The Book of Evidence is one of the crucial components in a criminal case. Essentially, it contains a comprehensive summary of the prosecution’s case against the accused. The Book of Evidence is prepared by the prosecution and is served on the accused before they are returned for trial. This document is crucial in ensuring that the accused is aware of the evidence against them.
If you are accused of an offence and have been served with a Book of Evidence and returned for trial it is essential that you are represented by a Solicitor that has specialist knowledge and expertise in defending accused persons in criminal trials before a jury. If you need to speak to a solicitor, immediately call Daniel Kreith, Solicitor on (086) 076 2191 (24/7 contact number).
Statement of Charges
The first section should contain a statement of the charges against the accused. Each Statement of Charge should include the date and location of the alleged offence, as well as a description of the accused’s actions. A Statement of Charge will contain the same information as a Charge Sheet, which an accused person is served when they are initially charged before the District Court or in the Garda Station.
The Book of Evidence should contain statements from all witnesses who will be called by the prosecution to testify during the trial. These statements should set out in detail what direct evidence each witness will give at the Trial. The statements should be signed and dated by the witness. We would strongly advised any accused person who has been served with a Book of Evidence to read the Witness Statements in great detail.
Exhibits are physical items that will be presented by the prosecution as evidence during the trial. The Book of Evidence should contain a list of all the exhibits that will be presented during the trial. This should include a description of the exhibit.
If any expert reports have been obtained by the prosecution in relation to the case, they should be included in the Book of Evidence. These reports should provide an expert opinion on a particular issue relevant to the case. For example, a forensic scientist may provide a report on DNA evidence found at the scene of the crime.
If any additional evidence comes to light after the Book of Evidence has been served, it should be provided to the defence as soon as possible. The prosecution should also inform the court of this evidence. This is usually done in the form of a Notice of Additional Evidence and this Notice should provide details of the additional or supplementary evidence that the prosecution intend to rely upon at the Trial
In conclusion, the Book of Evidence is a vital document in a criminal case in Ireland. It provides a comprehensive summary of the prosecution’s case against the accused and ensures that the accused is given a fair trial. The Book of Evidence should contain a statement of charges, witness statements, exhibits, expert reports and any other information that the prosecution intend to rely upon at the trial of a criminal charge.