Legal Dictionary

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Authenticate

To authenticate is to verify that the evidence is what a party says it is. A lawyer has to authenticate any object that is going to be used at trial as evidence. For example, the prosecution can authenticate the murder weapon by having witnesses testify as to the chain of custody – the witnesses shows every place that the murder weapon has been from the murder up to the time of authentication at trial. Evidence can also be authenticated through the testimony of an expert witness.