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Court Procedures and Rules of Evidence Idaho Attorney General’s Office Revised August 2014
Court Procedures and Rules of
Evidence
Idaho Attorney General’s Office
Revised August 2014
Objectives continued… 03.03.19 What is character evidence? When can you use it? 03.03.20 Rules regarding
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 victim’s 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 defendant’s/co-defendant’s stmts.
03.03.32
Preparing for court as a police officer…
Which charging document is used? Infraction: Citation Misdemeanor: Citation or complaint Felony: Complaint,
Which charging document is used?
Infraction:
Citation
Misdemeanor:
Citation or complaint
Felony:
Complaint, Indictment, Information
Objective 03.03.03

10/20/2014

Court Procedures and Rules of Evidence Objectives 03.03.01 Magistrate vs. district court 03.03.02 Role of
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
Which cases are handled by which courts? Magistrate Court Infractions Misdemeanors Juvenile cases Child protection
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
What happens when you are charged with…? Infraction: Pay a fine (=admission) OR Have a
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
How can you present “probable cause” to a magistrate for a criminal complaint? - Written
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
officer - Combination of the above Objective 03.03.05 Felony - Waiver Plead Sentencing Guilty District Ct
Felony - Waiver Plead Sentencing Guilty District Ct Waiver Arraignment Plead not Pretrial Plead Sentencing
Felony - Waiver
Plead
Sentencing
Guilty
District Ct
Waiver
Arraignment
Plead not
Pretrial
Plead
Sentencing
Guilty
Conference
Guilty
Plead not
Guilty
Found
Sentencing
Guilty
Jury Trial
Found not
Case
Guilty
Dismissed

10/20/2014

Purpose of Preliminary Hearing Establish “PC” to prosecute case in district court as a felony
Purpose of Preliminary Hearing
Establish “PC” to prosecute
case in district court as a felony
Purpose of Grand Jury
Why choose preliminary hearing vs. grand jury?
Objective 03.03.08
Felony - Complaint 14 days Waiver In Warrant Custody Prelim Complaint Arraignment Hearing Hearing Out
Felony - Complaint
14 days
Waiver
In
Warrant
Custody
Prelim
Complaint
Arraignment
Hearing
Hearing
Out
Summons
Custody
21 days
State asks for
Continuance
Felony - Hearing District Ct Arraignment Bound Over Hearing Case Dismissed Not Bound Over Refile
Felony - Hearing
District Ct
Arraignment
Bound
Over
Hearing
Case
Dismissed
Not Bound
Over
Refile
Warrant
Summons
Felony - Continuance District Ct Arraignmen t Dismissed & Continuance Refiled  Bond  Charge
Felony - Continuance
District Ct
Arraignmen
t
Dismissed &
Continuance
Refiled
 Bond
 Charge
Release on
Recognizance
Warrant
Summons
What is the purpose of a trial? What is the burden of proof? Prosecution must
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
Role of Prosecutor - Pursue Justice - Advise law enforcement - Charge crimes - Dismiss
Role of Prosecutor
- Pursue Justice
- Advise law enforcement
- Charge crimes
- Dismiss criminal charges
Objective 03.03.02

10/20/2014

Misdemeanor Plead Sentencing Guilty Warrant Complaint Arraignment Pretrial Summons PleadPlead notnot Jury Trial/
Misdemeanor
Plead
Sentencing
Guilty
Warrant
Complaint
Arraignment
Pretrial
Summons
PleadPlead notnot
Jury Trial/
Found
Guilty
Court Trial
Guilty
Sentencing
What are the stages of a trial? What presumption exists at a criminal trial? DEFENDANT
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
What is “evidence”? What is “discovery”? Evidence is proof. Anything that proves or disproves a
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
What is “relevant” evidence? IRE 401: “…evidence having any tendency to make the existence of
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.”
But what does that mean?
Relevant evidence =
Pertinent
Related
Connected
“Bears upon”
Objective 03.03.15
Explain privileges & their exceptions… Lawyer/client Doctor/patient Psychotherapist/patient Husband/wife
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
What is direct evidence? What is circumstantial evidence? Matter to be proved: It snowed last
What is direct evidence? What is circumstantial evidence?
Matter to be proved:
It snowed last night.
Direct evidence:
The witness saw the snow falling from the sky.
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 Cindy’s 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 Marcie’s kitchen after the stabbing.
Objective 03.03.14

10/20/2014

When can relevant evidence be excluded from trial? If the judge says so… - Waste
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… Some important exceptions: - Lawyers - if their advice was
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
Define the following types of evidence & give examples of each: 1. Tangible evidence –
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, victim’s 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 defendant’s 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
What is “exculpatory” evidence? “All evidence that tends to negate the guilt of the defendant
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?
It’s a BIG deal….
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
Objective 03.03.07
What is “hearsay”? An out of court statement by someone other than the declarant offered
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
What is the difference between a lay witness & an expert? Both can give opinions
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
Note: experts must be “qualified” by the judge
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 sister’s handwriting on a check
Lay witness cannot do handwriting comparisons with unfamiliar handwriting
Expert witness can do handwriting comparisons
Objective 03.03.23

10/20/2014

What is character evidence? When can it be introduced? Character evidence is evidence of a
What is character evidence? When can it be introduced?
Character evidence is evidence of a person’s 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
When is a declarant unavailable to testify? refuses to testify doesn’t remember dead won’t come
When is a declarant unavailable to testify?
refuses to testify
doesn’t remember
dead
won’t come to court
is protected from testifying by a privilege
List hearsay exceptions that apply when declarant is unavailable
dying declaration
former testimony (if subject to cross examination)
statement against interest
List hearsay exceptions that apply regardless of availability of the declarant
There are twenty-four exceptions – ask your prosecutor!
Objectives 03.03.26 & 03.03.27 & 03.03.28
What are the methods for attacking a witness’s credibility? -“deals” with the prosecution to testify
What are the methods for attacking a witness’s credibility?
-“deals” with the prosecution to testify
- other motive to lie (bias, relationship to accused)
- attack the witness’s memory
- attack the police officer’s investigation / lack of investigation
- prior felony conviction within 10 years
- reputation evidence for truthfulness / untruthfulness
Objective 03.03.18
What is the “chain of custody”? Why is it important? Chain of custody is who
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 don’t always need it. When do you need it?
Photos?
Knife with blood?
Methamphetamine?
Victim’s 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 corroboration and how does it apply to defendant’s and co-defendant’s statements? Corroboration is
What is corroboration and how does it apply to defendant’s and co-defendant’s
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
When can an officer refresh his/her memory when testifying? Anytime with anything! Key words: “I
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

10/20/2014

What is “authentication”? Why is it important? Authentication is establishing that the evidence is what
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 are the steps that on officer must take in preparing for court? 1. Calendar
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 CAN’T say?”
“Will you ask me about…”
“How long will it take?”
“Did you get my FTO’s 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