- December 15, 2009
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One of your rights in the Court system is a speedy trial. An important reason to be sure one has the benefit of a speedy trial is the preservation of evidence. Whether someone parked in a no parking zone because a sign was missing and they were unaware of the restriction or something much more serious, such as a 911 tape during a home invasion, it is important to preserve any and all evidence which will benefit the accused (Exculpatory Evidence).
Exculpatory evidence comes in many forms including, but not limited to, witnesses, video surveillance tapes from a bank or store, EZ pass information, blood or urine, samples of substances claimed to be narcotics, 911 tapes, video of DUI stops and arrests, voice mail messages, text, e-mail and many other forms.
Exculpatory evidence must be provided by the prosecution to the defense but it is imperative that an accused inform his or her legal counsel of all exculpatory evidence they are aware of immediately. Not only is it important in creating a theory of the case upon which legal counsel will try to exonerate the accused but it is urgent that such evidence be preserved for use in negotiations or trial. The longer the time lapse between the event in question and the defense attorney learning of the exculpatory evidence, the more likely it becomes that the evidence will be lost or altered.
Upon notification of any possible action in the legal system, an appointment should be made with counsel and all possible exculpatory evidence should be disclosed to counsel immediately in order that the best possible outcome be obtained for the accused.