Chain of Custody Standards
On the Scene E-Newsletter, Edition 153, January 26, 2012
Cases are often built and/or defended on physical evidence. Parties wager their reputations, livelihoods, assets and freedom on the premise that the outcome of their judicial proceedings will be one that is reached fairly, according to the evidence. Court-rendered judgments and jury verdicts that are based on compromised evidence would undermine the integrity of our entire legal system. One way in which the law tries to insure the integrity of evidence is by requiring proof of the chain of custody by a party who is looking to introduce evidence.
Physical evidence is handled by a number of people, including claims adjusters, investigators, technicians, expert witnesses and storage clerks. How these parties maintain evidence and how well they keep a record of its movements will determine whether it will be accepted in court. Even if the chain of custody is unbroken, the evidence must still be proven relevant and material to be admitted.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has several standards that CED Investigative Technologies follows when receiving or transferring evidence. These standards include E 860-07 (Standard Practice for Examining And Preparing Items That Are Or May Become Involved in Criminal or Civil Litigation), E 1188-05 (Standard Practice for Collection and Preservation of Information and Physical Items by a Technical Investigator) and E 1459-92 (Standard Guide for Physical Evidence Labeling and Related Documentation).
CED is very meticulous in the handling, documentation, storage, cataloging and transfer of evidence. Our trained experts take the chain of custody very seriously to keep evidence safe and admissible. If you have a question regarding evidence handling or chain of custody, please call us today at 800.780.4221 or visit us online at www.cedtechnologies.com.