no witness

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no witness

Post  mickeybluejeans on Mon May 02, 2011 11:39 pm

a quick question about witness or the lack of witness to an incident

if a vicar attacked a violent drug dealer and beat him up without any witness's, could the vicar just say the drug dealer attacked him so he was defending himself? or if a road rage incident on a quite country lane where a motorist get out of his car and attacks me.... but comes of worse and then tells the police I attacked him.

how does the police & law evaluate situations where there are no witnesss', so the only evidence comes from the 2 parties involved

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Re: no witness

Post  Chris on Tue May 03, 2011 5:06 am

Hi Mickey

Statements are one type of evidence amongst many. Where there are no witnesses and where participants to an event refuse to give statements then the police officers investigating and the CPS will look to other evidence to judge the strength of the case. i.e. forensics, photographic, CCTV etc.

Taking ALL of the available evidence as a whole the decision will then be made whether to proceed with bringing the case to court. Lack of sufficient evidence, no matter what its type will weaken the case.

That said, it's worth remembering that witness statements are notoriously unreliable in any event and such evidence is not always the saving grace that either party considers it to be. In many criminal cases I have heard directly opposing statements... so much so that I went through a stage of believing that every party to criminal proceedings was lying through their teeth! Now I look for evidence which is definitive i.e. speeding camera's, CCTV footage, forensic, documentary etc. Even now, where there are conflicting statements some instances simply boil down to who's side of the story you believe. Sad but true. There is much to be said for looking clean, smart, calm and intelligent in court. It goes a long way with the bench.

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Chris
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Re: no witness

Post  RichardZ on Sat May 05, 2012 10:57 pm

Where I am from, this is simple a phrase of

"My word against his"

The police should not be there to "take sides".

However, the court will look favorable upon which side has the "better attorney".


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Re: no witness

Post  Chris on Sun May 06, 2012 10:50 am

RichardZ wrote:Where I am from, this is simple a phrase of

"My word against his"

The police should not be there to "take sides".

However, the court will look favorable upon which side has the "better attorney".


No they wont. Most judges are more concerned with the elements of the offence and whether they have been met. They will also make judgements on the defendant (who invariably has a list of antecedent convictions as mile long). The lawyers tend to be nothing more than just doing a job, and I include the CPS in that.

If the lawyer isn't very good then that doesn't stop the bench from investigating the elements of the offence. Many times it has been irrelevent what the lawyers have said and done because the bench already knows what it wants to hear and the evidence it wants to see presented.

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Re: no witness

Post  RichardZ on Sun May 06, 2012 12:32 pm

So you are saying, a good attorney may not matter?

It was a good attorney who got OJ Simpson off

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Re: no witness

Post  Chris on Sun May 06, 2012 1:03 pm

RichardZ wrote:So you are saying, a good attorney may not matter?

It was a good attorney who got OJ Simpson off

at least 97% of ALL criminal cases will never reach crown court. In the US they will never get beyond the local judge and court house. At that point in the proceedings you could largely have a trained monkey representing you (and a lot of lawyers are exactly that!). It wont make any difference. The judges are looking for the elements of the offence, they know what they are looking for and if they can't see it immediately, or the lawyers don't raise pertinent material then the judge will make sure it is exposed.

In the "higher" courts facing the stiffer sentences then of course its better to have a good lawyer than a mediocre one but the result will largely remain the same regardless. It is when you are entering the realms of "specialist" legal practice then the experts become more relevant and a requirement. Just like with any other profession the majority of the work can be done by generalists. It's the higher end of the spectrum that you want the expert.

BTW, the attorney didn't get OJ off. He was acquitted in court via due process. If anyone was to blame it was the LA police officers who fumbled the ball. JC was just a grand standing mouth piece in the right place at the right time. Any lawyer in his position could have done exactly the same job, he had no significant skills advantage over any other lawyer in the team and probably was a lot less skilled in some areas. He's certainly wasn't an example of a "good" lawyer. Simply an efficient one.
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Re: no witness

Post  RichardZ on Sun May 06, 2012 1:39 pm

Meh, I guess there may not be anything such as a "good lawyer"

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