The straight answer is “no”. You cannot be charged and eventually convicted if there are no evidence against you. If you happen to be arrested, detained, and charged then there is most likely a probable cause or a physical evidence that points towards you.
Charges do not just happen out of the blue or because police officers want to oppress you. There are evidences against you—you just do not happen to realize what they are.
The Nevada Revised Statutes or NRS had provided ground rules for evidences written on its 48th chapter. It states that relevant evidence is admissible except when it produces unfair prejudice and causes confusion. Evidence is important and it should be relevant and worthy of time and as someone charged, you will need to determine what they are in order for you to know how to fight it.
Read below to find out why it is impossible that a person can be charged without evidence.
What is an evidence?
Evidence is information that supports a claim, provides proof, and establishes a conclusion to a matter. In law, evidence are used to incriminate defendants or to bring closure to cases. Evidence should be factual, feasible, and realistic to be proven useful.
An evidence can be any of the following:
- Video footages
- Audio recordings
- Chemicals or substances
- Weapons used
- Circumstantial evidence
- Any type of physical evidence
Also, still unknown to many, testimonies can also be an evidence. This can either be a live testimony or an interview done beforehand before trial. A live testimony can charged you if they support all the other evidences or if it is compelling enough to press you on the case.
How evidences can charge and convict you
As we have established before, when you are arrested or charged with either a misdemeanor or felony there are evidences that made it happen. If you are unsure of the evidence, you can ask your arresting officer or your criminal defense lawyer on what are the causes of your charges.
You can be charged even before the arrest. After the arrest, the officers can read you the details of your charges and take you into custody. Here, your fingerprints and photographs will be taken and you will be given the right to call for an attorney. You will then proceed to an arraignment and during this, if there are no strong evidence or not enough evidence to prosecute you then there is a high probability of the charges being dismissed and you will not proceed to trial. Sometimes, a lot of evidence is not enough if they are not powerful enough to convict you.
If the trial proceeds, the prosecution must further claim your liability by providing a burden of proof and should prove you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt or a factor that really ties you to the case. Without these, the jury will come up with a decision of not finding you guilty.
Know that before an evidence is put out in the court, it undergoes extensive examination and are only allowed to be used if it adheres to the Rules of Court. A live testimony should be from a person with an admissible character and any other evidence should be taken lawfully (i.e., not based on hearsay).
An evidence can link you to a crime you could have committed. One example is when a gun is found in the premises of your home. While there already is a probable cause because you are living in the particular place, a gun found in the area with or without a fingerprint can be the final nail in the coffin.
Tampering with evidence
Sometimes, a defendant acts like there is no evidence against them because they have already tampered with it. Tampering with evidence only has one goal in mind: to remove proof that will bring them one step closer to being charged.
Like any other state, it is illegal to purposely tamper with evidence—in ways of concealing them, throwing them, or destroying them. Evidence tampering can also be in the form of threatening witnesses to provide their accounts or intentionally hindering evidence extraction. Know that tampering with an evidence can put down additional charges to your case such as Category C or Category D felony.
What to do if charged without evidence?
However, there are instances when the accused is really clueless of why they were charged even without evidence. For example, you are suddenly asked to be pulled over by a police officer then arrested and charged without field sobriety tests or any indication that you have been intoxicated or are carrying any alcohol or prohibited substance in the vehicle.
If this happens, be mindful of all the process or all the things that police officers are telling you. During this time, confusion can also take hold of you so there are instances that you might be forgetting the probable cause or the things you have done that are the reason of charges. Also, utilize your right to remain silent as the words that you would say might be used as an evidence against you.
Unfortunately, you can only contest the absent or failed evidence in the court. You can plead not guilty and the persecution will have to go on lengths to prove that you are with their evidences. This is a risky move but if you believe there are no evidence that will incriminate you, go ahead and do so but make sure you think about your angles and the time when you will enter it.
And as a defendant, you can also present your own evidence to avoid being convicted without evidence or without a strong one. This is called the character evidence where you show everyone at the court that your current physical and emotional state and moral views cannot make you perform the charges being accused to you. However, character evidences cannot be used to prove that the defendant acted in conformity with the character.
An evidence can mean your fate on the entire trial process. If you believe they are non-existent, fabricated, or are being used unlawfully against you, you are more than welcome to fight for your rights! Get the help of a reliable criminal defense lawyer to provide evidence of your innocence.
Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Ross Goodman
520 S 4th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
(702) 383 – 5088