Scientific evidence is often a major part of a prosecutor’s case. Eyewitnesses can be unreliable, so forensic science can seem more credible to many jurors. If a prosecutor wants to directly connect you to a specific crime scene or to a particular incident, they will use whatever means possible to do so. Tiny details that seem insignificant can end up becoming the cornerstone of the state’s forensic case against you.
As a result, your criminal defense strategy will almost certainly involve specifically countering the evidence that the prosecution uses to build its case. Specific forms of forensic evidence don’t actually hold up to scrutiny during a criminal trial, so learning about them might help you plan a more effective defense strategy. These are a few of the kinds of junk science that might be used by the state and have the potential to be successfully refuted.
1. Roadside drug testing
There have been many cases wherein people have undergone roadside drug testing, only to return false positives. Saliva tests sometimes used by law enforcement frequently return false positive results. In fact, even field alcohol breath testing is frequently unreliable and can return false positives.
2. Blood spatter analysis
Given that there was a popular TV show not long ago that focused largely on the use of blood spatter analysis in criminal proceedings, many people put unwarranted trust in such evidence. However, there are many questions about how accurate such analysis truly is.
Especially when it is the linchpin of the prosecution’s case, it may be possible to attack the entire concept of blood spatter analysis to raise questions about someone’s involvement in an incident.
3. 911 call analysis
For many years, police officers and other law enforcement agents have employed a questionable series of guidelines to review how someone speaks during a 911 call reporting a crime to determine if they committed a crime.
Often, pauses, changes in tone and other minor issues, like someone stumbling over a word, can lead to otherwise unsupported claims about their true intentions. While there have consistently been questions raised about the value of 911 call analysis, prosecutors continue to use it in cases where the person they accuse was also the person who discovered a crime scene.
Understanding the junk science commonly used by prosecutors can help someone avoid a conviction when accused of a criminal offense. If you’re facing charges, it’s time to learn more about your defense strategy options accordingly.