Corroborating Evidence Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Corroborating Evidence?

Additional evidence that strengthens the truthfullness of an existing evidence in a trial.

History and Definition of Corroborating Evidence

Corroborating evidence is a term used in the legal system that refers to additional pieces of evidence presented in a trial. These pieces of evidence not only support the truthfulness of the existing evidence but also make it more credible. It is used to prove the essential elements of a case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Corroborating evidence is necessary because it reinforces the existing evidence and assures the court of its authenticity. This type of evidence is especially important in cases such as sexual assault, where the testimony of the victim is the primary evidence. In these cases, whatever the victim says cannot be substantiated. Hence, corroborating evidence becomes critical to proving the case.

A lack of corroborating evidence can result in a case being dismissed. It makes the case more difficult to prove and creates doubt in the minds of the jurors. Corroborating evidence helps connect the dots and solidify the existing evidence.

Examples of Corroborating Evidence

  1. In a case where a victim accuses someone of assault, the presence of bruises and marks on the victim's body would be considered corroborating evidence.
  2. In a fraud case where someone is accused of embezzlement, if the suspect has the stolen money in their possession at the time of their arrest, this would be considered corroborating evidence.
  3. In a murder case where the suspect has admitted to the crime, identifying the murder weapon as a match to the wounds on the victim's body would be considered corroborating evidence.
  4. In a case where a suspect is accused of arson, the presence of accelerants such as gasoline or kerosene would be considered corroborating evidence.

Legal Terms Similar to Corroborating Evidence

  1. Circumstantial evidence: Evidence that is not directly observed or connected to the crime itself, but provides indicative proof.
  2. Direct evidence: Evidence that provides proof of the crime.
  3. Hearsay: Information that someone heard from another party - this is not acceptable evidence in court unless it is corroborated by an original source.