5 Key Differences Between Criminal Cases in Real Life vs TV

Most of the time, we find ourselves glued to the screen watching a lot of criminal-themed shows. Most of them usually end up getting into our imagination. It is significant to note that criminal cases are scripted to attract an audience. In this write-up, we will look at some of the major differences between criminal cases in real life and those aired on TV.


Here are some of the notable differences:


  1. The aspect of time


While watching some of these shows, the audience is misguided that it takes a few days or hours to collect evidence. In real life, it is different as the process is lengthy, leading to arrest, conviction and investigation. The process involves collecting DNA samples and other exhibits deemed to be crucial to the criminal case.


The television shows usually depict a different picture showing that it takes little time to piece together all the evidence. In reality, some cases may even take many years for them to conclude.


  1. Case load and solved cases


Crime shows usually portray that a lot of cases are solved by one person. It is not what happens in reality, as various departments in the justice system handle the case. The criminal case usually undergoes various stages. It involves starting from the arresting officers, investigating officers, and finally, the case is presented before a judge.


In addition, the shows depict a situation whereby only one person is handling a single case at a time. In reality, it is entirely different. In real-life, law enforcement officers handle many cases at a time. Ultimately most of the real-life cases are not solved, while on television shows, they are usually completed at the end of a particular episode.


  1. Collection of sample matter and fingerprint identification


The criminal cases on television often depict the process of fingerprints collection and analysis as a short process. It is quite a lengthy process in real life where the offender’s fingerprints have to undergo an evaluation under the 9 point evaluation. It takes minutes to run the fingerprints on television, while in real life, it takes up to a year to identify the fingerprints from a wider database correctly.


Furthermore, on-screen, when it comes to DNA samples, we usually see an instant analysis of the offender’s samples. In reality, sample collection is a lengthy process that involves sending the sample to a lab technician for verification and analysis. After this process, it is then taken to the DNA typing stage. Then data is submitted to the federal bureau investigation system. They then search against unsolved cases and missing persons.


  1. Personnel


Watching the various criminal shows, most of the time, one person is depicted as taking all the credit.In reality, a criminal case is usually handled by various people ranging from criminal lawyers, law enforcement officers, the investigator, and eventually the person analyzing the data. The criminal justice system has various departments. They are tailored to handle every aspect of the criminal case brought to their desks.


  1. The eyewitness


These are very crucial people in any criminal case because they have firsthand encounter with the offender. On the television shows, they depict the eyewitness as people who remember all the crime scene events. In real-life experience, it has been proven that most of the eyewitnesses do not recall what they saw. The professionals can judge the best eyewitness to help in solving criminal cases.


A lot of these shows aired on television tend to mislead the audience on criminal cases in totality. From the discussion above, we have pinpointed some of the major differences to make people more aware of what happens in reality.