Board-Certified Criminal Defense Representation In Central Florida

Defense strategies must account for evidence handling concerns

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Anyone who’s facing criminal charges should get started on a defense strategy as soon as they have been accused of wrongdoing. This typically requires the assistance of a legal representative who’s familiar with the specifics of the case, the laws as they apply to the matter and the precedents that will impact it.

Take, for example, Jane Dorotik. She was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for nearly two decades for the murder of her husband. Her ordeal highlights several key issues within the criminal justice system, particularly the consequences of inadequate forensic practices and the potential for investigative biases. These elements emphasize why a robust defense is essential in safeguarding individuals’ rights.

Mishandling of evidence

Dorotik’s wrongful conviction was significantly influenced by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Regional Crime Lab’s mishandling and misinterpretation of forensic evidence. The lab wasn’t accredited at the time and it lacked proper protocols for handling evidence. This resulted in critical errors, such as faulty blood analysis and inadequate DNA testing. This mismanagement led to her wrongful conviction and to a nearly two-decade-long deprivation of her freedom.

Investigative biases

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department focused its investigation on supporting a preconceived notion of her guilt rather than objectively examining all evidence. This tunnel-vision approach can lead to confirmation bias, which means evidence that could exonerate a suspect is ignored or not pursued.

It’s critical for all defendants to ensure they have robust defense representation. This entails managing a variety of concerns, including reviewing the evidence and the chain of custody for everything. A attorney must be able to spot issues with how evidence is handled or processed because these points can become central in any effective defense strategy.

If a conviction occurs that’s based on evidence that wasn’t handled or processed properly, the convicted individual may opt to pursue an appeal of their conviction. This isn’t an easy undertaking, so they must ensure they have a legal representative who can assist them with showing the court the legal errors that should be considered.