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Definition of Direct Evidence

Direct evidence is evidence gathered from a witness who actually saw or heard the event in question. Direct evidence differs from circumstantial evidence which requires inference or presumption. Direct evidence is very good for a case because it does not ask a jury to develop opinions based on circumstantial evidence but can provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Common types of direct evidence include DNA, photos of the crime in progress, eye witness testimony and fingerprints. There is some debate within the legal community about whether or not any evidence can actually be called "direct evidence." Legal experts generally depend on both direct evidence and circumstantial evidence to prove their case. Direct evidence, however, is not always necessary to win a case; cases can also be won with circumstantial evidence alone.

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