FORENSIC REPORT AND IT’S LEGAL BINDING
Forensic science is the application of science to collect evidence in order to solve a criminal case. Sometimes forensic science is also used in civil matters in order to testify evidences which are used to produce in civil matters. Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific evidence during the course of an investigation. While some forensic scientists travel to the scene to collect the evidence themselves, others occupy a laboratory role, performing analysis on objects brought to them by other individuals.
In addition to their laboratory role, forensic scientists testify as expert witnesses in both criminal and civil cases and can work for either the prosecution or the defense. While any field could technically be forensic, certain sections have developed over time to encompass the majority of forensically related cases.In simple terms forensic science can be put across as a study and application of science to matters of law. The intersection of science and law provides new tools and methodologies for discovering truth. Forensic law also includes the business of providing accurate, timely, and thorough information to all levels of decision makers in our criminal justice system. The word “forensic” is derived from the Latin word “forensis” which means forum, a public place where, in Roman times, senators and others debated and held judicial proceedings. Forensic science is a multidisciplinary subject used for probing crime scenes and gathering evidence to be used in prosecution of offenders in a court of law. Forensic science techniques are also used to examine compliance with international agreements regarding weapons of mass destruction. The main areas used in forensic science are biology, chemistry, and medicine, although the science also includes the use of physics, computer science, geology, and psychology. Forensic scientists examine objects, substances (including blood or drug samples), chemicals (paints, explosives, toxins), tissue traces (hair, skin), or impressions (fingerprints or tidemarks) left at the crime scene.
Forensic science has undergone dramatic progress in recent years, including in the area of DNA collection and analysis and the reconstruction of crime scenes. However, only a very few professionals are equipped with the knowledge necessary to fully apply the potential of science in civil, criminal, and family legal matters.
Forensic reports are oral or written reports written by forensic practitioners that explains or produces material facts regarding a person or a thing.
What does a Forensic Report consist of?
A good forensic report typically contains several sections to help the reader understand not only what was found (or not found) by the investigator, but also to detail the steps performed to acquire the data and analyze the data. This process is commonly referred to as the “Chain of Custody”, and is very important in showing proper evidence handling. The first step in documenting proper Chain of Custody is detailing in the forensic report how the data got to the investigator and what steps were taken to secure its transit. This can include notes regarding secure delivery via courier, secure file transfer, or forensic collection. The report should also list all software and hardware used to process the data, including versions of the software tools.
The investigator will often detail in the report the time zone the evidence was set to run in, and will process the data in that time zone so that date and time stamped items will be read in their correct time zone. A very important item that should exist in all reports is a verification of the original data via “hashing” to show that the data being examined is an exact replica of the original. After that, a typical report will detail everything the investigator does to process the data and search for what is needed. The steps are usually documented in chronological order with screen shots as needed to help the reader understand what was happening at the time.Also included in the a typical report is notes regarding any encrypted files that were found and what was done to them; meaning whether they were decrypted to find out their contents, or left encrypted and not processed or examined.
Keyword searching is another common task performed by investigators, and the keywords are usually agreed to in advance by the client asking for the investigation. It is customary to document those keywords in the forensic report in case they are ever needed in the future or if any questions come up. At the end of the forensic report, a section should be included that is a summary or conclusion of the investigation. This summary will state any facts or conclusions that the investigator has identified that need to be reviewed.
What are Forensic Reports used for?
The results of forensic related investigations are often detailed in a forensic report. These reports are often used for several purposes, including billing, affidavit’s, and as proof of what was found or not found. These reports are very important to a case, since the improper processing of the data or missing key evidence can mean the difference between winning and losing a case
Although I don’t have enough prove to back up my statement, but according to my opinion forensic science plays a very prominent role in the field of law. Due to the forensic science we are able to cross examine many evidences to be genuine or fake. Forensic science now- a- days have become a new career option for most of the career aspirants. Forensic science as discussed earlier is science merged with law to give rise a tool which can help finding out the truth. Now a question came to every mind that, whether forensic report have any legal binding or not? Forensic reports can be taken as legal evidence which can be produced in the Court to prove something in respect of the matter. If a forensic report can be used as a conclusive prove in the Court then, substantially being true, a forensic report can have a legal binding on the presenter. The presenter or maker of a forensic report has bound to accept that, the report so presented in front of Court of Law have been made by due care and caution, and the evidences produced by the way of the report are cross examined by them.