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  1. #1

    Default Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: tennessee - In a case of theft of property, State is under the impression that a UPC on a box proves where it came from. How does the defense take information off of the internet, explaining that the only way to track an item is with a serial number, and get it entered into evidence without an expert witness on that subject(upc vs. serial number)? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial

    The defendant probably doesn't.

    Time to lawyer up.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    Quote Quoting lorie42
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    How does the defense take information off of the internet, explaining that the only way to track an item is with a serial number, and get it entered into evidence without an expert witness on that subject(upc vs. serial number)? Thanks.
    That’s not something that you can just print off the internet and hand to the court to get admitted. The Tennessee rules of evidence largely track the federal rules of evidence, and under those rules you’d almost certainly find the court sustaining an objection by the prosecution if you attempted to do that because generally this kind of technical information must be presented via an expert witness. See Tennessee Rule of Evidence 702.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    Further, your assertion on it's face isn't necessarily true. A UPC may indeed identify the store as some items with a particular UPC are sold only to specific chains (the warehouse stores are a good example). While it is not technically a UPC, many electronics these days have the serial number or other identifying information on bar codes on the packaging. Similarly, so do gift cards (else they couldn't be activated).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    Your right about what you said about some upc's connecting to a store, but in the case that I am speaking of, these upc's have been checked and they go to a handful of different stores and without a serial number on any of these items that have upc's that lead to a handful of stores, there is no way to track it to any store at all. I guess if the state cannot show paperwork on each individual item belonging to any given merchant, then they have no case. Their pretending they do hoping they can bluff someone into a plea bargain like all DA's seem to do. I think there are probably millions of people in this country that could have beaten alot of different cases had they not been bluffed into believing what a DA was threatening to do to them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    Taking past experience into account, if the state can put sufficient evidence forward, then the conviction can still be a foregone conclusion. If the defendant was found with the property (perhaps in the original packaging), the defendant can be put inside the store during the time of the theft, and the state can show that the item is indeed carried by the store (as proven by the UPC), then the trier of fact can, indeed, conclude that the defendant stole the property absent a good argument for reasonable doubt.

    The key will be what the state has as evidence. If ALL they have is an item carried by the store and found it in the possession of the defendant days or weeks later, yeah, that's exceedingly weak. But, couple it with observations, time, placement, video, possession, statements, perhaps even a criminal history of similar acts, and, voila! Conviction!

    The defendant here should consult his attorney and not try to do it himself.
    **********
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    I appreciate your comments. In this case the state only has similar merchandise being taken about 3 months prior to finding merchandise in defendants vehicle. There is a report from merchant about 3 hours away, but it would seem that if they don't testify in court about their report, which doesn't exactly match the merchandise found in defendants vehicle anyway, that the said report should be inadmissable in criminal court. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Entering Evidence into Trial Without an Expert

    The defendant should consult legal counsel ... there may be more to the state's case than you realize.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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