Types of Evidence used in Law

If you are accused of a crime, the police will be looking to build a case against you.  Evidence that is admissible in a court of law comes in many forms.  The rules that apply to the prosecution also apply to the defence and therefore evidence can be used to build a case in your favour.

Having expert criminal defence solicitors in your corner with a detailed understanding of the various types of evidence that can be used in criminal cases is therefore essential to help you secure the best available outcome.

At JD Spicer Zeb, our criminal defence lawyers have decades of experience in obtaining, preparing and deploying the various types of evidence used in court, including varieties of digital evidence that are increasingly critical to modern criminal cases.

For a free initial consultation on your legal position and the available options, contact our local offices in LondonBirmingham or Manchester.

Our expertise means we can ensure all of the relevant evidence is collected and considered, allowing you to have the strongest defence possible and giving you the best chance of having charges against you dropped and avoiding prosecution, or achieving a successful outcome in court where proceedings cannot be avoided.

If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence, you can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate expert advice and representation.

Types of evidence commonly used in criminal cases

ANPR cameras

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras instantly read the number plates of passing vehicles, then check them against a database of vehicles recorded as being of interest to the police.

This information can often be critical in criminal cases for identifying whether a particular vehicle alleged to have been used in a crime was in the area at the time of an offence.

Business Records

Central to many fraud cases, business records are used extensively in court.  They can range from company formation documents, to invoices, purchase orders, sets of accounts and bank statements.  Obtaining the correct banking and financial evidence can be central to defending in a fraud case.

CCTV evidence

With millions of CCTV cameras all over the UK, CCTV evidence is commonly used in criminal investigations. CCTV footage can show a crime as it occurred, help to establish a timeline of events and point police towards opportunities for collecting other types of forensic evidence.

CCTV can also be critical for your defence case, helping to prove that you were not the offender or that you were somewhere other than the location that an offence took place.

DNA evidence

DNA evidence can include samples collected from a scene, such as blood, hair or skin samples, as well as evidence collected from a suspect following an arrest, such as blood, hair, saliva or cheek swabs.

DNA evidence is often critical to a number of types of criminal investigations and prosecutions, in particular for cases involving rape and serious sexual offences.

Mobile phone evidence

Evidence from mobile phones is increasingly being used in a wide range of criminal cases. This can involve everything from phone records, text messages and messages from apps such as WhatsApp, to cell site data that can be used to identify the general area a phone was in at the point when a call was made or a text was sent.

It is essential for your defence team to be able to effectively analyse and leverage the large amounts of data often now recovered from mobile phones in criminal cases. This data can often lead to charges being dropped or a not guilty verdict, for example where text messages undermine the prosecution’s case or cell site data shows you were not at the location where and when an offence is alleged to have taken place.

Social media evidence

Evidence from social media, including public and private messages, photos and other data can be critical to criminal cases. This information can be used for various reasons, including establishing a motive, criminal intent or the nature of a relationship between a defendant and their accuser in many types of crimes, including alleged sexual offences.

Having a criminal defence team with a deep understanding of how social media evidence can be used against you and/or how it can be leveraged for your defence is therefore increasingly essential for modern criminal trials.

Witness evidence

Criminal cases will almost always heavily rely on evidence from witnesses, with both the prosecution and defence likely to call witnesses to support their cases. Witness testimony can be highly compelling and can make the difference between whether a prosecution goes ahead or not, as well as in relation to the verdict at trial.

Making sure all relevant witnesses are called upon to give evidence and that the right questions are asked is one of the key roles of your criminal defence team and will usually be central to your defence strategy.

Miscellaneous Expert Evidence

There are a huge variety of experts available to give evidence in criminal cases: from handwriting, to medical conditions, psychology, pathology, voice recognition, and blood alcohol concentration.  Instructing the right expert can be critical.


Information from confidential informants is often used in criminal cases, particularly those involving criminal conspiracies, such as large-scale drug operations, as well as other types of serious offences, including terrorism offences.

The police must follow strict procedures about how this information is obtained and recorded, so there are often significant opportunities for a skilled criminal defence lawyer to challenge evidence from police informants and have their testimony disregarded.

Undercover officers

Evidence from undercover police offers can be a critical part of a prosecution’s case, but how these undercover officers conduct themselves can significantly affect whether their evidence is admissible.

There have been significant questions about the conduct of undercover officers in recent years and a skilled criminal defence team will often be able to find faults in the way their evidence was obtained, helping to see it ruled inadmissible as part of the prosecution’s case.

Overseas Evidence

There are special rules for obtaining and deploying evidence from abroad.   This is often a feature of fraud cases with an international dimension.

Contact our expert criminal defence lawyers now

For urgent specialist advice, immediate representation or to speak to us confidentially about any type of criminal offence, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact a member of our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:

  • Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
  • Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
  • Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
  • City of London: 0207 624 7771 – our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.

Or email:

Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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If you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offence, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.


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