History Main / OffOnATechnicality

19th May '17 7:22:21 AM Jake
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' had this come up regularly. On one occasion a murder trial nearly collapsed because the impound lot where a search of a seized car had lost its contract with the police department mere hours earlier, which meant that chain of evidence regs were technically violated for the murder weapon; fortunately the judge ruled it admissible despite this oversight. Another time a man on trial for rape had the charges dismissed because he claimed he didn't speak English and couldn't understand the officer giving out his Miranda Rights, and a sting operation had to be set up with an officer wearing a wire in order to prove he'd lied so that a retrial could go forward.
11th May '17 11:49:52 AM Ansongc2000
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ''Comicbook/FreddyVsJasonVsAsh'' also presents another possible reason for why Freddy managed to walk - a time displaced FBI agent (long story) impulsively tampered with his file and the paperwork within.

to:

** ''Comicbook/FreddyVsJasonVsAsh'' also presents another possible reason for why Freddy managed to walk - has a time displaced FBI agent (long story) impulsively tampered with his file and try to prevent Freddy from ever becoming a dream demon by correctly signing the paperwork within.search warrant himself. [[FrideLogic whether an FBI agent who probably wasn't even born yet has the authority to do so is another question]].
10th May '17 3:50:59 PM VoxAquila
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* The CruelTwistEnding of Tana French's novel ''In the Woods.'' [[spoiler: Main character homicide detective Robb and his partner Cassie have figured out who the killer is but don't have enough evidence to prove it. They set up a trap to get the killer to confess to Cassie. The trap works perfectly, Cassie plays her part brilliantly, even working the Irish equivalent of a Miranda Warning into the conversation, and they get a full confession of the entire plot on tape. Then the twist comes... the killer was the victim's teenage sister, and she's only 17, not 18 as the detectives had initially believed. This means everything she said outside the presence of her parents is inadmissible. She gets away with the murder, and the case destroys not only Robb and Cassie's careers, but their friendship as well. The book ends with Robb alone and miserable.]]
22nd Apr '17 4:05:49 PM Kinitawowi
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* OlderThanRadio: The 1714 Riot Act (read out to persuade a group of 12 or more delinquents to disperse) featured precise wording in what needed to be said, and multiple cases were thrown out because of the omission of "God Save The King".
8th Apr '17 8:13:15 AM luiz4200
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* In a ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanfic titled "Growing Up Black", years after Sirius Black was sent to Azkaban, some of his relatives started having doubts about his guilt, decided to check the facts and found out he wasn't allowed to have a trial. They got him free by invoking a law stating that no pureblood can be forced to spend more than one month in Azkaban without a trial and that all charges against purebloods who are forced to stay more than that time there must be dropped. Sure, he's innocent, but since this is not what got him off, it can arguably be counted as a technicality.

to:

* In a ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanfic titled [[FanFic/GrowingUpBlack "Growing Up Black", Black"]], years after Sirius Black was sent to Azkaban, some of his relatives started having doubts about his guilt, decided to check the facts and found out he wasn't allowed to have a trial. They got him free by invoking a law stating that no pureblood can be forced to spend more than one month in Azkaban without a trial and that all charges against purebloods who are forced to stay more than that time there must be dropped. Sure, he's innocent, but since this is not what got him off, it can arguably be counted as a technicality.
28th Mar '17 10:04:25 AM crazysamaritan
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* the ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', has [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything rules to account for that]]. When a PC is arrested, the cop making the arrest must (secretly) make a Law (Police) skill roll. On a failure, the PC (or his lawyer) can make a Law (Police) or Law (Criminal) skill roll to find what rule of procedure the cop broke and get the PC released on a technicality. If the cop makes a CriticalFailure, the procedure breach is so blatant that the PC is released without trial. Of course, it would only apply in procedural societies or societies concerned with the human rights of their citizens, so don't hope to pull this off in a [[GenericistGovernment Control Rating 6 government]] where you will instead be subjected to a KangarooCourt.

to:

* the The ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', has [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything rules to account for that]]. When when a PC is arrested, the arrested. The cop making the arrest must (secretly) make a Law (Police) skill roll. On a failure, the PC (or his lawyer) can make a Law (Police) or Law (Criminal) skill roll to find what rule of procedure the cop broke and get the PC released on a technicality. If the cop makes a CriticalFailure, the procedure breach is so blatant that the PC is released without trial. Of course, it would only apply in procedural societies or societies concerned with the human rights of their citizens, so don't hope to pull this off in a [[GenericistGovernment Control Rating 6 government]] where you will instead be subjected to a KangarooCourt.
22nd Mar '17 9:34:39 AM Bissek
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* [[PlayedWith Played with]] in an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. A sailor is charged with the murder of a prostitute in Baltimore, but the case is thrown out due to an improperly-written warrant. Everyone the sailor knows -- including his wife -- is convinced he's guilty; so he approaches Gibbs about re-opening his case...saying he's even willing to stand court-martial in an effort to clear his name. While he wasn't as blameless as he claimed, the culprit turns out to be [[spoiler: the District Attorney, who killed the hooker and then deliberately botched the warrant to keep the case from being examined too closely.]]

to:

* [[PlayedWith Played with]] in an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. A sailor is charged with the murder of a prostitute in Baltimore, but the case is thrown out due to an improperly-written warrant. Everyone the sailor knows -- including his wife -- is convinced he's guilty; so he approaches Gibbs about re-opening his case...saying he's even willing to stand court-martial in an effort to clear his name. While he wasn't as blameless as he claimed, the culprit turns out to be [[spoiler: the District Attorney, who killed the hooker and then deliberately botched the warrant to keep the case from being examined too closely.]]]] In another episode, Gibbs deliberately botched an arrest with a lawyer standing in the next room so that he wouldn't be forced to prosecute [[spoiler:his mother-in-law]] for murder.
21st Mar '17 6:13:11 AM newsguy95
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* [[PlayedWith Played with]] in an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. A sailor is charged with the murder of a prostitute in Baltimore, but the case is thrown out due to an improperly-written warrant. Everyone the sailor knows -- including his wife -- is convinced he's guilty; so he approaches Gibbs about re-opening his case...saying he's even willing to stand court-martial in an effort to clear his name. While he wasn't as blameless as he claimed, the culprit turns out to be [[spoiler: the District Attorney, who killed the hooker and then deliberately botched the warrant to keep the case from being examined too closely.]]
11th Mar '17 9:05:39 AM Gosicrystal
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', where the Meat King got off on a technicality for murdering your client's daughter. The "technicality" is implied to be some form of bribery.
* In the extended epilogue in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} [[UpdatedRerelease Golden]]'', this happens to [[spoiler:Taro Namatame, the man who threw the people into the television. Since he lost his ability to enter the TV world, he can't reproduce his methods and the police don't have enough evidence to prosecute him despite his confession]]. None of your party members are too irritated by this, seeing as he [[WellIntentionedExtremist genuinely meant well]], nobody died because of him, and the true murderer is in jail.
* In the second case of ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'' a witness turns out to be a blackmailed accessory to murder. The [[CrusadingLawyer prosecutor]] claims that due to the highly irregular way this was discovered in the courtroom, nothing is admissible and she's free to go. Subverted as the defense attorney immediately knows that's a lie, but the prosecutor is more interested in justice and extenuating circumstances than throwing people in jail.
* In the early ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego'' games, even if you caught up with the crook, if you didn't have a warrant, or had a warrant for the wrong crook, an arrest could not be made and the criminal would be allowed to go free.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]



** Happens in the back story for ''Ace Attorney Investigations'', where Manny Coachen is cleared of murder because the prosecution suspiciously lacked the evidence they used to arrest him. [[spoiler: And by suspiciously lacked we mean the smuggling ring stole it right before the trial.]]
** In the sequel, one killer happily admits the deed... after the statute of limitations on the case has run out. [[spoiler:Subverted when he gets arrested due to ''another'' technicality; because he fled the country, the statute of limitations got extended long enough to still be in effect]].
** An interesting variant happens in the case of poor [[spoiler:Yanni Yogi.]] He really ''was'' innocent of murdering [[spoiler:Gregory Edgeworth]], but his defense attorney couldn't be bothered to make a solid case for it. Instead, [[spoiler:he had Yogi plead insanity from oxygen deprivation (insanity from sleep deprivation in the movie) and only got him off on the technicality that Yogi wasn't in control of his actions at the time.]] This ends up completely ruining the life of [[spoiler:Yanni (the movie goes into great detail over how everyone remained convinced that he did it and harassed him for being a murderer until his wife was DrivenToSuicide) as well as the life of Misty Fey (who was [[FridgeLogic somehow]] believed to be a fraud for naming the wrong person, even though by the case's verdict, Yogi ''did'' commit the crime).]] For his part, Phoenix refuses to resort to such tactics to get his clients found innocent.

to:

** Happens in the back story backstory for ''Ace Attorney Investigations'', ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'', where Manny Coachen is cleared of murder because the prosecution suspiciously lacked the evidence they used to arrest him. [[spoiler: And by suspiciously lacked we mean the smuggling ring stole it right before the trial.]]
** In the sequel, ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'', one killer happily admits the deed... after the statute of limitations on the case has run out. [[spoiler:Subverted when he gets arrested due to ''another'' technicality; because he fled the country, the statute of limitations got extended long enough to still be in effect]].
** An interesting variant happens in the case of poor [[spoiler:Yanni Yogi.]] Yogi]]. He really ''was'' innocent of murdering [[spoiler:Gregory Edgeworth]], but his defense attorney couldn't be bothered to make a solid case for it. Instead, [[spoiler:he had Yogi plead insanity from oxygen deprivation (insanity from sleep deprivation in the movie) and only got him off on the technicality that Yogi wasn't in control of his actions at the time.]] This ends up completely ruining the life of [[spoiler:Yanni (the movie goes into great detail over how everyone remained convinced that he did it and harassed him for being a murderer until his wife was DrivenToSuicide) as well as the life of Misty Fey (who was [[FridgeLogic somehow]] believed to be a fraud for naming the wrong person, even though by the case's verdict, Yogi ''did'' commit the crime).]] For his part, Phoenix refuses to resort to such tactics to get his clients found innocent.



** This is pulled more straight in ''Trials and Tribulations'' where the ''defendant'' [[spoiler:is found not guilty for a case of larceny.]] Much later on, [[spoiler:it's made obvious that, while the defendant is indeed innocent for ''that'' case, he ''actually'' committed all four separate cases of larceny before it, but cannot be put on trial for them because of double jeopardy; He had already been found not guilty for the same crime.]]
* ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', where the Meat King got off on a technicality for murdering your client's daughter. The "technicality" is implied to be some form of bribery.
* In the extended epilogue in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} [[UpdatedRerelease Golden]]'', this happens to [[spoiler:Taro Namatame, the man who threw the people into the television. Since he lost his ability to enter the TV world, he can't reproduce his methods and the police don't have enough evidence to prosecute him despite his confession]]. None of your party members are too irritated by this, seeing as he [[WellIntentionedExtremist genuinely meant well]], nobody died because of him, and the true murderer is in jail.
* In the second case of ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'' a witness turns out to be a blackmailed accessory to murder. The [[CrusadingLawyer prosecutor]] claims that due to the highly irregular way this was discovered in the courtroom, nothing is admissible and she's free to go. Subverted as the defense attorney immediately knows that's a lie, but the prosecutor is more interested in justice and extenuating circumstances than throwing people in jail.
* In the early ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego'' games, even if you caught up with the crook, if you didn't have a warrant, or had a warrant for the wrong crook, an arrest could not be made and the criminal would be allowed to go free.

to:

** This is pulled more straight in ''Trials and Tribulations'' where the ''defendant'' [[spoiler:is found not guilty for a case of larceny.]] larceny]]. Much later on, [[spoiler:it's it's made obvious that, while the defendant is [[spoiler:is indeed innocent for ''that'' case, he ''actually'' committed all four separate cases of larceny before it, but cannot be put on trial for them because of double jeopardy; He had already been found not guilty for the same crime.]]
* ''VideoGame/HitmanContracts'', where the Meat King got off on a technicality for murdering your client's daughter. The "technicality" is implied to be some form of bribery.
* In the extended epilogue in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} [[UpdatedRerelease Golden]]'', this happens to [[spoiler:Taro Namatame, the man who threw the people into the television. Since he lost his ability to enter the TV world, he can't reproduce his methods and the police don't have enough evidence to prosecute him despite his confession]]. None of your party members are too irritated by this, seeing as he [[WellIntentionedExtremist genuinely meant well]], nobody died because of him, and the true murderer is in jail.
* In the second case of ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'' a witness turns out to be a blackmailed accessory to murder. The [[CrusadingLawyer prosecutor]] claims that due to the highly irregular way this was discovered in the courtroom, nothing is admissible and she's free to go. Subverted as the defense attorney immediately knows that's a lie, but the prosecutor is more interested in justice and extenuating circumstances than throwing people in jail.
* In the early ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego'' games, even if you caught up with the crook, if you didn't have a warrant, or had a warrant for the wrong crook, an arrest could not be made and the criminal would be allowed to go free.
crime]].
31st Dec '16 8:56:43 AM StarSword
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/TheGoodWife'' puts a twist on the concept because, as a realistic LawProcedural, technicalities are sought by the protagonists as often as by the villains. In a season 2 episode she stops the state from introducing the murder weapon as a new piece of evidence by immediately resting her case, then gets her client a plea deal for five years and convinces him to take it because if the jury deadlocks, a mistrial means the murder weapon is admissible and he probably goes down for murder one.
This list shows the last 10 events of 249. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.OffOnATechnicality