Every day there are cases argued in the courts of the United States, there are plaintiffs, prosecutors and defendants, there are juries and it all comes to rest with a final verdict. Guilty. Or not guilty.
All of these cases are strengthened by the presence of witnesses and evidence; but not all of these are admissible in court. Admissible evidence is only the one that is relevant to the particular case, and that is what is known by relevance of legal evidence.
Relevant Evidence Definition
The meaning of relevance in the legal jargon is as to how relevant and aligned the fact or evidence is with the case at hand. Or, if there are two facts presented side by side, how relevant are they to each other and then to the case.
The concept of relevance is further classified as being legally or logically relevant. For instance, if an evidence is not obtained legally, it may not be admissible in court. The other party can call you out on the evidence and have it removed from the case. Logically, if the presence of the evidence at the crime scene or regarding the case makes sense, then the evidence is known as relevant and is admissible in court.
Admissibility and Relevance
A further condition must be fulfilled for evidence in lawful procedures. There are legitimate principles that forbid evidence from being introduced at a trial despite the fact that it is relevant and has material contribution to the case at hand. These are rules that can make an evidence inadmissible and can have a judge bar it from the case.
Two instances of such guidelines of admissibility are hearsay evidence and the rule against character evidence. Here, once more, the phrasing is loose. Admissibility and receivability are not unmistakably recognized. It is basic for unessential proof, or proof of an irrelevant actuality to be portrayed as illegal. This means the court will exclude the evidence if it is irrelevant or immaterial.
However, significantly, there are other cases where evidence is excluded- other than on the grounds of being irrelevant or immaterial. In the United States, Federal Rule of Evidence 404(a)(1) bars the utilization of proof of an individual’s character ‘to demonstrate that on a specific event the individual acted as per the character’ and Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b)(1) gives that proof of a wrongdoing or crime.
It is still doubtful that proof of an individual’s character and past conduct can have no probabilistic bearing on his conduct on a specific event; on a probabilistic origination of importance, it is hard to perceive any reason why the evidence is not relevant.
What is an Example of Relevant Evidence?
There are many examples within the courtroom and among cases which give us an idea about what sort of evidence is relevant, and admissible.
Nathan is accused of stealing a lot of liquor from the departmental store, the night before his birthday party. The prosecution wants to present evidence that explains the motive behind stealing liquor: the accused is underrage and wanted to celebrate his birthday with his friends. This evidence is relevant, thus admissible in court.
Taking the example of the same case: now the prosecution wants to ask the manager of the store to tell the jury how many items have been stolen in the past couple of months and how many have been beers and alcohol? This doesn’t tie directly to Nathan’s case, so the evidence is irrelevant and inadmissible in court.
Skylar is charged with drunk driving, now prosecution wants to provide evidence that he is an active member of the street gang. The evidence is irrelevant because drunk driving has nothing to do with criminal activities on the street. So this evidence is inadmissible in court.
Markian is charged with car theft, he was arrested from home where he had friends over who were doing drugs. The prosecution wants to bring in evidence that they found marijuana in the house. Unless they can prove that the drugs were somehow involved in the theft, the evidence is irrelevant thus inadmissible in court.
It is common sense really; unless the evidence is relevant to the defendant and the case, the prosecutor can’t bring in any evidence. The judge will rule it out and it will be considered inadmissible in court- meaning excluded from the reports and that particular evidence will not impact the verdict in any case.
Moreover, if the evidence seems irrelevant at the start but later connects on with the case; either legally or logically, can then be added to the evidence list and be deemed as admissible. There are different cases how this might be possible; if a case can describe the motive for a person to commit a certain crime, it is admissible and relevant in front of the jury.