In some criminal cases, important evidence exists in the form of video, text messages, emails and/or facebook posts to name a few.  If you believe the evidence is favorable to your case, it is important to inform your lawyer immediately.  Why?  As time passes, retrieving this evidence becomes more difficult.  In some cases, retrieving the evidence will be impossible after a certain period of time.

So how do you insure the favorable evidence is not lost or destroyed?  The answer depends on who has control of the evidence.  For example, if a private business has a video surveillance camera that is in the area of the incident.  Due to the expense associated with storing video, many businesses only retain surveillance videos for a short time.  The time periods vary, but can range from a matter of days to a month.  After the established time period, the business will record over old footage.

The top Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers will contact the 3rd party, file a motion to obtain the 3rd party evidence and bring the motion before the Judge to obtain a court order for the 3rd party record.  This should be done as soon as possible in an effort to secure the evidence before it disappears.  It is critical that the Defense Attorney discuss this with his client immediately to have a chance to secure the evidence before it disappears.

The police may also have this type of evidence in their care, custody and control.  In this case, a skilled Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney will discuss the potential evidentiary value of the evidence with his client.  Next, a top Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer will file a motion to preserve the evidence.  Time is of the essence.  It is critical to file a motion to preserve evidence as soon as possible.  If the motion is filed and allowed in a timely manner and the evidence is subsequently lost or destroyed, your lawyer may file a motion to dismiss your case.  As always, the facts of your case will dictate whether dismissal is an appropriate remedy.


Chelsea, MA Criminal Defense Attorney Jeff Miller has represented clients whose evidence has been lost or destroyed prior to trial.  CLICK HERE to read about cases where Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney has moved to dismiss charges based on lost or destroyed evidence.  If you have been charged with a crime in Massachusetts, call Jeff Miller at 617-482-5799 to schedule an appointment.