Law For The Accused

National Crime Agency - defence

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Burden of Proof - Admissibility

A person can only be guilty of a criminal offence on the evidence. The prosecution have to have evidence that is admissible or allowed by the Court to take a case against you.

The rules and laws with regard to the admissibility of evidence are strict and to be admissible evidence must be: -

- Relevant (to the charge)

- Authenticated (given by a witness who is credible)

- Fair (in the sense that the defence can apply to the Court that unfair evidence should not be admissible (section 78 of PACE 1984)).

There are specific rules relating to business records, computer evidence, hearsay evidence and if crucial evidence is found to be inadmissible or unfair, this can be fatal to the prosecution case.

The law in relation to the admissibility of evidence in motoring law cases and requires specialist motoring lawyers to deal with it.

Evidence of previous convictions can be admissible in evidence where the previous convictions shows the likelihood that a person has committed the offence presently charged. For example if a person is charged with theft from a shop, a previous conviction of assault would not be admissible or relevant.

Evidence of identification has complex rules and procedures for such evidence to be allowed in evidence. Evidence of identification is different from a person saying that he knows another person and relates to a prosecution witness identifying a defendant in a video parade (Viper)

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