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10/20/2014

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Court Procedures and Rules of
Evidence
Idaho Attorney Generals Office
Revised August 2014
Court Procedures and Rules of Evidence
Objectives
03.03.01 Magistrate vs. district court
03.03.02 Role of prosecutors
03.03.03 Charging documents
03.03.04 Court process
03.03.05 Presenting probable cause
03.03.06 Discovery in a criminal case
03.03.07 What is exculpatory evidence?
03.03.08 Preliminary hearing vs. grand jury
03.03.09 Purpose of a trial
03.03.10 Stages of a criminal trial
03.03.11 BOP (burden of proof) in a criminal trial
03.03.11 Presumptions in a criminal trial
03.03.13 Define different types of evidence
03.03.14 Difference between direct and circumstantial evidence
03.03.15 What is relevant evidence?
03.03.16 When might relevant evidence be excluded from trial?
03.03.17 Explain confidential communication privileges & exceptions
03.03.18 Attacking/bolstering witness credibility
Objectives continued
03.03.19 What is character evidence? When can you use it?
03.03.20 Rules regarding prior bad acts
03.03.21 Rules governing victims prior sexual behavior
03.03.22 Refreshing your recollection as an officer
03.03.24 Define hearsay
03.03.25 Define non-hearsay
03.03.26 Hearsay exceptions
03.03.27 When is a declarant unavailable?
03.03.28 Hearsay exceptions (for when declarant unavailable)
03.03.29 Chain of custody
03.03.31 Corroboration as applied to defendants/co-defendants stmts.
03.03.32 Preparing for court as a police officer
Which cases are handled by which courts?
Magistrate Court
Infractions
Misdemeanors
Juvenile cases
Child protection cases
Felony preliminary hearings
Search warrants
Set bail on felonies
District Court
Felonies
Source in law: Idaho Criminal Rule 2.2
Objective 03.03.01
Which charging document is used?
Infraction: Citation
Misdemeanor: Citation or complaint
Felony: Complaint, Indictment, Information
Objective 03.03.03
What happens when you are charged with?
Infraction: Pay a fine (=admission)
OR
Have a court trial
Misdemeanor: Plead guilty
OR
Have a court trial / jury trial
Felony: Plead guilty
OR
Have a court trial / jury trial
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How can you present probable cause to a magistrate for a criminal
complaint?
- Written affidavit of police officer
- Sworn verbal testimony of police officer
- Sworn verbal testimony of prosecutor based upon affidavit
of police officer
- Combination of the above
Objective 03.03.05
Purpose of Preliminary Hearing
Purpose of Grand Jury
Establish PC to prosecute
case in district court as a felony
Why choose preliminary hearing vs. grand jury?
Objective 03.03.08
Felony - Complaint
Complaint
Warrant
Summons
Arraignment
Prelim
Hearing
In
Custody
Out
Custody
Waiver
Hearing
Continuance
State asks for
14 days
21 days
Felony - Waiver
Waiver
District Ct
Arraignment
Plead
Guilty
Plead not
Guilty
Sentencing
Pretrial
Conference
Plead
Guilty
Sentencing
Plead not
Guilty
Jury Trial
Found
Guilty
Sentencing
Found not
Guilty
Case
Dismissed
Felony - Hearing
Hearing
Bound
Over
Not Bound
Over
Case
Dismissed
Refile
District Ct
Arraignment
Warrant
Summons
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Felony - Continuance
D C
t
District Ct
Arraignmen
t
Continuance
Dismissed &
Refiled
Bond
Charge
Release on
Recognizance
Warrant
Summons
Misdemeanor
Complaint
Warrant
Summons
Arraignment Pretrial
Plead
Guilty
Plead not Plead not
Guilty
Sentencing
Jury Trial/
Court Trial
Found
Guilty
Sentencing
What is the purpose of a trial? What is the burden of proof?
Prosecution must prove case against defendant
beyond a reasonable doubt.
Objective 03.03.09 & 03.03.11
What are the stages of a trial? What presumption exists at a criminal trial?
DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT
Prosecution - Case-in-chief
Defense - No evidence
OR
Case-in-chief
Prosecution - Rebuttal (maybe!)
Defense - Surrebuttal
VERDICT
Objective 03.03.10 & 03.03.11
Role of Prosecutor
- Pursue Justice
- Advise law enforcement
- Charge crimes
- Dismiss criminal charges
Objective 03.03.02
What is evidence? What is discovery?
Evidence is proof. Anything that proves or disproves a fact.
Discovery is the process for the parties (prosecution & defense) to share
their evidence. Different rules apply to prosecutors & defense attorneys.
Objectives 03.03.12 & 03.03.06
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What is relevant evidence?
IRE 401: evidence having any tendency to make the
existence of any fact that is of consequence to the
determination of the action more probable or less probable
than it would be without the evidence.
Objective 03.03.15
But what does that mean?
Relevant evidence =
Pertinent
Related
Connected
Bears upon
When can relevant evidence be excluded from trial?
If the judge says so
- Waste of time / delays the trial too much
- Cumulative (= duplicates other evidence)
- Protected by a privilege
- UNFAIR prejudice outweighs value of evidence
- As a sanction for discovery violation (attention
police officers!)
- As a sanction for search & seizure violations
(attention police officers!)
Objective 03.03.16
Explain privileges & their exceptions
Lawyer/client
Doctor/patient
Psychotherapist/patient
Husband/wife
Clergy/penitent
Confidential informant
Parent/child
Accountant/client
School counselor/student
Licensed counselor/client
Licensed social worker/client
Objective 03.03.17
Explain privileges & their exceptions
Some important exceptions:
- Lawyers - if their advice was sought to commit a
crime or fraud
- Doctors - if a child is in danger or being injured
- Counselor if a child is in danger or being injured
- Spouses - in a criminal case if the defendant is the
other spouse
Objective 03.03.17
What is direct evidence? What is circumstantial evidence?
Direct evidence: The witness saw the snow falling from the sky.
Matter to be proved: It snowed last night.
Circumstantial evidence: When the witness woke up, there was snow
on the ground.
Matter to be proved: Marcie stabbed Cindy with a
knife.
Direct or circumstantial?
1. The neighbor heard Cindy cry for help.
2. The knife had Cindys blood on it.
3. Cindy said Marcie stabbed her.
4. Marcie said she stabbed Cindy.
5. The knife used belonged to Marcie.
6. The knife was found in Marcies kitchen after the stabbing.
Objective 03.03.14
Define the following types of evidence & give examples of each:
1. Tangible evidence physical object relevant to the crime
Real evidence = tangible evidence
Examples: weapon, blood spatters, picture, victims clothes
Documentary evidence = documents
Examples: bank records, autopsy report, tax records, checkbook
2. Testimonial evidence witness gives testimony
Example: I saw eight year old Jimmy get into the defendants car.
3. Demonstrative / illustrative evidence used to help explain
testimony or other evidence
Example: Police officer makes an in-court sketch of the streets
where the two cards collided to illustrate where the police officer
was when s/he saw the collision
Objective 03.03.13
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What is exculpatory evidence?
All evidence that tends to negate the guilt of the defendant or
reduce punishment of the crime.
What is its significance?
You can lose your job
The prosecutor can lose the case
The prosecutor can lose his/her job
You can be prosecuted criminally
Innocent people can go to prison
Its a BIG deal.
Objective 03.03.07
What is character evidence? When can it be introduced?
Character evidence is evidence of a persons general behavior
and personality traits
It can be introduced in narrow circumstances governed by the
rules of evidence ask your prosecutor!
What are prior bad acts? When can they be introduced?
Prior bad acts are bad things the criminal defendant has done,
whether a criminal charge has resulted or not
They can be introduced to show motive, intent, opportunity,
planning, etc. Ask your prosecutor!
What are the rules governing the admission of prior sexual
behavior of a victim?
Generally not admissible. For exceptions ask your prosecutor!
Objectives 03.03.19 & 03.03.20 & 03.03.21
What is hearsay?
An out of court statement by someone other than the declarant
offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.
What is non-hearsay?
Several types of non-hearsay
Most important one: all statements of the suspect/criminal defendant
Objectives 03.03.24 & 03.03.25
List hearsay exceptions that apply regardless of availability of the declarant
There are twenty-four exceptions ask your prosecutor!
List hearsay exceptions that apply when declarant is unavailable
dying declaration
former testimony (if subject to cross examination)
statement against interest
When is a declarant unavailable to testify?
refuses to testify
doesnt remember
dead
wont come to court
is protected from testifying by a privilege
Objectives 03.03.26 & 03.03.27 & 03.03.28
What is the difference between a lay witness & an expert?
Both can give opinions based on personal knowledge
Experts just have more opinions, based on training & education
Examples:
Lay witness can testify that his brother was drunk
Lay witness cannot testify that his brother was over the legal limit to drive
Expert can testify that an individual was over the legal limit to drive
Lay witness can testify that she recognizes her sisters handwriting on a check
Lay witness cannot do handwriting comparisons with unfamiliar handwriting
Expert witness can do handwriting comparisons
Note: experts must be qualified by the judge
Objective 03.03.23
What are the methods for attacking a witnesss credibility?
-deals with the prosecution to testify
- other motive to lie (bias, relationship to accused)
- attack the witnesss memory
- attack the police officers investigation / lack of investigation
- prior felony conviction within 10 years
- reputation evidence for truthfulness / untruthfulness
Objective 03.03.18
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What is the chain of custody? Why is it important?
Chain of custody is who is touching the evidence from
the point of collection to the point of trial.
Important to make sure no tampering with the evidence.
You dont always need it. When do you need it?
Photos?
Knife with blood?
Methamphetamine?
Victims clothes?
Semen?
Audio CD recording?
Video recording?
A check from the bank?
A check from an individual?
When in doubt: use chain of custody!
Objective 03.03.29
What is authentication? Why is it important?
Authentication is establishing that the evidence is what it purports to be.
Use chain of custody to authenticate your drugs
Objective 03.03.30
What is corroboration and how does it apply to defendants and co-defendants
statements?
Corroboration is establishing facts that verify or support the existence of
another fact.
Examples:
Rape victim tells you the suspect was wearing Ray Ban sunglasses & your suspect
wears the same sunglasses to your interview.
The person who fired the gun could only have been left-handed & your suspect
is left-handed.
The defendant tells you where the dead body is in the woods & you find the body
at that location.
Objective 03.03.31
What are the steps that on officer must take in preparing for court?
1. Calendar the subpoena & show up!
2. Read your report
3. Call the prosecutor
Ask the prosecutor questions!
Can I say ?
Is there anything I CANT say?
Will you ask me about
How long will it take?
Did you get my FTOs report too?
Do you have a color copy of the photo line up?
Do you need me to bring anything to court?
What will happen after this hearing?
Can I meet with you in advance to prepare?
Objective 03.03.32
When can an officer refresh his/her memory when testifying?
Anytime with anything!
Key words: I need to see my report to refresh my memory
Objective 03.03.22