When Florida residents are arrested and face criminal charges, their immediate thoughts will go to how the arrest will impact their lives. For some, family relationships will be strained. For others, they could lose their job. An arrest – even without a conviction – can have a significant impact on a person’s life. However, in processing the arrest and the consequences, Florida residents will need to begin planning a criminal defense strategy.
As part of the process, Florida residents will need to think about the evidence that can be used in the case, specifically if the case goes to trial. There are four main forms of evidence: testimonial, real, demonstrative and documentary evidence.
Testimonial evidence is evidence that is presented in the form of witness testimony. Basically, this evidence is a witness’ oral account of what happened during the incident that forms the basis of the criminal charges. Real evidence is actual, physical items, such as a weapon, a computer or a bag of illegal drugs, for example. Demonstrative evidence is evidence that is drafted by the attorney – either defense or prosecution – that is used to help illustrate the case for the jury. This type of evidence typically includes photos, diagrams or illustrations. Lastly, documentary evidence is evidence in the form of documents, such as financial reports, police reports or signed confessions.
However, it is important to remember that despite all of the different forms of evidence that might be used in a criminal trial, the baseline is that the evidence must be relevant to the case at hand.