How Crime Scene Procedures Fail Part 2

In this two-part series, a murder defense attorney in Tampa is discussing how human error factors into crime scene investigations conducted by law enforcement. In the first part, we discussed the challenges required for law enforcement to preserve a crime scene and ensure that evidence is not contaminated during the collection process. In this section, we will discuss the urgent nature of collecting evidence and how mismanagement can impact the results of an investigation.

Timing is Everything

When detectives and forensic experts are called to a crime scene, they have a very short window of time to capture real-time evidence. For example, the lighting at the time of the incident (nighttime, daytime, early evening, or early morning) can impact the photographic evidence collected during the investigation. Crime scene professionals need to photograph and collect evidence without being disrupted so conjecture doesn’t factor into the case. Another issue is ensuring that all of the evidence has been collected and properly recorded before the crime scene has been released. If law enforcement prematurely releases the crime scene before all of the evidence was properly collected and recorded, this can directly impact a case.

Communication Breakdown

There are many roles involved in a crime scene investigation including police officers, detectives, criminologists, ballistic and firearm experts, crime lab scientists, toxicologists, pathologists, and odontologists, among many other professionals. If any of these professionals fail to properly communicate, this can impact a testimony or an entire investigation. With many different departments working together on a case, if evidence is not vigilantly documented, communication breakdowns and erroneous judgments can occur. A murder defense attorney in Tampa knows how to exploit these gaffes during a testimony.

Following Protocol

It’s critical that a crime scene investigation team has a standard operating procedure that establishes the rules and regulations of an investigation. In addition, these procedures need to be audited to ensure that they are being appropriately followed. Like any set of standard operating procedures, there is trial and error and even crime scene experts can make a mistake. An experienced murder defense lawyer in Tampa can analyze the findings from an investigation and determine if crime scene investigators failed to preserve the crime scene, contaminated evidence, or breached standard operating procedure.

For a free consultation with an experienced murder defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Case Results


The Client was stopped by a police officer while with her friends at a park and accused of smoking marijuana. The Client and some of her friends were then charged with Felony Possession of Cannabis
Show More

State Waives Minimum Mandatory Sentence

The defendant was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. The offense carried with it a mandatory prison sentence of three years. Through diligent and thorough representation Anthony Rickman was able to convince the State
Show More


The Client was being held in jail for a Violation of Probation charge after picking up a new criminal traffic charge in Hillsborough County and the Court determined that the Client was never terminated from
Show More