is a case in the United States that has made its way through a city's municipal court, the district court, and is now going to be in the state's supreme court (Pennsylvania). I live in a ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

How do you collect evidence to sue for robocalling?

What's the best way to collect evidence to be prepared to sue for robocalling like in King v Time Warner Cable, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-02018 (conclusion in html / ...
5
votes
2answers
981 views

What does it mean when a court case is “dismissed”?

I've heard a number of conspiracy theorists say that court cases related to 2020 election fraud were "dismissed without looking at the evidence". According to wikipedia there have been 55 ...
5
votes
6answers
432 views

Are editable word documents ('.docx' files) accepted in court as evidence?

I keep most of my business documents in Microsoft Words (.docx) file format. Problem is these documents can be edited and tampered with. For my signatures, I just copy and paste a signature image onto ...
5
votes
3answers
441 views

Acknowledgement of guilt

Theoretical question: What happens if you come to police and report your own crime that happened some time ago, but the police can't find any evidence it happened. Let's say you come and say you ...
5
votes
1answer
455 views

What if a juror admits to having disregarded a judge's faulty instructions?

There are a number of situations where this could arise, but I'll use the one that I'm most familiar with: the Frank Quattrone (mis)trial. Frank Quattrone was an investment banker who was charged and ...
5
votes
1answer
262 views

Admissibility of evidence seized from wrong property on lawful warrant (USA)

Suppose the Police obtain a warrant to search Alice's house for smuggled diamonds (something really tiny). When they arrive, they knock on Bob's door instead of Alice's. It's a common mistake to make, ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Must the State compensate individuals from whom property is seized as evidence?

Pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement officers routinely obtain warrants under a "probable cause" standard to seize items that may contain evidence of a crime. This is a taking of private ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Is following the flow of traffic a valid speeding defence in Texas?

As per the summary at http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/laws.html, Texas is one of the three states where there are no absolute speed limits -- a speed in excess of a posted limit is prima facie evidence that ...
5
votes
1answer
349 views

What's the point of prohibiting leading questions when unfavorable answers can result in witness being declared hostile?

From what I understand, during direct examination: It is assumed that the witness you called is favorable to your case, so you cannot ask them leading questions (in order to avoid coaxing them into ...
5
votes
1answer
460 views

How can testimony not be hearsay

The first defining condition for hearsay under Federal Rules of Evidence 801(c)(1) is that it is a statement which the declarant does not make while testifying at the current trial or hearing. As I ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

How does a police officer / the state prove a particular breathalyzer reading was taken?

If a police officer takes a breathalyzer reading of someone, what kind of record proves to a court what the reading was? General US information and/or info about California are both appreciated.
5
votes
1answer
377 views

Is it a criminal offense for a defendent to introduce inadmissable evidence in a criminal case?

Consider a criminal trial by jury. If the defendant attempts to introduce inadmissible evidence, is there any penalty preventing them from doing so? For example, under Rape Shield laws, an accuser's ...
5
votes
0answers
453 views

Usage-Based Insurance Devices (Like Progressive's Snapshot) - Evidence of Liability and Public Policy

In the United States, the biggest auto insurance carriers such as Progressive, Allstate and State Farm, have all begun offering optional potential policy discounts if the covered driver agrees to ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

How to gather Compelling Evidence to prove that business is fraudulent?

My friend's small business agreed to a one-month risk-free trial service from one Credit Card Processor company. However, she did not like the service, because it did not live up to verbal promises ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Text message legally binding?

I owed my landlord from a small claims case. I was making payment towards the debt until I lost my business. Recently I contacted her to negotiate the pending debt. She sent me a text responding ...
4
votes
3answers
79 views

Does video evidence need to be attested to by a human?

If video filmed by (say) a smartphone is used as evidence, does the person who filmed it have to submit an affidavit saying "I filmed that at location X at time Y"? Or can the video be used ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How long can the police hold a car that they're using for evidence?

My friend is going through the following in California: She purchased a car roughly three years ago and uses it for everyday tasks. The police towed her car and told her that it was possibly used in ...
4
votes
2answers
464 views

How is authenticity of a given evidence determined?

I was reading this question on security SE. The title of the question is: "What are legal/ethical concerns to bear in mind, when hacking websites with open invitations?" This answer suggests to "log ...
4
votes
2answers
398 views

Is it legal to record TSA agents?

Flying through security checkpoints in the US, I have seen and experienced passengers getting chewed out for choosing opt-out pat-down screening, with agents being extremely annoyed about the extra ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

When does an attorney have to “voluntarily” disclose information to the other side?

My understanding is that in criminal cases, the prosecution must disclose exculpatory evidence that they have come across, to the defense. Is there a similar rule in civil cases? Suppose someone who ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Is this hearsay?

In this situation, the attorney is attempting to find out on direct exam. whether the witness had a conversation with the defendant, who is being sued for securities fraud, about business matters: ...
3
votes
2answers
383 views

Why does double jeopardy apply even when the acquittal was due to insufficiency of evidence?

In the United States, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. constitution has been held to prohibit retrying a person for a crime they were previously acquitted of, even if the acquittal was merely ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is an offer of a discount an acknowledgement of guilt of negligence and misconduct?

I have the following excerpt: I have looked at the bills related to the service calls and can offer discount. This party is being sued for negligence and misconduct in providing services. However, ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What is the history of rules requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence?

I was surprised to discover that Brady v. Maryland was decided as recently as 1963. Not knowing enough about the context in which it was decided, I am having trouble understanding exactly what ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Flashbangs versus destruction of evidence

If setting fire to a crime scene would be considered destruction of evidence and spray painting a crime scene would be considered destruction of evidence why is the use of flashbangs not considered ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Was the EncroChat Hack Legal? If not, is there a legal mechanism which could allow the evidence to be used?

Disclaimer: I am aware there are a lot nuances within law, particularly within each country, as such this question only concerns the wider EU law and UK law as these are the courts I am interested in ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Can someone get married for the sole purpose of invoking spousal immunity?

Edit: the question wasn't worded as well as it could be. I should clarify that I'm aware sham marriages are illegal. For the purposes of this question, let's assume law enforcement doesn't realize or ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Are you required to act to preserve evidence that will otherwise be destroyed?

Deliberate destruction of evidence is a crime in most jurisdictions. However, consider the following scenarios: Log files that could be used as evidence are periodically deleted unless you act. On ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

What if someone's testimonial account changes and contradicts itself?

I am curious to know what happens if someone gives testimony in Court 2 times, and there are contradictions or discrepancies between the two statements. As an example, how might the following two ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

How to notify a corporation to not destroy any evidence because a legal case may be filed?

What is the procedure to notify a corporation to not destroy any evidence because a civil legal complaint will likely be filed? Criminal complaints may also be pending, but that will be up to the ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

How do plaintiffs get emails relating to companies they are suing?

For example in the case of IBM getting sued over age discrimination, the plaintiff somehow got emails showing that upper management instructed his director manager not to transfer him but to fire him. ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Historical Patterns as Evidence

Imagine a person who suspects a government agency or corporation is lying, embezzling money, etc. Obviously, you would want to find direct evidence linking this individual to the alleged crime. ...