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Contesting witnesses and evidence can be difficult in a trial

On Behalf of | May 5, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Contesting evidence can be a precursor to obtaining a not guilty verdict when criminal cases go to trial in Virginia. Even when criminal defense lawyers have discussed the case with the prosecutor and there is questionable evidence, the jury makes the final determination, and many times the prosecution has the advantage in a trial court. The same issue exists in practically every court in the United States, even so much that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case involving just such a due process problem for those being accused of a crime that they may well have not committed.

Minimal constitutional right

Being accused of a crime is a very serious problem for a defendant. While the state is the party that brings the charges, there are times when the charges are based upon tips from a witness or an individual holding a grudge against the defendant. The problem is that prosecutors have significant power to protect some witnesses in certain cases, which means the defendant or their criminal defense attorneys do not have ample access to cross-examine either the primary witnesses or arresting officers. Ensuring this opportunity is vital to be exonerated, and the court is clearly at an advantage.

The confrontation clause is vital to reasonable doubt

Even when the court can dodge the right to cross-examine a witness or direct accuser, the opportunity to question the primary witnesses on the stand is crucial to reach true justice in any case. Officers can testify as to their observations, but individual witnesses are where charges begin. The confrontation clause that is found in the Sixth Amendment is a fundamental right in criminal law.

Criminal charges are commonly filed on original testimony from individuals who may change their mind when all of the evidence is evaluated for validity and admissibility. Just because someone offers testimony does not mean it is true. Always enforce your personal right to confront accusers when a criminal conviction is a possible outcome.

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