Evidence in Ocean City Criminal Prosecutions
If you or someone you know has been charged with committing a criminal offense in Ocean City, Maryland the following is what you should know about what needs to be proven in court and what kind of evidence is typically presented in criminal cases.
To discuss your case and what types of evidence will likely be present in the criminal proceedings in your case call and schedule a free consultation with an Ocean City criminal lawyer today.
What Needs To Be Proven in An Ocean City Criminal Case
A prosecutor has to prove two things:
- That a crime occurred
- That the defendant is the person who committed the crime
The burden of proof in a criminal case is the highest burdens in the court system– proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Most crimes require multiple elements to be proven and therefore the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt every single element of the crime.
Evidence Used to Prove A Crime Occurred
The prosecution is going to rely on the police to prove their case because police officers are the ones who typically conduct the investigation. This investigation usually involves the collection of physical evidence which police will seize and keep in their custody until that evidence is needed in court.
In addition to the actual physical evidence, the court is going to rely on police officers to find the relevant witnesses. Police will often interview those witnesses and this will help a prosecution determine who to call at trial to prove their case.
Where The Evidence is Presented
They have to prove their case in court to a fact finder, whether that is a jury or whether that it is a judge, regardless they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed these offenses. So at trial they’re going to have to call fact witnesses, who are sometimes eye witnesses who actually saw the incident occur. The prosecution will have to prepare those witnesses to testify, and have to figure out what physical evidence they might need to introduce as an exhibit.
Sometimes the prosecution will also have to figure out if an expert is needed in order for a jury to understand what happened. For example in a homicide case, typically the state is going to have to rely on their expert from the medical examiner’s office or somebody from the medical examiner’s office who performed an autopsy because they’re going to have to prove what killed the person. That testimony would have to come from the coroner who did the autopsy. There are experts for everything from identifying if a substance is an illegal drug, all the way to forensic experts to discuss trends like accounting for example and being able to show if money was stolen. So they have to prepare their case and figure out what evidence they’re going to need to present in court in order to convict the defendant.