What is admissible is often one of those words that can make the difference between winning and losing a case. Admissible evidence can be a very valuable part of a courtroom scenario. It can also be used to get people who might be disagreeing parties to agree to facts or even opinions that they might not have otherwise considered.
Admissible evidence is defined as any evidence that can be presented to a trier of fact for the support or validation of a claim. Parties can bring in any type of evidence to support or testify about any fact they believe is true. It does not have to be true. What is admissible evidence varies from state to state and even from case to case. Even if the situation calls for admissible evidence, courts are supposed to determine what is admissible based on what a reasonable person would think would be the truth. This is called the reliability standard.
There are many things that are considered to be reasonably reliable. What is admissible in a criminal trial, for example, will differ greatly from what would be admissible in a civil trial. In a criminal trial, it is all about what a jury would believe to be true. What is admissible in a civil trial, which is usually the result of the plaintiffs’ attorney seeks, is much more about what the jurors might believe to be true. That is something the jury is supposed to take into account when deciding its verdict.
A great example of what is admissible in a trial or other situation is what is known as hearsay. What is admissible in this type of situation depends upon the relevancy of the testimony. Hearsay, generally, is not allowed because it tends to give the jurors an impression of what the declarant might have been thinking at the time of the event. The testimony of the declarant is always important, but what is admissible in this situation can be damaging to the plaintiff.
Another category of evidence that is generally not allowed in a trial is the use of hypnotism or mind control techniques. These practices have long been regarded as unreliable and even illegal. Today, most courts do not allow expert witnesses to testify concerning what is admissible or unreliable. For example, it has long been considered unlawful to lie during a deposition. While it would be difficult to make changes to the law, courts are still trying to develop rules that will protect the innocent as well as the guilty.
While expert testimony can be damaging, it is still allowed in some circumstances. For example, when a person is suing another individual over an accident, proof that the defendant was driving while intoxicated is admissible. This type of evidence generally must come from the blood alcohol level of the defendant at the time of the arrest. The courts have, however, become much stricter about what is admissible in this situation.
What is admissible as evidence also depends on the type of trial. In a trial involving murder or homicide, it is generally admissible. Admissible or usable evidence can include a confession, a medical diagnosis of physical injury, and the presence of other witnesses. In a trial regarding slander or libel, it is not generally admissible unless the statements were voluntarily made. If the statements were made without the express permission of the plaintiff, they are not admissible.
What is admissible as a legal precedent is not necessarily what is actually found in a particular court. While jurors often find it interesting that certain testimony is admissible, the jury must determine what is actually admissible through the process of common-law discovery. Discovery can take many different forms, and it is up to the jury to determine which method of discovery will best allow them to decide what is admissible as evidence. In the end, jurors must exercise their own judgment in deciding what is admissible in a legal case.