The outcomes of civil and criminal trials in North Carolina are determined by evidence. Evidence, for legal purposes, refers to all information which can be presented to a court in furtherance of proving or casting doubt upon asserted facts.
Examples of evidence include, but are not limited to: eyewitness testimony; expert witness testimony; medical records; emails and phone records; maintenance logs; and much more. The specific kinds of evidence are going to vary depending upon the type of case and the purpose of the particular evidence.
In criminal cases, a prosecutor has a burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and must introduce evidence to do so. In civil cases, a plaintiff has a burden of proving his or her claim by a preponderance of the evidence and must introduce evidence to meet this burden.
In both criminal and civil cases, defendants can try to raise questions about the veracity of evidence against them. They can also raise affirmative defenses (justifications for their conduct) and will have to present evidence backing up these affirmative defenses.
For civil cases, rules of evidence are found in Rule 43 of Article 6 of Chapter 1A of the North Carolina General Statutes. There are rules restricting what kinds of documents and information can be presented to a jury, and what kinds of things witnesses can testify about.
A Charlotte attorney understands the rules of evidence, and can help you to both gather and present evidence which will help your case. Your attorney could also assist with petitioning the court to prevent the opposing party from presenting certain kinds of evidence. Call an attorney as soon as possible for assistance in making North Carolina rules of evidence work for you.