Legal strategies for challenging evidence admissibility

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Litigation

In Kentucky, civil litigation cases rely on the admissibility of evidence, which plays a major role in determining the outcome. Understanding the basic principles that govern whether evidence is used in court empowers individuals to navigate the legal system more easily.

What determines evidence admissibility?

Evidence must meet stringent criteria to be admissible in court. Admissible means it is legally allowed to be presented to a judge or jury. These criteria include relevance, materiality, and the absence of undue prejudice. The evidence must directly relate to the case and be significant to the claims or defenses presented. 

Common legal strategies to challenge evidence

  1. Motion to suppress: Lawyers in Kentucky civil cases may file a motion to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the constitution, such as during unlawful search. The strategy excludes evidence gathered without proper legal procedures. Suppressing evidence removes it from legal proceedings. This prevents its use in forming a judgment.
  2. Challenging the relevance: Lawyers may challenge evidence for its relevance if it does not directly relate to any fact of consequence to the determination of the action. They argue that irrelevant evidence should not influence the case.
  3. Questioning the chain of custody: The party presenting the evidence must demonstrate a clear chain of custody for it to be admissible. Lawyers may challenge evidence if they suspect tampering or if the chain of custody is unclear.
  4. Expert testimonies: In cases involving scientific or specialized knowledge, laws may contest the reliability of evidence through expert testimonies. Experts can provide insights into whether the evidence meets the necessary standards of reliability and relevance. 

The rules of evidence

Understanding and challenging the admissibility of evidence is recommended for Kentucky residents involved in civil litigation. Properly managing evidence, complying with legal requirements, and avoiding misconduct can significantly impact the outcome of a case. Seek legal guidance if you need assistance in understanding or applying these concepts in your case.