Criminal Defense: Reviewing and Organizing Physical Evidence


Physical evidence is crucial in any investigation and trial. Sometimes the body of physical evidence can be overwhelming, making it difficult to understand, organize and analyze. Carefully sifting through physical evidence and properly studying its validity, can help determine the most relevant and pertinent information.

Physical evidence is crucial in any investigation and trial. Sometimes the body of physical evidence can be overwhelming, making it difficult to understand, organize and analyze. Carefully sifting through physical evidence and properly studying its validity, can help determine the most relevant and pertinent information.

Start by compiling a list of all physical evidence listed in each report relating to the case. Once a complete list of known evidence has been compiled, it should be compared to the list prepared by the prosecution. The two lists should be identical. If the prosecution has more evidence or different evidence listed, this discrepancy must be remedied.

All evidence should be inspected in person prior to the start of the trial. All physical evidence should be accounted for in person. The physical evidence should be compared to any related information from both the prosecution and defense. While reviewing the physical evidence in person, also be on the lookout for any new and/or unreported evidence. Take note of any new and/or unreported evidence and investigate it accordingly. Physical evidence should be reviewed in person periodically leading up to the start of the trial, to ensure it remains present and consistent with the evidence list. The week before a trial, all evidence should be reviewed in person one last time.

If there are any lab reports relating to the investigation, those should also be taken into account and investigated. All lab reports and their results should be thoroughly reviewed and studied. Standard lab tests and testing procedures should also be reviewed and studied. All standard tests should also be performed for the investigation. If a standard test is not performed, an explanation should be provided. The battery of tests performed for the investigation should comply with all standard operating procedures. Claims made by the prosecution relating to the lab reports and results should also be verified to prevent any deviation or misrepresentation of the information.

The scene of the incident should also be viewed and reviewed in person. The description from the police report of the location should be compared with the actual physical location. The description should align with the actual physical location. Any discrepancies should be noted and further investigated. Walk through the incident as the report claims it occurred, again ensuring that there are no inconsistencies or irregularities. Any apparent deviations from the report should be noted and further investigated. Any statements made by witnesses regarding the physical aspects of the scene should also be vetted for plausibility. The police reports should also be examined for the absence of information from the scene. Look for any information that is missing but should be included. Finally, determine that all potentially overlooked regular bystanders were investigated and interviewed, including the postal worker, delivery person, bus driver, newspaper delivery person and any other person with a regular recurring presence that may have witnessed something of interest relating to the investigation.

All information relating to physical evidence should be well reviewed and organized. All physical evidence should also be reviewed in person, including the scene of the incident. During this physical review, a critical eye should be applied looking for unreported, incomplete or inaccurate information in any of the related reports. All discrepancies should be documented and thoroughly investigated.

Pennington & Associates ltd. provides criminal defense investigation services. Private investigators are available for immediate service in Ohio throughout the cities of Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, Jackson, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus, and surrounding areas. Service is immediately available in West Virginia throughout the cities of Huntington, Charleston, and surrounding areas.
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