Direct Evidence

  • Seeing the offense being committed.

Circumstantial Evidence

  • You saw the teacher with a bomb then heard an explosion in the classroom.  It is safe to say you saw the person who committed the crime.

Similar Fact Evidence

  • Evidence showing the accused has committed similar offenses in the past.

Hearsay Evidence

  • Evidence that someone other than the witness has said or written.  It is generally not admissible.
  • No cross-examination of this evidence as witness cannot testify as to its truth.

Opinion Evidence (or expert testimony)

  • What an expert thinks about facts in a case.

Photographs, Video or Tape Recordings

  • Photos are allowed only to give accurate representation of a scene of a crime.
  • Video/Audio tape is admissible if the person had no reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Wiretapping, Polygraph and Confessions

Voire Dire

  • A trial within a trial to see if evidence can be shown to the jury.
  • Judge asks jury to leave courtroom and listens to Crown and defence positions.
  • Judge makes decision based on rules of evidence to determine if evidence is admissible.  Jury returns and trial continues.

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Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Types of Legal Evidence," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,
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