Helping Clients Protect Their Future and Their Liberty

What is hearsay evidence? 

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you’re facing criminal charges, then it means that evidence has been produced against you and the prosecution feels that they can secure a conviction. However, you have the right to test this evidence and request that anything inadmissible is disregarded by the courts. 

One common form of controversial evidence that often comes up is hearsay evidence. What is hearsay evidence and what does the law say on this matter? 

Defining hearsay evidence 

During your trial, witnesses may be brought to the stand to give sworn testimony to the courts. They may be asked what exactly they saw at the time the alleged offense was committed. If they describe their own experiences, then this is direct evidence and it will most likely be admissible. 

However, if they say that someone else told them about something that happened at the time, then this is hearsay. Hearsay evidence is generally unreliable, as there is no guarantee that what has been said is accurate. Therefore, it will generally be disregarded by the court. 

There are some exceptions

In rare scenarios, hearsay evidence may be permitted. For instance, if hearsay evidence is used to describe the general atmosphere at the time of the alleged incident, rather than a description of what was said or done, it may be allowed. 

If you’re facing criminal charges this doesn’t automatically mean that you are guilty. Inadmissible evidence should not be used against you. Having legal guidance on your side will help ensure that your rights remain intact throughout your trial.