Some evidence may be subject to challenge. For example, it may:
- Be novel scientific evidence (i.e., not widely accepted by the scientific community).
- Carry a risk of unfair prejudice.
- Involve hearsay (some, but not all, of which is inadmissible).
Skilled prosecutors and defense attorneys know that the time to resolve such admissibility issues is before trial, not in a fight in front of the jury.
The mechanism used to resolve such disputes is a motion in limine. The party seeking to either ensure admission or bar use of an item of evidence will file such a motion, identifying the evidence at issue and setting forth the legal arguments governing admissibility.
Judges may decide the issue solely on the basis of motion papers submitted and any written responses from the opposing attorney after hearing oral argument from both sides. In some cases, the judge may refrain from ruling and wait to see how the trial develops and whether the challenged evidence is appropriate in light of other trial proof.
Additional Online Courses
- What Every First Responding Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Collecting DNA Evidence at Property Crime Scenes
- DNA – A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook
- Crime Scene and DNA Basics
- Laboratory Safety Programs
- DNA Amplification
- Population Genetics and Statistics
- Non-STR DNA Markers: SNPs, Y-STRs, LCN and mtDNA
- Firearms Examiner Training
- Forensic DNA Education for Law Enforcement Decisionmakers
- What Every Investigator and Evidence Technician Should Know About DNA Evidence
- Principles of Forensic DNA for Officers of the Court
- Law 101: Legal Guide for the Forensic Expert
- Laboratory Orientation and Testing of Body Fluids and Tissues
- DNA Extraction and Quantitation
- STR Data Analysis and Interpretation
- Communication Skills, Report Writing, and Courtroom Testimony
- Español for Law Enforcement
- Amplified DNA Product Separation for Forensic Analysts