Glossary

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This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. For legal terms not referred to in this glossary, or for more comprehensive definitions, you may wish to refer to a legal dictionary or to an internet resource.

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Evidence
Statements, information, and things that are used to prove or disprove an alleged fact.
Admissible Evidence
Evidence that is relevant and is of such a kind that the court will receive it.
Character Evidence
Evidence that shows the kind of person that someone is.
Circumstantial Evidence
Evidence which creates an inference that a particular fact exists.
Corroborating Evidence
Evidence that strengthens and confirms other evidence.
Demonstrative Evidence
Physical evidence that can be seen and inspected.
Derivative Evidence
Evidence discovered by using illegally obtained evidence. This evidence may be found to be inadmissible.
Direct Evidence
Evidence based on personal knowledge or observation that, if true, proves a fact.
Expert Evidence
Opinion evidence given by a person whom the court finds to be qualified to act as an expert.
Forensic Evidence
Evidence collected and studied through the use of sciences and other specialized knowledge, such as, biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, computer science, psychiatry and psychology. Forensic experts examine various things, including: a person's mental condition, documents, substances, chemicals, tissue traces, or impressions left at a crime scene.
Hearsay Evidence
Evidence based on what someone else has told the witness. "Second-hand" evidence. Hearsay evidence is often not admissible in court.
Viva Voce Evidence
Evidence that is given orally, as opposed to written evidence.