Spontaneous Exclamation Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Spontaneous Exclamation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Spontaneous Exclamation?
(n) Spontaneous exclamations are the impulsive response from the mouth of the person subjected to the incident or present at the time of happening. These are unplanned remarks of the victims or witnesses and hence carry weight as evidences
History and Meaning of Spontaneous Exclamation
Spontaneous exclamation is a term used in legal proceedings and refers to the involuntary verbal reaction that a victim or witness of a crime makes when they are experiencing an incident or present at the time of an event. These exclamations could be phrases, single words, or sounds and are often made without pause for thought or consideration. Because these remarks are not premeditated, they may have significant weight as evidence in court.
The idea of spontaneous exclamation has been used in legal settings for hundreds of years but was formally established in the 19th century as a reliable form of evidence. The notion was initially regarded with skepticism as it was thought that people might not accurately portray their perception of an event. However, as the understanding of human psychology and memory has evolved, the perception of spontaneous exclamation as reliable evidence has become more widely accepted.
Examples of Spontaneous Exclamation
A woman is walking home alone when she's attacked by a man. While struggling, the woman cries out "Help, this stranger is trying to hurt me!"
A witness is across the road when she notices a car run a red light and hit a pedestrian. The witness screams, "Oh my God, they've hit someone!"
An employee gets robbed at gunpoint during their late-night shift. The employee swears and yells "Give me that money, you're not taking everything!"
Legal Terms Similar to Spontaneous Exclamation
Hearsay - Evidence presented by a witness who did not see or hear the incident but learned about it through another person.
Testimony - Evidence given by a witness or party under oath in court.
Circumstantial evidence - Evidence that may imply something happened but does not prove it conclusively.