What Impression is Your Evidence Leaving with the Court?

In criminal law, impression evidence is a major contributor to move a crime scene investigation forward. For clear reasons, criminal investigators will do all it takes to gather this information with as much precision and care as possible. In the same manner, investigators look to capture the exact words, tone, and meaning of key witnesses who are involved in or who “witness” the crime.

But when it comes to presenting evidence in the court room, the possibilities of having evidence thrown out rises if those testimonies cannot be clearly heard, verified, or dated.

What is Impression Evidence?

Impression evidence is a major contributor to move a crime scene investigation forward. Basically, it is a type of evidence wherein objects retain their characteristics or create an “impression” on other physical objects within a crime scene when it is stamped or pressed against each other. Because they are hardly noticeable unless closely examined, a good amount of impression evidence can be overlooked during examination of a crime scene. Therefore, it is important for crime scene investigators to re-examine the site of a crime in order to verify other evidences that have been missed, especially impression evidence.

This type of evidence is categorized as two things: impressions made on either hard or soft surfaces. Moreover, there are two dimensional impressions wherein investigators can determine the width and length of the object that left an impression on a given surface. Meanwhile, there are also three dimensional impressions that add depth to the width and length measurement. Therefore, the latter type of impression evidence enable crime scene investigators to have a more precise idea of what type of object might have left that impression.

Its Importance to Crime Scene Investigation

If you have witnessed crime scene investigations, whether actual or on TV, you should have noticed that investigators use magnifying tools during examination. These items are useful in recognizing impression evidence that are not normally visible with the naked eye, so assistance of these tools enable investigators to find more precise evidence.

Fingerprints are an example of impression evidence that is very useful in pointing to an identity of the person involved in a crime. Any form of print or impression gathered from the crime scene are examined for DNA profiling. These steps or prints left by a suspect on the crime scene are recognized as valid evidence in court and can be used to testify the person was present at the scene when the crime occurred.

Types of Impression Evidence

There are several types of impression evidence, but there are a few common ones that investigators search for at a crime scene. These provide valuable clues that will enable investigators to put together all events that might have transpired at a scene. Some impression evidence, if strong enough, could even point to a suspect’s identity.

Fingerprints: Fingerprints are impressions left by a suspect at a crime scene when they touch objects or even the victim’s body. Since fingerprints are not readily visible, investigators use specialized powder in order for the fingerprints to become visible during examination and analysis. Fingerprints have been honored at the court as a valid evidence that could solve the identity of a crime suspect.

Footprints: Identifying latent footprints are similar to developing latent fingerprints. They use the same technique and equipment for the procedure. Investigators look for such impression on tiled floors, chair bottoms, cabinets, or counter tops. Once such impressions are mechanically recovered, they use tapes to lift it off and slid into a plastic for later examination. Those impressions can be used for matching and identification.

Tool marks: This particular impression is typically found at areas of entry. They are used to identify what methods of force was used by the suspect to gain entrance into the crime scene, whether it is a house or apartment.

Tire Tread: When suspects escape the crime scene riding a vehicle, crime scene investigators also use tire tread impressions left on the soil, mud, or any type of surface where the suspect drove towards. However, if the suspect drove through grass or carpet, the effect produced by the passing of the tire mostly rebounds and leaving not enough impression on the surface. But they can be vital evidence used in a crime scene investigation to point to which direction the suspect driver was headed to.

Testimony: A key aspect when collecting evidence in a case are witness testimonies, and the type of equipment needed to ensure that tone, volume, and meaning are captured is critical.

The iRecord Video system has been co-designed by a select group of detectives and law enforcement professionals (our customers) who have told us what they want in their ultimate ERI system.

Since iRecord uses the latest open, digital media assets such as Windows Media (WMV) and MPEG technologies, users are ensured of a totally compatible to open media future that includes no proprietary codes that can totally disappear in a year or two.

Finally, iRecord systems, unlike a DVR or VHS recorder, offer multiple tools to encourage activities above and beyond simply recording. For example, time-stamped annotations in iRecord can be created and directly associated recorded audio/video.iRecord “indexes” can also be rapidly searched in our powerful Evidence Vault to locate specific words, case numbers or phrases and the corresponding audio/video segment instantly played. iRecord’s superior integration of index notes, combined with simple operation, makes iRecord an ideal choice for interview situations that demand more than just high quality audio/video recording.

Contact us for a product demo or to learn more today!



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