Types of Physical Evidence

Physical evidence includes any items that can prove a crime has been committed or that can link a suspect and a victim of a crime to one another and to the crime scene.

The evidence presented at trial usually has a significant impact on the verdict. A variety of evidentiary categories are admissible. Physical evidence is one category and relates to things that may be brought into a courtroom and examined. A bloodied shirt, a mould of a foot print, and a gunshot casing are examples of this kind of evidence.

Depending on the nature and setting of the criminal occurrence, physical evidence might take almost any shape or size. It could be present at the scene of the crime, or it could have been moved between the victim and the assailant, or it could be in any other area based on the activity of those involved.

The following is a list of some of the most typical types of physical evidence found in forensic or crime labs:

1. Body fluids — Primarily blood, sperm, or saliva, which can be found on clothing or other fabrics or objects in liquid or dried form.
These components are commonly gathered from a crime scene or a person on sterile fabric patches or swabs for species identification and possible individualization using serological methods or DNA analysis. Other body excretions, such as urine, perspiration, and feces, may be identified in various stains or materials.

2. Body Tissues — autopsy samples of various organs, as well as blood, urine, and stomach contents, are collected for toxicological analysis.

3. Drugs and Controlled Substances — plant materials, powders, tablets, capsules, or other preparations for identification and weight.

4. Fibers – fibers for identification and comparison, either natural (cotton, wool) or synthetic (rayon, dacron).

5. Fingerprints, Palm Prints, and Foot Prints — visible or latent prints lifted or cast from various surfaces for comparison and identification. This category frequently includes tyre and footwear impressions.

6. Fire and Explosive Materials — liquids, solids, or burned debris to identify accelerants and explosive residues.

7. Firearms and Projectiles — identification, source, and comparison of projectiles, as well as firearm test firings, distance determinations, and firearm operability.

8. Glass  Trace or big chunks of glass Glass fragments may be linked to a suspect and a break-in, or glass fractures may be analysed to determine the direction of force exerted or the sequence of rounds fired. Glass analysis is frequently used in the reconstruction of automobile accidents.

9. Hair  Hair is collected from a crime scene, a victim, or a suspect to determine the species (animal or human), race, and the origin of the body part. Hair morphological traits can be used to include or exclude a suspect if they are human. It’s also possible to tell if the hair was crushed, clipped, burned, forcibly removed, or simply fell out.

10. Oils and Grease or Cosmetic Products — Oils and grease, as well as cosmetic items, are transported between objects and people and have distinct compositions that may be compared.

11. Paint and Paint Products — Paint may have transferred from one object to another on numerous surfaces, such as in a vehicle collision. This form of paint fragment transfer is commonly examined on the clothing of pedestrians who have been struck by a car.

12. Serial Numbers — Serial numbers are unique identifiers for a Frequently altered or removed from vehicles, firearms, and other objects, and can be restored for appropriate identification using chemical etching.

13. Soils and Minerals, Wood, and Other vegetation — Soils and minerals, as well as wood and other forms of plants A plausible source or location that can be linked to a suspect or victim is identified and compared.


14. Tool Marks — Surface impressions or scratches that may reveal the type of object that created them. Wear features on the object or instrument, such as a prybar or screwdriver, might provide distinct characteristics for comparison with the impression. Clothing or fabric impressions on vehicle parts have been linked to pedestrian hit-and-run accidents.

15. Questioned documents — Questioned Document is a type of physical evidence that can include handwritten, typed, copied, or computer-generated documents that are inspected for forgery evidence. To determine authenticity, the studies may include ink and paper analyses as well as handwriting comparison. In the case of erased, physically damaged, or burnt papers or materials, restorative processes may be used.

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