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Virginia Criminal Prosecution

When someone has been charged with a crime and their case has gone to trial, it is important to remember that the burden of proof is with the prosecution. Prosecution has to prove elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although the burden of conviction is with the prosecution, an experienced Virginia criminal lawyer knows that the defense must still actively fight the prosecution’s arguments every step of the way. Pushing back against the prosecution will help weaken the prosecution’s case and shine doubt on their arguments.

How the Prosecution Proves Their Case

Prosecution proves their case through direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. This may include documents, audio and video recorded evidence as well as testimony of eyewitnesses.

For cases that involve charges that requiring high-degree of technical understanding, expert witness testimony may also be part of the prosecution’s argument. The courts and judges in Virginia give expert witnesses testimony extra weight because they specialize in the type of evidence they will be speaking on in court.

Evidence Prosecution Uses in Court

The type of evidence and how it is presented depends on the type of case for which the prosecution is seeking to secure a conviction. Different types of cases require different types of evidence, and there may be different standards that apply for what is necessary to get a conviction. These are known as the elements of the offense.

For proving these elements of the offense there are certain kinds of evidence will be presented and each element must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the type of the case, including how serious it is and which objections could be available to an individual, the prosecution will use a variety of different types of evidence to attempt to secure a conviction.

The most common types of evidence presented at a criminal prosecution include direct evidence, which is testimony about the crime being committed, or circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence typically proves that the element of the offense is more likely than not met, given certain other corollaries or similar conduct.

Evidence in a Virginia DUI Case

For example, in a case for a driving under the influence prosecution, certain types of direct evidence will be presented. This may include the officer’s eyewitness testimony regarding driving behavior, his observations of the accused, and the officer’s footage of performance on Field Sobriety Tests. The officer may also testify as to statements made by the accused.

There may also be circumstantial evidence in this case. Circumstantial evidence could be the odor of alcoholic beverages or an open container inside the motor vehicle. While this does not meet the requirement of proving DUI beyond a reasonable doubt, it does show potential for consumption of alcohol while driving. The actual use of circumstantial evidence can be more or less complex depending on the type of case. Having an experienced and aggressive Virginia criminal attorney guiding the defense will be an invaluable resource against the evidence prosecution brings up in court.

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