The Do’s and Don’ts of Handling Evidence

July 28, 2020 Natalie Dunlap

Evidence is the key to every legal matter. No matter the type of case, criminal or civil, any item can count as evidence—which is why preserving and protecting it will always be important.

Evidence integrity is crucial, and any loss or damage can make it inadmissible in court. It is for this reason that evidence management solutions have become widely used, to assure that nothing slips through the cracks due to the mishandling of evidence.

To help you in your evidence collection and handling, here are some do’s and don’ts of handling evidence:

Do: Consult an Expert When Handling New Types of Evidence

Although you might have the skill set necessary to collect most forms of evidence, when confronted with collecting evidence materials that you are unfamiliar with, consulting an expert is your best option. An experienced field professional will have the knowledge to approach your unique situation in accordance with the legal standard. This, in turn, will provide the best results when presented in court—allowing a better defense when faced with legal scrutiny.

Don’t: Self-Collect Digital Evidence

Data collection may seem quite easy to do, especially given the number of devices and tools available for use today. A tech-savvy person may be able to handle some basic data collection practices alone if need be, which can prove useful on a general basis. However, problems can quickly arise when attempting to self-collect digital evidence. If not handled properly, the data can become corrupted, thus undermining the whole point of data collection in the process.

Don’t: Alter or Destroy Evidence Prematurely

Evidence can take up large amounts of space. At some point, it can even fill up entire storage areas, creating a logistical nightmare. Despite this, however, it’s important to assure the integrity and safe storage of evidence at all times.

This would mean that evidence should not be altered or destroyed—especially when it’s connected to a legal case. Although some may even consider making alterations to evidence to reduce its size, any change could potentially damage the evidence enough to make it inadmissible in court.

Do: Use an Evidence Management System

To help with the management of large amounts of evidence, one way is to utilize evidence management software. An evidence management solution can help you keep track of every single piece of evidence in storage. This will help you keep evidence easily-accessible, while still ensuring that everything remains protected and accounted for.

Time to Handle Evidence the Right Way!

Evidence collection and management is a crucial component of any legal case. Through proper storage and utilization of evidence management solutions, ensuring the integrity of your evidence won’t be an issue—especially when it’s being used in court.

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