If you’ve been accused of committing a crime in Colorado, you may benefit from learning more about the types of evidence that can be collected. Evidence is used to help with investigating, solving and prosecuting criminal activity because it helps establish facts and prove what is true or not true in court. To be admissible in court, the evidence must be authentic, relevant, valuable to the deliberation and not highly prejudicial.
Evidence at the scene
Real or physical evidence describes tangible, material items that can be touched and inspected from the scene of the alleged crime. This evidence may be fragile or transient evidence, which includes biological evidence left behind, like fingerprints, or trace elements left behind like foot impressions and residue. The physical evidence may also be more tangible items like weapons, tool marks, drugs, devices or discarded ammunition, among others.
Evidence in court
In criminal law court, evidence presented by the prosecution and defense is either direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence describes items standing alone as proof of a fact, directly linking a crime to the accused without inference. Direct evidence may be a weapon, confession or eyewitness account of a crime. Circumstantial evidence describes items that suggest facts through inference or implication, including physical evidence or witness testimony suggesting a link or connection to criminal activity.
Collecting evidence for trial
Demonstrative evidence describes items used in a trial to illustrate witness testimony, diagrams of the crime scene or charts illustrating a financial or physical injury. Documentary evidence describes items that may include contracts, diaries or other authentic documents related to the criminal charges. The evidence collected may be from a digital, audio or video format that is authentic.
Evidence collected for trial may be used to either convict or exonerate the accused. The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, so both sides rely on producing compelling evidence for the judge and jury.