COVID-19 Mankey Law Office is dedicated to helping those charged with a crime during these difficult times. We are available for consultations via, phone, video conferencing such as Facetime, Zoom, etc., and in person while practicing safe social distancing.

150 evidence packets 'significantly' damaged in explosion

This may seem like a plot point straight out of a crime thriller, but this really happened in Washington D.C. An evidence vault at a police department was struck by an explosion recently, damaged evidence packets. About 150 of the packets suffered "significant" damage or were destroyed. It is unclear exactly what "significant" means in this context, but since it is paired up with packets that were "destroyed", it sure sounds like the evidence is no longer admissible.

The police are looking into the incident and have not released any details about what caused the explosion. For now, we are also left wondering how many packets suffered damage, but were not deemed damaged enough to be "significantly" damaged.

This is one of the fascinating aspects of this story. What does it mean for the evidence to be "significantly" damaged? What does it mean for packets of evidence to be damaged, but not "significantly"? What testing will be done to determine if this evidence can be presented at trial without allegations of the evidence being tainted? Will cases be dropped as a result of this explosion?

The answer to the latter question is "probably yes," especially for the cases that were linked to the 150 "significantly" damaged packets.

Evidence makes or breaks a case. If the evidence in any given case is destroyed or tampered with -- may it be due to a freak incident like an explosion, or due to negligence on the part of the police or technicians at a lab -- then the accused and their criminal defense attorney must press their advantage.

Source: Washington Post, "Explosion in vault had minimal effect on drug evidence, D.C. police say," Peter Hermann, Feb. 2, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Worried About The Future?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Mankey Law Office
5500 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 1025
Golden Valley, MN 55416

Phone: 612-424-9454
Fax: 763-591-1653
Golden Valley Law Office Map

Contact Us
  • MACDL | Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Martindale-Hubbell | Distinguished | Peer Rated for High Professional Achievement | 2019
  • Super Lawyers | Matthew J. Mankey
  • Avvo | Legal | Easier
  • NACDL | National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers