What is admissible evidence?

When charged with a crime in Texas, evidence can make or break your case. You will hear two types of evidence: admissible evidence and inadmissible evidence. Admissible evidence is the evidence that the court will accept. When deciding whether evidence is admissible, there are three factors to consider.

FindLaw breaks evidence down into different evidence categories. The evidence has to be material, competent and relevant. Material evidence proves a fact of the case. Competent evidence is reliable. Relevant evidence is appropriate to the case. If the evidence does not relate to a fact of the case, then it is inadmissible.

There are four forms of evidence in a criminal case. These evidence types are:

  • Documentary
  • Demonstrative
  • Testimonial
  • Real

Every form of evidence has to pass the rules of evidence. Each type must be material, competent and relevant.

The most questionable evidence is testimonial evidence. This is because testimonial evidence may have a bias. In some instances, testimonial evidence may also be subject to poor memories. Witnesses cannot always recall an event correctly and perceptions may be different. These statements may be inadmissible. Sometimes, testimonial evidence may be about a person’s character. These testimonies provide the jury with an idea of what a person may or may not do. Testimonial evidence can have reliability issues.

In other instances, some evidence types are only admissible when described by an expert. For instance, if your case relies on DNA evidence, then you will need an expert to describe it to the court.

None of the above is to be interpreted as legal advice. This information on admissible evidence is for educational purposes only.