Police Lose Evidence

Can you prove it? Police lose evidence from time to time.

There’s a saying I often use as experienced criminal defense lawyer, “It doesn’t matter what they think.  It only matters what they can prove.”  Under normal circumstances, proving allegations of criminal activity and/or criminal charges usually involves evidence.  However, what happens when the police lose evidence they plan to use against you?

In a recent news story by WDRB, they reported that a person charged multiple times, on multiple charges, may get probation instead of jail.

One of the charges involved dealt with the possession of a gun by a convicted felon.  Again, normally this is a very serious crime.  The same defendant was also previously involved in a fatal DUI crash.   However, the firearm to be used as evidence was lost.  It turns out LMPD actually mislabeled the evidence and it was later sold.  In full disclosure, this person was not my client.

Strangely enough, the police lose evidence from time to time.  As a defense lawyer, that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  Remember what I said earlier, “It only matters what they can prove.”  Without the evidence, the charges quickly become allegations.  Those don’t amount to much in a court of law.

The law protects citizens and our rights.  As part of that protection, there are strict rules of evidence (what can or cannot be admitted), as well as protocols for the chain of evidence. This refers to how the items were collected, transferred from the scene to the police department and eventually stored.

In my cases, details matter.  Imagine dates that appear to have been changed. Signatures that don’t match.  Evidence that wasn’t reported, but suddenly becomes available.  And even items that simply disappear because when the police lose evidence.  These details can help to present an effective defense which may result in favorable outcomes for my clients.

I’m an aggressive attorney, because that’s what it takes to defend clients against the full force of prosecutors and the resources they have at their disposal.  But even I have to admit, when the police lose evidence and have to fold, I’ll be happy to rake in the chips earned on behalf of justice.  Rules are rules.