I am often asked by people facing criminal charges, what the prosecution has against them in terms of evidence. Evidence breaks down into two basic areas. One is the testimonial evidence. That is oral evidence that a person will give in court under oath in order to let a judge or jury know facts about the case. This can be as simple as a witness describing an accident or as complicated as a doctor describing brain injury. The second area of evidence is physical evidence. The most common examples are weapons, drugs, money, and anything else that is relevant to the proceeding.
In the age of CSI many people are misled into believing that the prosecution has to have scientists conducting testing in a lab in order to prove if someone is guilty or not. Everyday in America people are convicted and sent to jail based solely on the sworn testimony of others. This is the reality. Prosecutors simply don't need CSI-type evidence to convict a defendant. They would prefer to have it, but they can legally proceed without it.
One of the most important things your lawyer must do for you is review the evidence against you and determine the value of that evidence and whether it is admissible against you. There are very complex rules in each state as to how and what evidence will be allowed. Often prosecutors will also try to hold back evidence that is harmful to their case. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court long ago ruled that the defendant is entitled to all of the evidence against him, especially the type that is beneficial to his case. You need an experienced lawyer to be on the look out for this type of activity. It can be the meaning between winning or loosing your case.