Direct evidence in a case is a key fact in a situation where the accused person is charged with a felony or a misdemeanor offence that is directly linked to him. It is another way of saying that the person involved in the felony is actively involved in the situation, and it has concrete evidence that straightly leads to that person.
An example of direct evidence can be a hit and run case or a murder case where the scenario has a witness testifying that he/she saw the accident right in front of their eyes. Alternately, the accident may also be caught on CCTV footage that can link the victim with the offender. Typical examples of direct evidence are – eyewitness statements and confessions.
So, “Direct Evidence” is a form of tangible evidence that establishes the ground on a particular fact without putting in the need for further discussion in order to connect a person with the evidence. In criminal law, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly without the need for drawing an inference. It helps the juror in a case to directly prove or disprove a fact.
What Forms of Evidence Are Accepted as Direct Evidence?
A person can be adjoined to a case with direct evidence such as:
- Testimony from an eyewitness
- Testimony of a person who
- saw the incident happen
- who had heard some words about the incident from someone
- who observed a certain part leading to the incident
The prosecutor in a criminal case can charge a convict using both direct and indirect evidence. This is to say that a prosecutor can use the following methods as a means to establish proof. These are:
- Direct Evidence
- Indirect Evidence
- The Right Combination of Direct and Indirect Evidence
It’s easy to think that direct evidence is more powerful and obviously the key to tying someone to a case where you want to prove that the person is guilty. But there is a way to prove you wrong.
Suppose an eyewitness of the incident may lie in front of the prosecutor i.e., lying under oath. Also, he/she may not be able to understand the event if it occurred too quickly, or he/she might say the wrong thing under high stress. There is a lot of possibilities that can ruin the link to perfect direct evidence.
This is where the need for circumstantial or indirect evidence comes into play. It is important to lay a perfect combination of all kinds of proof to validate your claim in court. And, so comes the question.
What is Indirect Evidence?
Indirect evidence, as opposed to direct evidence, cannot prove a fact directly from the information based on the scenario. Rather, it requires a prosecutor and/pr the jury to come to an indirect judgement or inference based on some groundwork to lay down the facts in order about what happened.
Indirect forms of evidence require a prosecutor to organize the facts and factoids from other aspects of the scenario and use that in the case to prove that the person in contention is rightfully tied to the case due to a felony or wrongdoing. This goes without saying that indirect evidence does the following:
- Helps prove another fact
- Helps a person make a fair argument on validating the occurrence of a fact or that a fact had happened
For example, if you are trying to prove that a person has shoplifted or trying to impose theft charges, then the prosecutor can prove that the person is a thief and can only tie the person to an offense on a misdemeanor level. Up and until now, the prosecutor can only charge the person with indirect evidence with no direct ties. He/she would have to explain to the court that the defendant entered the store without a wallet or with no money. This explains the defendant’s intent to rob or steal, which gets proven from the action itself. So, this is how indirect evidence can form concrete proof in a case.
However, if it can be proven that the person was intentionally there for stealing, then he/she can be charged with an attempt to burglary. And again, the point comes where the judge would have to depend on circumstantial evidence to prove the intent of the person so as to prove that the allegation is true.
These days, direct evidence gets tampered with in most cases which is exactly why circumstantial evidence plays a crucial role in giving the case a solid ground to establish the facts. This puts the importance of circumstantial evidence above direct evidence in criminal law. Taking professional Lawyer advice will definitely be a good move when conducting such kind of situations.
What Kind of Evidence Is Accepted as Indirect Evidence?
Indirect evidence can contain all sorts of proof. Some common ones are:
- The physical form of evidence (e.g., bloodstains, testing weapons for possible shots fired, car travelling over the speed limit, security frauds etc.)
- Forensic evidence
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Direct Evidence Better than Indirect Evidence?
The comparison between direct vs. indirect evidence is relative to the case that you are dealing with. One cannot expect to win a case claiming based on only circumstantial evidence without the need for any direct tangible evidence.
While it is easy to believe that direct evidence is better than indirect ones, there are some drawbacks to it as well. This can be covered using a well-composed series of indirect evidence that can help to clear the reasonable doubts in the case and clear up the intent of the defendant.
- Is It Possible to Accuse Someone Using Only Circumstantial Evidence?
It is possible for the prosecutor to secure a conviction using only circumstantial evidence. However, it is not enough to secure the case. To back it up, no authority suggests that a prosecutor must use both types of evidence to accuse a defendant of criminal activities.
To Sum It Up
Knowing how you are tied to a felony or a misdemeanor case is important. In this regard, knowing what is direct evidence and what is not plays a key role in getting you out of the case. And for that, you definitely have to contact a Criminal Defence Lawyer as soon as possible to take over your case and line up the best defence proof in your favor.