Improper Character Evidence
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Evidence of a person’s character or character trait cannot be used to show propensity, that a person acted a certain way on a particular occasion because they tend to act that way in general.
Defendants may offer evidence to show their own pertinent traits. Prosecution may show evidence to rebut.
Defendants may offer evidence to show alleged victims pertinent traits. If admitted the prosecution may show evidence to rebut and/or show evidence of the same trait.
In homicide cases prosecutors may offer evidence of the victim’s trait of peacefulness to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor.
Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion that person acted in accordance with the character.
Evidence of a crime, wrong or other act is admissible if used to show motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident.
You can attack or support a witness’s credibility by using testimony about the witness’s reputation for having a character for (un)truthfulness or testimony regarding opinions about that character. This evidence is only admissible after the witness’s character for truthfulness has been attacked.
Extrinsic evidence regarding specific instances of a witness’s conduct is inadmissible to attack or support the witness’s character for truthfulness. The only exception is if it falls under 609.
This rule applies when attacking a witness for truthfulness using evidence of a criminal conviction. Crimes publishable by death or imprisonment for over 1 year, if the witness isn’t the defendant the it must be admitted under Rule 403. If it is the defendant it’s admissible in any case except when its probative value outweighs its prejudicial effect.
This rule applies when attacking a witness for truthfulness using evidence of a criminal conviction. For any crime regardless of the punishment the evidence must be admitted is the court can determine that establishing elements of the crime required proving a dishonest act or false statement.
(b) Limit on Using the Evidence After 10 Years
Evidence that’s over 10 years old (defined by date of conviction or release from confinement; whichever is later), it’s only admissible if its probative value substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect and prior notice is given to opposing counsel.
Evidence of a conviction is not admissible if the conviction’s been pardoned, annulled, or a certificate of rehabilitation is available and that person hasn’t been convicted of a later crime punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year; or the witness has been pardoned, etc. based on a finding of innocence.
Evidence of juvenile convictions are only admissible if it’s offered in a it’s offered in a criminal case, the adjudication was of a witness other than the defendant, an adult’s conviction for that offense would be admissible to attack the adult’s credibility, ¿and/or? admitting the evidence is necessary to fairly determine guilt or innocence.
A conviction that satisfies this rule even if an appeal is pending. Evidence of the appeal is also admissible.
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