6 Important Types of Admissible Evidence in Court Proceedings

admissible evidence

In any court proceedings, there are required evidences that should be presented to support a case and help crafting verdict in the end. These supporting evidences should be admissible. Admissible evidence is defined as evidence that is formally presented to the trier of fact – trial judge or the jury. The trial court judge will determine whether the evidence should be submitted or not.

The evidence, to make it admissible, must be relevant, material and competent.

To be considered relevant, the evidence must lean in helping to prove or disprove some fact. These facts that are being proved and disproved are:

  • Facts in issue – they are needed to be proved by one party.
  • Relevant facts – they tend to prove the facts in issue.
  • Collateral facts – they can affect the credibility and/or competence of a witness.

To be material, the evidence should prove a disputed fact in the case.

To be competent, the evidence should be in unity with certain traditional notions of reliability.

Admissible evidence falls into six categories:

Real Evidence

It is usually tangible, a material object that is produced for scrutiny. This evidence’s purpose is to prove that a certain tangible object exists and the court/judge can examine its condition, physical properties or value. It can be anything based on the current court case; faulty good, ripped jeans, photographs, burnt document, or even a kitchen knife.

Demonstrative Evidence

This is an illustration of evidence. It can be compared to a map of the crime scene. The effective roles of demonstrative evidence are the following:

  • It offers information about the case in an interesting manner.
  • It simplifies and clarifies the facts and issues of the case.
  • It helps improving the recollection and retention from the evidence of testimony.

Great Samples of Demonstrative Evidence:

  • Photographs/Slides/X-Rays

Photographs are the easiest evidence to admit in court. X-rays can be admitted too along with an expert’s reports. Slides help in presenting sequential events

  • Charts/Diagrams/Models/Anatomical Exhibits

These evidences are great of help when demonstrating the complainant’s specific injury, explaining easily the anatomical problems or and areas of medicine when needed. They may be expensive type of evidence but surely helpful.

  • Video Projection

The videos from videotapes and video projection are helpful especially to the jury as it tells a story of either prosecution or defense. It is regarded as influential and creates a good impact.

  • Computers

Computers aid in preparing and crafting demonstrative evidence. It helps to make slide, charts, diagrams, or graphs that may be helpful to the ongoing case.

Documentary Evidence

This can be under the real evidence and it offers a wide-range of subjects. It includes written records or documents that aids in proving or defending a claim. Some samples are newspaper clippings, contracts, medical notes, diaries, letters, and more. Aside from write-ups, it also includes digital records like emails and chat messages.  Bottom line is documentary evidence contains the human language.

Testimonial Evidence

This evidence includes a statement from a witness from prosecution and defense; usually in an open court and put forward to tell the truth. It is also known as anecdotal evidence. It can be written or oral evidence that came from witnesses, victims, and suspects involved in the ongoing case.

Hearsay Evidence

This may fall under testimonial but the witness’ testimony is based on what was said to her or him by a third party. Basically, it is second hand evidence and the court will take several factors in weighing up the strength or weakness of the testimony. The testimony can be admissible provided that the witness will notify the other side and the court of the intention to rely on hearsay evidence.

Witness Statements

Statements made by witnesses are entered into evidence and it also includes expert and professional reports. The statement from the witness must be true and accurate. For the expert’s reports like notes from doctors and engineers, they are written evidences. A witness’s evidence should be relevant in the ongoing case and his/her statement must be based on their own knowledge of the facts.

Keep in mind that the trial court judge has the power to dismiss pieces of evidence for several other reasons. All evidence presentation takes time. One thing that make the evidence admissible is its reliability and fair to both parties of the case.

About the Author:

Candy Larson is a lifestyle and travel enthusiast. She works for an advertising firm. Candy blogs occasionally at BBLawyers firm while working full-time.