While present at the accident location, someone told you the driver in the blue car was at fault. You repeat this statement in the court as a witness of the crime—you provided the court with hearsay evidence.
According to the Indiana Rules of Court:
“Hearsay means a statement that is not made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing and is offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” (Rule 801)
The Rule (802) Against Hearsay in Indiana suggests that hearsay evidence isn’t admissible unless there are exceptions.
Hearsay doesn’t work when it comes to criminal cases—at least most of the time. Ahead, we’ve elaborated on the unreliability of hearsay evidence and some of the exceptions to the rule against hearsay, as described in Rule 803 and Rule 804 of the Indiana Rules of Court.
Unreliability of a Hearsay Evidence
The rule against hearsay’s goal is to prevent the court from making judgments based on unreliable information. People convicted or charged with criminal crimes face severe consequences of their acts, and no one deserves to spend a lifetime in prison based on a false rumor. The court requires witnesses who can offer information—be it hearsay evidence. The jury then cross-examines that information with other reliable evidence to assess its credibility to make a decision.
Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay
The following are a handful of all the exceptions to the rule against hearsay, as declared by the law court.
- If the witness makes a statement while or immediately after the declarant perceived the incident, it may be considered reliable evidence. For instance, if you hear a child being abused and beaten in your neighbor’s house and you report it to the police, it will be valid hearsay.
- A statement made by a person looking for medical treatment or diagnosis for themselves or someone else
- A statement that highlights the medical history, pain, present or past symptoms, or general medical condition
- A recorded recollection that explicitly reflects the knowledge of the witness.
- Certain public records may also be considered an exception against the hearsay rule.
If you are held in custody based on hearsay evidence, you have the right to make an appeal against the court’s decision and to review reliable evidence. In case of an arrest, seek help from DeLaughter Bail Bonds. Our bail bondsmen in Marshall County offer 24-hours bail bond services to ensure you get the support whenever you need it.
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Contact us for more information.