You were charged with a serious criminal offense and the matter went before a jury trial. After both the prosecution and defense presented their arguments, the jury started their deliberations.
It is up to the jury to decide upon the factual aspects of the case, while the judge must accurately oversee the legal aspects. Unfortunately, the outcome was not as you hoped, and you were convicted of the crime.
Your conviction was based on several pieces of evidence. Should some of the key evidence have been ruled inadmissible?
Was the evidence hearsay?
While there are some exceptions, the general rule is that hearsay evidence cannot be used in a criminal case. An example of hearsay evidence is when a person testifies in court that someone told them something had happened. For instance, “someone told me they robbed the bank, so it must have happened”. For the most part, to be admissible, evidence must come directly from the experience of the person giving the testimony.
Was the evidence relevant?
In a criminal trial, what matters is what happened during the alleged offense. Factors that occurred on another occasion that were not linked to the case are irrelevant. For instance, if someone testifies that you must have committed this offense because you got excluded from high school more than a decade ago, this is completely irrelevant and shouldn’t be used against you.
Was the evidence objectively accurate?
During a trial, expert witnesses may be called to the stand to testify. For instance, a scientist may be called to give evidence about DNA found at the scene. While there are always disputes in the field of science, there is generally a consensus. If the evidence used against you goes completely against the scientific consensus in the relevant field, there is a distinct possibility that it should be ruled inadmissible.
Evidence in criminal trials must be competent and relevant. If the evidence used against you was questionable, then you may have grounds for a criminal appeal. Seeking guidance from someone with knowledge in the field will give you a better idea of your options.