Evidence Collection: Gathering Forsenic Data and Materials from Crime Scenes
Evidence, in its broadest sense, includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either (a) presumed to be true, or (b) were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion’s truth. Evidence is how the burden of proof is fulfilled.
Evidence Collection techniques vary by the evidence type and location. The main purpose of evidence collection is to retrieve the evidence “as-is” and without damaging the evidence.
In criminal investigation, rather than attempting to prove an abstract or hypothetical point, the evidence gatherers attempt to determine who is responsible for a criminal act. The focus of criminal evidence is to connect physical evidence and reports of witnesses to a specific person.
Evidence Collection Websites, Documents and Handbooks
Crime Scene Procedures – A brief explanation on collecting evidence, methods of collection, and chain of custody procedures.
Evidence Collection and Preservation – The DNA Initiative provides information on evidence collection and preservation procedures for collecting DNA.
U.S. Department of Justice – Guide for Law Enforcement – An in-depth guide for protecting and preserving crime scene evidence provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.
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Guidelines for Evidence Submission – The guidelines from the Department of Public Safety, Division of Scientific Services in Connecticut.
Evidence Packaging Procedures – Procedures published by the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Services.
Forensic Evidence Handbook – The Missouri State Highway Patrol Forensic Laboratory’s handbook.
Evidence Handling Manual – The manual published by the Montana State Crime Lab regarding handling evidence.
Evidence Field Manual – The field manual fo rthe New Jersey State Police Forensic Sciences division.
Evidence Field Manual Quick Reference Handbook – The New Jersey State Police Forensic Sciences reference book.
Evidence Guide – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s guide.
Physical Evidence Manual – The Oregon State Police Forensic Services Division official manual.
Laboratory Services and Requirements for Submitting Evidence Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory, services and requirements for submitting evidence.
Handbook – The Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory Service physical evidence handbook.
Evidence Handling and Laboratory Capabilities Guide – The Virginia Department of Forensic Science evidence handling and laboratory capabilities guide.
Handbook – The Wisconsin Department of Justice State Crime Laboratories physical evidence handbook.