The majority of police officers go into the profession to make the world a better place. They want to reduce crime within their jurisdiction. For the most part, this is precisely what they try to do each day.
Nonetheless, police officers are only human which means they are prone to making errors. Even a minor error can have significant consequences for someone accused of a criminal offense. What types of errors do police officers make?
Chain of custody errors
Evidence is crucial to any criminal case. Evidence must be gathered appropriately and safely stored to ensure its integrity. This starts at the scene of the crime. Law enforcement should preserve crime scenes. This means closing them off to the general public. The main reason for this is to avoid disturbing anything that could be used as evidence, particularly DNA.
If evidence has to be moved, then this should be done sensitively. Mishandled evidence is unreliable evidence, which cannot be relied on in court.
Unlawful arrests, searches and seizures
To arrest someone, law enforcement requires an arrest warrant. One of the only exceptions to this is if they have probable cause. This means that they have witnessed a crime or have very strong evidence to suggest that a crime has been committed.
Similar conditions apply to home searches. An officer cannot simply enter your home without permission. They must have a valid search warrant or probable cause.
The police cannot act with impunity. If you believe you have been unfairly treated and wrongfully charged, there are defense options open to you. Seek legal guidance to start building a strategy.