Evidence plays a significant role in determining a jury’s judgment in court proceedings. Therefore, they prepare courtroom timelines using material gathered and then experts examine them in the criminology and law professions. Before knowing the types of evidence, first, let us see what exactly the evidence means.

So, What is the evidence? The phrase Evidence comes from the Latin words “Evident” and “evidence,” which mean to show plainly, “discover,” “ascertain,” or “prove.” Evidence is a method of proving a point. The Indian Evidence Act specifies the grounds on which one may present evidence in Court. 

It also specifies whether evidence is admissible or inadmissible in Court. Once they prove the evidence, one must address the issue of the evidentiary value of the evidence to the Court. To confirm your case in Court, you will need to submit many forms of evidence.

Evidence definition

Facts that support a hypothesis, argument, or assertion are all pieces of evidence. Crime scene investigators collect evidence from several investigation sources to establish how and why a crime happened. In addition, prosecutors and defense counsel rely on evidence to develop their clients’ innocence or guilt.

Witness

Evidence definition includes witness. A witness sees an act, a sequence of actions, or a scene. A witness is somebody who can observe a fact using their senses. A competent witness can see, hear, smell, feel, or touch an act.

A witness might be anybody. Anyone may be a witness. A witness might be a guy or female, kid or elderly. Incompetent witnesses are merely those who do not comprehend the questions and cannot respond sensibly.

Suspect

Prosecutors use the term “suspect” to describe someone they have cause to think committed a crime or series of crimes. The individual may be considered a suspect, but they may not yet have been legally charged with a crime. Even when there are no suspects in a case, law enforcement agents still need information from relevant parties.

Standards of Proof

In Evidence definition, the standard of proof is the quantity of evidence that needs to prove a claim in Court. The prosecution must establish its case and the components of the offense accused, not the defendant. The plaintiff has the burden of evidence in civil trials.

The claim defines the burden of evidence. Some proof requirements apply to events that occur before accusing a person.  

Types of Evidence

Anyone who wants to work in law enforcement, forensics, or a lawyer must be familiar with the types of evidence.

Direct Evidence

The phrase “direct evidence” refers to any evidence directly connecting a defendant to a crime.

  • Reports from eyewitnesses
  • Confessions of guilt by the accused
  • Fingerprints of a defendant on a criminal weapon
  • Video evidence of a suspect’s involvement in a crime

A jury can more easily grasp direct proof. As an example, if a jury sees a video showing a defendant confessing to a crime, it is unlikely that the defendant will be subject to any more questioning or testing. However, they may use an eyewitness account to see whether the video captures the incident exactly as it appears.

Class Evidence

Class evidence is one of the types of evidence that can be related to a group of individuals but not an individual. This evidence may help limit a suspect list. For example, combined with additional evidence, it might show that a small number of persons possessed all the qualities linked with a perpetrator’s evidence. On the other hand, individual evidence is material relating to a specific person.

This evidence may assist investigators in identifying a suspect brand or product type. One may use it to discover more about potential suspects. Class evidence may become personal evidence. For example, shoes and tires each generate distinct wear patterns. Investigators may investigate the evidence attentively to determine if there are any tell-tale indications of wear that might connect a specific individual to a crime scene.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence includes artifacts, blood spatter, DNA, and even fingerprints. While you cannot store fingerprints, they may be taken off a wall and used as tangible evidence by the jury and legal counsel. So long as the Court approves the proof, they can utilize it to support or oppose a defendant.

One must examine everything found at a crime scene to see whether it relates to the case. Then, a lab or station analyses it. The police will need to retain a record of the evidence to avoid evidence tampering, which may impair the trial’s credibility.

Testimonial Evidence

Testimony allows investigators to reconstruct a crime scene or a sequence of events. Due to the witness’s recollection or understanding being imperfect or wrong, testimony is regarded as more subjective than physical proof. Therefore, testimonial evidence is admissible without any evidence. It simply means what a credible witness confesses in Court.

To prove or disprove anything, one may deploy testimonial evidence. In addition, the prosecution or defense may call a professional witness testimony. They are experts in a specific field pertinent to the case. For example, handwriting experts can verify handwriting, whereas psychiatrists can verify mental conditions.

Oral Evidence

Oral evidence is evidence that is limited to spoken words, gestures, or movements. The witness has personally heard or seen. This implies that one must show the primary fact in the dispute directly or positively via oral testimony.

Every piece of evidence is significant in a trial, but oral evidence is becoming more critical. It was formerly not seen as harsh as a documentary, but its value and demand have overgrown in recent years. It’s becoming popular these days since it provides a concise summary of what a witness intends to say during a trial, and it’s also a lot more convenient to utilize.

Documentary Evidence

In general, the best type of proof is written documentation. Therefore obtaining e-mails, screenshots of messages, and letters should be a top priority.

Please keep all of your original papers on hand since you may need to verify that they are identical to your copies in the event of an audit. You should obtain proof that the duplicate is a genuine replica of the original if you don’t have the original. As long as the signature and date are authentic, the document will be accepted as an authentic copy of the original. It is possible to certify the following documents:

  • a passport or a driver’s license with a picture card
  • official government correspondence
  • bank or building society statements
  • utility bills
  • hospital or doctor correspondence

Circumstantial Evidence

In law, circumstantial evidence is not based on direct knowledge of the subject matter under consideration. This is direct evidence of crucial elements in murder, and also, the sole issue is whether or not the witness is speaking the truth. For example, the evidence is circumstantial if the witness can only testify that he heard the shot and arrived seconds later to find the accused standing over the dead with a gun in his hand.

Of course, one cannot use circumstantial evidence to convict. However, One can use circumstantial evidence to convict most in criminal trials, but it must be sufficient to fulfill specified requirements.

Character Evidence

Character evidence is a tricky legal issue. On the one hand, a court should determine by applying the law to the circumstances. But on the other hand, it is commonly used to explain the accused’s acts and decide the case’s outcome.

Character evidence’s admissibility and usefulness have evolved. Most importantly, character evidence is weak and cannot withstand positive proof. There are various contextual exclusions to the admission of character evidence. It is often admissible as evidence to give the accused the benefit of the doubt when the evidence alone may go either way. Character is not acceptable as evidence unless used to contradict character evidence or is a fact in dispute. The problem is the victim/prosecutrix and her character in rare cases.

Demonstrative Evidence

Physical evidence that illustrates a reality rather than a verbal statement is demonstrative. On the other hand, demonstrative evidence provides a visual element to the presentation, while genuine evidence supports the assertions made in the case.

There are many ways to present evidence, including images, video animations, graphs, infographics, charts, slideshows, sketches, computer graphics, and simulations. In addition, the demonstration of evidence has been elevated to a whole new level thanks to virtual and augmented reality software (both of which put virtual, 3-D pictures over the real-world surroundings).

Digital Evidence

Digital evidence is information that has been saved or communicated in binary form. One may find it on a computer, phone, etc. Electronic crime, or e-crime, includes child pornography and credit card fraud. It is being utilized to prosecute all crimes, not only e-crime. So, suspects’ e-mail or phone files may include crucial evidence about their purpose, location at the time of the crime, and relationships with other suspects. For example, in 2005, detectives found the BTK serial murderer who had avoided arrest since 1974 and killed at least ten people.

Law enforcement organizations integrate computer forensics into their infrastructure to combat e-crime and acquire appropriate digital evidence for all offenses. 

Forensic Evidence

Evidence gathered using scientific means such as ballistics, blood tests, and DNA tests are “forensic evidence” in legal proceedings. Forensic evidence analysis is a critical component of the investigation and prosecution in civil and criminal cases. Of all the types of evidence, Forensic evidence is often helpful in determining a suspect’s guilt or innocence. In the study of alleged connections between crimes, Forensic evidence is not new. For example, a single suspect’s DNA can link to several crimes or crime sites. Identifying and prosecuting criminal trials is more accessible by tying crimes together and narrowing down the prospective suspects.

Conclusion

The Best Evidence Rule was created to guard against fraud while still maintaining a commitment to Natural Justice. It places more emphasis on primary evidence to obtain adequate possible information. Various court rulings have helped clarify the best evidence rule’s notion and conception.

Whether civil or criminal trials, every case requires evidence to prove a fact. One can establish Dispute facts or disproven using the evidence provided by the points. The facts cited as evidence are given weight by proof. Several types of evidence may be employed to prove or disprove an existence. Even more importantly, evidence helps to shorten a case’s duration. Consequently, one may argue that the proof is similar to the logic of judicial behavior. This is all about What evidence is and the types of evidence.

The Best Evidence Rule aims to guarantee that the Court receives correct evidence. Therefore, unless the parties with the evidence can prove its accuracy, one will remove it from consideration under the Best Evidence Rule. Understandably, adhering to this guideline may seem like a chore at times. However, as a practical matter, the Best Evidence Rule is flexible enough to accommodate instances in which acquiring the actual evidence looks impossible. 

Topics #crime investigation #evidence #proof