Any time police arrest you, you likely are a bit fearful about the charges you will face. Maybe you now are facing federal drug distribution charges or police arrest you for assault or domestic violence. Or you already have received a conviction for a drug offense or weapons charges.
What you may not realize is that police have to follow a specific process when handling evidence for your case. If police don’t adhere to those procedures, police may have to drop the charges against you. If a judge already convicted you, you could have your conviction overturned.
When police mishandle evidence in a case
Just a few months ago, in January 2021, prosecutors in Orange County California had to drop charges in 67 criminal cases because sheriff deputies mishandled evidence. In an internal review, auditors found that over a three-year-period deputies:
· Booked evidence late
· Didn’t book evidence at all
Other reasons police may mishandle evidence include:
· If police misplace evidence favorable to the defendant (you)
· If police didn’t store evidence correctly and it later becomes destroyed
· If police alter evidence
Protecting your rights when facing criminal charges
If you discover police may have mishandled evidence in your case, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you already received a conviction, you need an attorney who specializes in post-conviction relief.
You have the right to avoid penalties because of police misconduct. You may even be released from prison and have your conviction erased from your criminal record if police mishandled evidence in your case. It certainly can be worth it to get legal help if you think police made errors in handling evidence that led to your conviction or you facing criminal charges.