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Definition of Evidence

Evidence is any type of information presented at a trial to persuade the jury or judge. There are different types of evidence, and the United States has established specific rules regarding the admissibility of evidence including collection.

Evidence can also be direct evidence, such as eye witness testimony from a witness who saw the crime first-hand, or indirect evidence, such as testimony from an expert witness who was not at the crime scene. There is also circumstantial evidence and real evidence, which include fibers, hair, weapons and any other physical objects. Documentary evidence is also valuable to a case which includes any document relating to the trial such as models, charts, and other displays that help the jury understand the facts of the case.

Generally, evidence must be relevant to the case to be presented to the court, and it must be in its original form, if possible. Evidence is gathered during the discovery process, which occurs outside of the courtroom and allows the parties in the case to exchange information and interview witnesses through the deposition process. If parties have a disagreement about evidence which should be shared a judge will resolve the dispute.

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