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Chain of Custody Explained by a Defense Attorney

When examining a piece of evidence, especially forensic evidence, the chain of custody is vital to ensuring its integrity. Whether it’s a rape case, murder case, or other serious charge, blood or bodily fluids might be introduced as a key piece of evidence against the accused. If it has been tampered with or otherwise altered, it can result in a piece of evidence being thrown out. A defense attorney will examine the evidence against you and make sure police followed the proper chain of custody protocol. If not, they may be able to question the accuracy of results obtained from it.

An example might be a piece of blood evidence found at the scene of crime. When it is collected, it needs to properly labeled by the investigating officer. When it is taken to the crime lab for testing, it needs to be signed over to a worker who is responsible for it and responsible for its storage. At every point, this evidence should be accounted for.

If, for some reason, blood is not refrigerated or there is a gap in the custody of this evidence, it is possible to raise reasonable doubt about the accuracy of testing. During this gap, it might be possible that the blood had been tampered with, had spoiled, or yields inaccurate results. If so, a defense attorney will argue that the evidence, and any results from it, should be tossed out before it can prejudice a jury. If this occurs, it may ultimately result in charges being dropped or substantially reduced.

At Kroll & Johnson, we will closely examine the chain of custody for any problems. If problems are found, we will aggressively fight to have the evidence thrown out. We will do everything possible to achieve the best results for your particular charges. To speak with a defense attorney about your arrest, contact Kroll & Johnson today for a free consultation.

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