Inadmissible Evidence Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Inadmissible Evidence?

Evidence that cannot be considered as evidence during a trial.

History and Meaning of Inadmissible Evidence

Inadmissible evidence refers to any type of evidence that cannot be presented during a trial or hearing. This can include evidence that is obtained illegally or evidence that is deemed irrelevant to the case at hand. The reason why this evidence is inadmissible is because it would not serve the purpose of finding the truth or protecting the rights of the accused.

The concept of inadmissible evidence has its roots in common law and has evolved over the years to become an integral part of the legal system of several countries. The legal rules outlining the standards for inadmissible evidence are often determined on a case-by-case basis and the specific rules may vary depending on the jurisdiction.

Examples of Inadmissible Evidence

  1. Hearsay: Statements made by a third party outside the court are considered hearsay and generally not allowed as evidence. For example, if a witness testifies to a statement made to them by another person who is not present in court, this evidence would be considered hearsay.

  2. Prior Bad Acts: Evidence of prior criminal activity or bad behavior that is not related to the current case is generally not allowed as evidence. For example, if a defendant is on trial for robbery, evidence of past instances of theft would be deemed inadmissible.

  3. Opinions: Evidence presented by a witness that expresses their personal opinion is generally inadmissible. For example, a witness cannot offer an opinion on whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

Legal Terms Similar to Inadmissible Evidence

  1. Exclusionary Rule: The exclusionary rule is a legal principle that evidence obtained illegally is generally not admissible at trial.

  2. Suppression of Evidence: The act of suppressing evidence is the process of preventing evidence from being presented at trial.

  3. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: The phrase "fruit of the poisonous tree" refers to evidence that is obtained indirectly through illegal means, such as evidence that is discovered as a result of an illegal search or seizure. This evidence is typically considered inadmissible.