Exceptions to the Hearsay Rule

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Exceptions to the Hearsay Rule

Hearsay is any information gathered by one person from another person who has first-hand knowledge of the information. This information may involve a condition, event, or object of which the person gathering the information has no first-hand knowledge. In other words, the person did not have any direct or personal experience and cannot testify in court about it. Information that is second-hand is typically not admissible in court unless it falls under specific exceptions.

Can Hearsay Evidence Be Admitted through Another Person's Testimony?

Yes. Even if the person with the first-hand knowledge is available to testify, the second-hand evidence can be admitted under the following circumstances:

Is an Inconsistent Statement a Hearsay Exception?

Yes, prior statements that are considered inconsistent may be allowed at trial in some states. It depends on the rules of procedure for that state.

Is an Admission of Guilt or Liability an Exception?

Yes. Any time a defendant admits guilt, it can be included at trial even if it is hearsay. This is because it may be assumed that a person would not admit to being guilty.

What If the Statement Was Spoken by Someone Who Is Not Available to Testify?

Whether a statement made by someone unable to testify is admissible depends on the statement. Hearsay may be included if the person is not available to testify if:

Should I Contact an Attorney about the Exceptions to the Hearsay Rule?

Sometimes, you may need to rely on hearsay evidence to prove your innocence in a criminal case. Thus, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal attorney about what hearsay evidence is admissible. The attorney will inform you of what hearsay evidence may be admissible in your case and assist you in putting together a defense strategy to defend yourself against criminal charges.

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Last Modified: 11-28-2015 10:14 AM PST

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