In many cases, poor scene documentation can lead to inadmissible evidence in a court of law, or missed evidence that may allow a guilty party to get away with a crime against persons or property.
What is the significance of documenting the crime scene?
A detailed record of the crime scene and of the actions taken during the search of it, help the crime scene specialist to accurately recall events and to identify items of evidence later in a court of law.
Why is forensic documentation important?
Documentation is a continuous process throughout the investigation process. It is important to precisely record location and status of computers, storage media, other electronic devices, and traditional evidence, although there are overlaps and similarities in the digital and physical forensic investigation.
What are the legal consequences if evidence is not handled properly?
If law enforcement does not properly handle evidence, the evidence can be challenged on the grounds that it was tampered with, that test results are faulty or inaccurate, or that evidence was planted at the scene of a crime.
What are the limitations of the crime scene investigation process?
The ability of investigators to collect certain evidence may also be limited if, by collecting one type of evidence, they must compromise another. For example, swabbing a knife found near the victim at a murder scene for blood or DNA could potentially destroy latent fingerprints present on the knife.
What is the golden rule of crime scene investigation?
The Golden Rule in Criminal Investigation. “ Do not touch, alter, move, or transfer any object at the crime scene unless it is properly marked, measured, sketched and/or photographed .”
What are the seven steps of a crime scene investigation?
7 Steps of a Crime Scene Investigation
- Identify Scene Dimensions. Locate the focal point of the scene. …
- Establish Security. Tape around the perimeter. …
- Create a Plan & Communicate. Determine the type of crime that occurred. …
- Conduct Primary Survey. …
- Document and Process Scene. …
- Conduct Secondary Survey. …
- Record and Preserve Evidence.
What are the four main types of documentation at a crime scene?
The categories are summary, scene (including a detailed body description if in a death investigation), processing, evidence collected, and pending.
What are the 3 phases of criminal investigation?
Applied to the criminal realm, a criminal investigation refers to the process of collecting information (or evidence) about a crime in order to: (1) determine if a crime has been committed; (2) identify the perpetrator; (3) apprehend the perpetrator; and (4) provide evidence to support a conviction in court.
What should be photographed first at a crime scene?
At major crime scenes impressions should be photographed before they are casted. Photography is done first because casting the impression will destroy the original impression and eliminate the ability to photograph the impression afterward.
Can you be convicted without physical evidence?
Is it possible to be convicted of a crime without physical evidence? Yes, it is. It happens all the time. It is certainly more difficult to convict a person based solely on witness testimony and circumstantial evidence, but it can happen.
What kind of evidence is not admissible in court?
Primary tabs. Evidence that can not be presented to the jury or decision maker for any of a variety of reasons: it was improperly obtained, it is prejudicial (the prejudicial value outweighs the probative value), it is hearsay, it is not relevant to the case, etc.
How long does Evidence get kept?
In general we keep: Homicide evidence: FOREVER. Sexual Assault evidence: ALMOST Forever. Felony evidence: Mostly until the statute of limitations has passed or the case closes at court.
What are the 5 steps of crime scene investigation?
INTERVIEW, EXAMINE, PHOTOGRAPH, SKETCH and PROCESS.
What is the most challenging aspect of processing a crime scene?
All evidence within the physical environment of the crime scene is critically important to the investigative process. At any crime scene, the two greatest challenges to the physical evidence are contamination and loss of continuity.
What are the 4 patterns used to search a crime scene for evidence?
The six patterns are link, line or strip, grid, zone, wheel or ray, and spiral. Each has advantages and disadvantages and some are better suited for outside or indoor crime scenes.