Typically, police officers need probable cause or evidence of a crime to arrest you, and prosecutors will need to believe that the evidence collected exceeds the current standard for criminal court. They will need enough proof to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated the law.
Some people have a very black-and-white approach to criminal charges. They feel like they have no choice but to plead guilty if the state has any evidence against them whatsoever. However, just because the police officer questioning you says that they have the evidence to convict you or a prosecutor feels confident about bringing charges against you does not inherently mean that your conviction with a crime is inevitable.
Police officers lie to suspects
When the officer questioning you tells you that they have fingerprints or genetic evidence tying you to the scene of a crime, they may follow that claim with a warning that you might have a better chance of avoiding prison time if you cooperate and confess.
While you do not understand how the state gathered that evidence that seems to implicate you, you still feel scared and panicked about the idea of going to court and getting convicted of a crime. You may just have fallen victim to a manipulation tactic commonly used during investigations.
Police officers can lie about the evidence that they have or even statements made by other suspects in the hopes of tricking you into a confession or a statement that implies your guilt. Just because a police officer claims they have evidence does not necessarily mean you need to immediately plead guilty to avoid jail or other severe penalties.
The evidence may not be useful for the prosecutor
Even when the state does have evidence against you, it may not actually assist in your prosecution. For example, perhaps you can show that police officers misbehaved when they pulled you over or tried to force entry into the home where you live. If police officer misconduct led to the collection of specific evidence, your defense attorney might be able to convince the courts to exclude that evidence from your trial.
Even if the prosecutor presents the evidence, there is no guarantee that their analysis of it is accurate. Many criminal defendants specifically undermine how the state gathers, stores, processes or analyzes physical or chemical evidence as a way to raise a doubt about their connection to certain criminal activity. Those potentially at risk of criminal charges need to understand the rules that apply to evidence and court proceedings so that they can make use of their basic rights.
Learning more about how the state builds criminal charges against you could help you more effectively defend yourself against allegations that you broke the law.