How Attorneys Build a Case

When someone has to go to court, it is helpful to know what to expect. Both the defense and prosecuting attorneys will take turn presenting their cases. The burden of proof, however, is on the prosecutor. Here are some of the things he or she may use to do so.

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Evidence

In order to find someone guilty of a crime beyond reasonable doubt, the prosecuting attorney must present evidence that proves that the defendant committed the crime. If a violent crime is committed, for example, the lawyer will likely want to prove that a weapon registered to the defendant or found in his or her possession was the same weapon used to commit the crime. Attorneys may also use fingerprints or DNA sampling to place the accused at the scene, thereby increasing the argument that he or she could have been involved.

Witnesses

When an attorney calls people to the stand to testify, these people are called witnesses. They may be bystanders who saw the crime being committed. The answers given may be expert witness testimony that corroborates the point the lawyer is trying to prove. Between the answers from the witnesses and the evidence found, the lawyer may present a pretty solid case against a defendant. 

Precedents

A mostly solid case is not always enough to extinguish all doubt of innocence. Despite what many people may believe, the law is not always clear on every issue. There is often room for interpretation in the law itself. When this happens, attorneys will likely look for precedent. Finding a previous case that was decided in a similar manner to the way the attorney would like the court to lean can be helpful to his or her case.

The legal system presumes innocence until guilt is proven. The way attorneys get a conviction is through backing up arguments with evidence, testimony and interpretation.