Admissible Evidence Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Admissible Evidence, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Admissible Evidence?

n. in a court, any testimonial, documentary, or tangible evidence that may be introduced to a judge or jury is called admissible evidence. The use is to establish or to bolster a point put forth by a party to the proceeding. The submitted evidence is admissible only when it is relevant, is not prejudicial, and it have some indicia of reliability. It could be in the form of documented evidences, a witness or authentic facts found out or verified by some agency accepted by law, say for example, a court official, police personnel, government doctor, etc.

History and Meaning of Admissible Evidence

Admissible evidence is a fundamental concept in the legal system. It refers to any evidence that can be submitted to a court, tribunal or jury to support or oppose a legal argument. The history of admissible evidence dates back to the common law system and its strict evidentiary rules. In the past, evidence that was not directly related to the facts in issue or that was obtained illegally was not admissible. This has changed over time, and the rules of evidence have become more relaxed.

Today, admissible evidence is defined as testimony, documents or physical evidence that are relevant and reliable. In other words, the evidence must have some bearing on the case at hand and be trustworthy. The rules of evidence govern what evidence is admissible in court and how it can be introduced. Admissible evidence can make or break a case, and attorneys spend a great deal of time preparing and presenting it.

Examples of Admissible Evidence

  • A signed contract between two parties is admissible evidence in a breach of contract dispute.
  • A video recording of a crime in progress is admissible evidence in a criminal trial.
  • A witness who saw an accident happen can provide admissible evidence in a personal injury case.
  • Medical records can be admissible evidence in a disability claim.
  • A diary or journal can be admissible evidence in a custody dispute.

Legal Terms Similar to Admissible Evidence

  • Hearsay: Evidence that is offered by a witness who does not have direct knowledge of the facts but is providing secondhand information.
  • Circumstantial Evidence: Evidence that does not directly prove a fact but creates an inference that the fact is true.
  • Direct Evidence: Evidence that directly proves a fact, such as an eyewitness testimony.
  • Documentary Evidence: Evidence that is presented in written form, such as contracts, medical records or emails.
  • Physical Evidence: Evidence that is tangible, such as a weapon, a car or a piece of clothing.