evidence - How does "innocent until proven guilty" apply to non-payment?

Say I make a big win at a casino and walk out with a suitcase full of cash*. I decide I want to buy a car with it, so I head down to a car dealership, and buy a car - which I pay for by handing over said suitcase.The next day the police turn up at my house. Apparently, the car I'm driving was reported stolen by the dealership. I insist that I paid for it; they say I didn't. Which way does the court rule?In theory, I should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, so they would have to prove that I didn't pay. But it's impossible to prove a neg...Read more

witnesses - When is an email message admissible evidence?

I am a parent who is pursuing a special education impartial hearing without a lawyer. I have learned (in the hearing) that I can question district employee A about an email message I sent to that person, or that that person sent to me. However, I noticed that if the email message was sent to a different district employee, B, I can't ask employee A about it, even if A and B were working closely together on the matters mentioned in the message.What about an email message I wrote to another witness, who is not a district employee? In this case, ...Read more

evidence - What's the point of prohibiting leading questions when unfavorable answers can result in witness being declared hostile?

From what I understand, during direct examination:It is assumed that the witness you called is favorable to your case, so you cannot ask them leading questions (in order to avoid coaxing them into giving the answers you want).However, if the witness ends up being not favorable to your case, then you can have the judge declare him to be a "hostile" witness, therefore allowing you to ask leading questions.But then, what in the world is the point of prohibiting leading questions by default?If they're giving you favorable answers already, then you ...Read more

Why does double jeopardy apply even when the acquittal was due to insufficiency of evidence?

In the United States, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. constitution has been held to prohibit retrying a person for a crime they were previously acquitted of, even if the acquittal was merely due to an insufficiency of evidence. To quote Wikipedia on the subject:"Retrial is not possible if the verdict is overturned on the grounds of evidentiary insufficiency, rather than on the grounds of procedural faults."The problem with this is, it is very easy to think of circumstances in which some, or even much, incriminating evidence might not co...Read more

small claims court - How does providing written messages as evidence work?

For agreements made by e-mail, text message or even written on paper, how can they be used as evidence in small claims court? For example if a plaintiff claimed a defendant owes him $100 for work completed. Plaintiff prints out an email from defendant showing the defendant agreed to this. What if the defendant just denies having sent such an email? In theory it could be easy for either party to be lying, so would the court order a subpoena to the email server to see what their records hold? This seems awfully in efficient? What if parts of the ...Read more

evidence - Status of ipse dixit statements

Is ipse dixit ("he said it himself") specifically allowed or prohibited in law? I.e. a trusted witness (e.g. an expert) says something is true, but provides no evidence to back it up. It's presumed to be true solely because of who said it, not on any other merits.I've seen some articles that say that in the US an expert must back their statements with other evidence, and demonstrate how they obtained their conclusions from the evidence before their testimony will be accepted.I am interested mostly in English speaking and European countries....Read more

email - How to authenticate text message, screenshot (and other electronic content) as evidence in court

I've just spoken with a lawyer who said we can make a transcript of a text message and put their "seal of approval" to verify that I received it and it wasn't tampered with.However they are unable to verify that the message originated from a specific person. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem comes to my mind – e.g., it could have just been a cat walking on the keyboard.)I was wondering if someone could tell me what steps are required to actually make it admissible evidence in a court of law?Related to Can whatsapp mes...Read more

evidence - Remotely (off-premises) recording my girlfriend's office via a WebRTC webcam chat service

My girlfriend A suspects her office is being searched for confidential information on a regular basis by a former colleague X who moved to a different department.I am not going to act on this, so save yourselves from all the 'I am not a lawyer' phrases - this is purely to understand how people around the world would answer the following questions.I ask her A to chat with an accomplice B (B is also being unwelcomedly frequented by the same person X) using a WebRTC video chat service for which their company firewalls do not auto-issue a fake TLS ...Read more

federal courts - Can a prosecutor add evidence to increase punishment after a guilty plea is entered?

My next question is, after a defendant is indicted can the prosecutor keep adding to the case just so that they can increase the defendant guidelines? And after the defendant pleas guilty, can they still keep adding to that case, if so is that legal? Because the defendant plead guilty to what's in the case at that they made a plea and not to what was added after the plea....Read more

small claims court - What's the best way to include e-mails as evidence from a technical perspective?

It probably would be easiest to copy and paste quotes from emails into my evidence submission. But of course text could easily be changed in this format. I could take a screen shot of the email as I received it, and include the screen shot as evidence. The problem with this is highlighting certain lines of text would be harder. The tribunal I am going through requests documents be submitted electronically. At one point a person who tried to help mediate entered the conversation by e-mail. Out of privacy to him, can I redact his name or email ad...Read more

evidence - When going to court should a plaintiff preemptively refute the other sides defense?

In small claims court, if the plaintiff knows what the defendant will likely say, should the plaintiff address these in the initial application? This makes sense to me because usually someone going to court has tried (and failed) to resolve the dispute with the other party.For example my ex-landlord owes me my damage deposit. He said he won't give it back because a hallway was left messy. I disagree with this because 1) the hall way was shared 2) the landlord never mentioned this during the inspection 3) cleaning the hallway can't possibly be w...Read more

Does lack of evidence constitute evidence?

This question is about the debate in the comments to this question.Question Does lack of evidence constitute evidence?Transcript of Comments...I am curious how a prosecutor would prove that a testimonial was falsified. Especially if the purported person making the purported testimonial was also falsified. Unless there was a conspiracy to do so and a paper trail. Otherwise, if it's just a single person producing the testimonial, how could the prosecution ever prove it was never made? Since there would be no evidence, presumably, to rebut it. An...Read more