Can a case hold up in court if there is no evidence or witnesses? 9 Answers as of March 08, 2011

There is a case going on but there is no evidence of any of the crimes or witnesses. So can that person go free?

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The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
I bet there is some "evidence" some where. Prosecutors don't usually file cases where there is no evidence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/8/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
A criminal prosecution must be founded upon some kind of evidence, pursuant to the law, the Penal Code, the Evidence Code and the California Criminal Jury Instructions. A live witness is certainly not necessary, but some evidence is obviously mandatory. There must be admissible evidence of a crime such that the jury (or Judge) can find that each element of each crime must be proven by the District Attorney beyond a reasonable doubt. Remember, at least lip service is given to the proposition that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty, though it does not take long when observing our system of justice to conclude that much of what happens does not operate upon that principle.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/8/2011
Law Offices of Phil Hache
Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
If there is no evidence, no witnesses, no statements, nothing against you, then the Prosecutor would not have much of a case. If so, charges should be dismissed. If not dismissed, it would be tough to get a jury to convict you if there is no evidence. If there really is no evidence whatsoever, an Attorney would be able to work to get the charges dismissed without having to go to trial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Of course. But I doubt that is the case. The District Attorney rarely files cases with no evidence. You just need to find out what it is.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
The short answer is no, of course a case should not proceed if there is no evidence and no witness. There are several thresholds that a case must pass through in order to ensure that exactly this does not occur. First, the police should not be requesting that charges be brought unless there is evidence of a crime. Second, the District Attorney's office has an entire issuing department whose job it is to determine if there is enough evidence for a case to issue. Third, the legal process is specifically geared to eliminate weak cases through hearings such as preliminary hearings, suppression motions, and trial. If, at any point, a case is rejected then the defendant goes free.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Without evidence sufficient to prove guilt, no case can be won. With NO evidence, thats a duh. But your belief there is none does not make that true. The judge and jury will decide.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Whether there are any witnesses or evidence is up to the prosecutor to decide. What the defendant thinks is irrelevant. If charges are filed, chances are, the evidence is sufficient, otherwise the prosecutor would not have filed. Remember, prosecutors aren't stupid. What the defendant can do is hire an experienced attorney, and be careful not to incriminate himself/herself any further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    I would need a lot more info to answer this one, but if there is no evidence and no witnesses of course the case will be thrown out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2011
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