|Part of the common law series|
|Types of evidence|
|Testimony · Documentary evidence|
|Physical evidence · Digital evidence|
|Exculpatory evidence · Scientific evidence|
|Demonstrative evidence · Real evidence|
|Eyewitness identification · DNA · Lies|
|Burden of proof · Laying a foundation|
|Subsequent remedial measure|
|Character evidence · Habit evidence|
|Similar fact evidence|
|Chain of custody|
|Judicial notice · Best evidence rule|
|Competence · Privilege|
|Direct examination · Cross-examination|
|Impeachment · Recorded recollection|
|Expert witness · Dead man statute|
|Hearsay (and its exceptions)|
|Hearsay: in U.K. law · in U.S. law|
|Confessions · Business records|
|Excited utterance · Dying declaration|
|Party admission · Ancient document|
|Declarations against interest|
|Present sense impression · Res gestae|
|Learned treatise · Implied assertion|
|Other areas of the common law|
|Contract law · Tort law · Property law|
|Wills and Trusts · Criminal law|
Digital evidence or electronic evidence is any probative information stored or transmitted in digital form that a party to a court case may use at trial. The Law of evidence governs the use of Testimony (eg oral or written statements such as an Affidavit) and exhibits (e Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive "Testify" redirects here For other uses see Testify (disambiguation and Testimony (disambiguation. Documentary evidence is any evidence introduced at a trial in the form of Documents. Physical evidence is any evidence introduced in a trialin the form of a physical object intended to prove a fact in issue based on its demonstrable physical characteristics Exculpatory evidence is the evidence favorable to the Defendant in a criminal trial, which clears or tends to clear the defendant of Guilt. This article is about the legal concept For scientific evidence in pure science see Scientific evidence. Demonstrative evidence is evidence in the form of a Representation of an object Real evidence is a type of Physical evidence and consists of objects that were involved in a case or actually played a part in the incident or transaction in question Eyewitness identification evidence is the leading cause of Wrongful conviction in the United States Lies, on their own are not sufficient evidence of a crime However Lies may indicate that the defendant knows he is guilty and the prosecution may rely on the fact that the Relevance, in the Common law of evidence, is the tendency of a given item of evidence to prove or disprove one of the legal elements of the case or to have Probative Burden of proof (onus probandi is the obligation to prove Allegations which are presented in a Legal action. In Law, a foundation is sufficient preliminary evidence of the authenticity and relevance for the admission of material evidence in A subsequent remedial measure is a term used in the Law of evidence in the United States to describe an improvement or repair taken following an injury Character evidence is a term used in the Law of evidence to describe any testimony or document submitted for the purpose of proving that a person acted in a particular Habit evidence is a term used in the Law of evidence in the United States to describe any evidence submitted for the purpose of proving that a person In the law of Evidence, similar fact evidence (or the similar fact principle) establishes the conditions under which factual evidence of past misconduct of accused Authentication, in the Law of evidence, is the process by which Documentary evidence and other Physical evidence is proven to be genuine and Chain of custody refers to the chronological documentation and/or Paper trail, showing the seizure custody control transfer analysis and disposition of Evidence Judicial Notice is a rule in the Law of evidence that allows a fact to be introduced into evidence if the truth of that fact is so notorious or well known that it The best evidence rule is a Common law rule of evidence which can be traced back at least as far as the 18th century A self-authenticating document, under the Law of evidence in the United States, is any Document that can be admitted into evidence at a trial An ancient document, in the Law of evidence, refers to both a means of authentication for a piece of Documentary evidence, and an exception to the A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about a Crime or dramatic event through their Senses (e In American law competence concerns the mental capacity of an individual to participate in legal proceedings Under Common law, privilege is a term describing a number of rules excluding evidence that would be adverse to a fundamental principle or relationship if it were disclosed The Direct Examination is a crucial part of the case Direct examination (also called examination in chief is the questioning of a witness by the party who called him or her in a See Structure of policy debate for cross-examination in Policy debate. Witness impeachment, in the Law of evidence, is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual who is testifying in a trial. A recorded recollection, in the Law of evidence, is an exception to the Hearsay rule which allows a witness to testify to the accuracy of a recording or An expert witness is a Witness, who by virtue of Education, Training, Skill, or Experience, is believed to have Knowledge A dead man statute is a statute designed to prevent Perjury in a Civil case by prohibiting a witness who is an interested party from testifying about communications History of the rule The rules of hearsay began to form properly in the late seventeenth century and had become fully established by the early nineteenth century Hearsay is the legal term that describes statements made outside of court or other judicial proceedings In the law of criminal evidence a confession means a statement by a suspect in crime which is adverse to that person The business records exception to the US hearsay rule is based on Rule 803(6 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE An excited utterance, in the Law of evidence, is a statement made by a person in response to a startling or shocking event or condition In the Law of evidence, the dying declaration is Testimony that would normally be barred as Hearsay but may nonetheless be admitted as evidence Background The party admission, in the Law of evidence, is a type of statement that appears to be hearsay (an out of court statement but is An ancient document, in the Law of evidence, refers to both a means of authentication for a piece of Documentary evidence, and an exception to the Declarations against interest are an exception to the rule on hearsay in which a person's statement may be used where generally the content of the statement is so prejudicial A present sense impression, in the Law of evidence, is a statement made by a person (the Declarant) that conveys his or her sense of the state of an This article is for the legal term 'Res Gestae' For the article on the record of the accomplishments of the first Roman emperor Augustus see the article for Res Gestae Divi A learned treatise, in the Law of evidence, is a text that is sufficiently authoritiative in its field to be admissible as evidence in a Court in support In the law of evidence, an implied assertion is a statement or conduct that infers some fact A contract is an exchange of promises between two or more parties to do or refrain from doing an act which is enforceable in a court of law Tort law is the name given to a body of law that creates and provides remedies for civil wrongs that do not arise out of Contractual duties Property law is the area of Law that governs the various forms of Ownership in Real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions In Common law, a will or testament is a document by which a person (the Testator) regulates the rights of others over his or her Property The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of Law which governs the management of personal affairs and the Disposition of Property of The term criminal law, sometimes called penal law, refers to any of various bodies of rules in different Jurisdictions whose common characteristic is the potential A digital system uses discrete (discontinuous values usually but not always Symbolized Numerically (hence called "digital" to represent information for A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a Court, or by some equivalent legal process
The use of digital evidence has increased in the past few decades as courts have allowed the use of e-mails, digital photographs, ATM transaction logs, word processing documents, instant message histories, files saved from accounting programs, spreadsheets, internet browser histories, databases, the contents of computer memory, computer backups, computer printouts, Global Positioning System tracks, logs from a hotel’s electronic door locks, and digital video or audio files. Electronic mail, often abbreviated to e-mail, email, or originally eMail, is a Store-and-forward method of writing sending receiving Digital photography is a form of Photography that utilizes Digital technology to make Digital images of subjects Word processing is the creation of documents using a Word processor. Accountancy or accounting is the measurement statement or provision of assurance about financial information primarily used by Lenders managers, A spreadsheet is a Computer application that simulates a paper worksheet A web browser is a software application which enables a user to display and interact with text images videos music games and other information typically located on a A Computer Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system In Information technology, backup refers to making copies of Data so that these additional copies may be used to restore the original after a Basic concept of GPS operation A GPS receiver calculates its position by carefully timing the signals sent by the constellation of GPS Satellites high above the Earth Digital video is a type of Video recording system that works by using a Digital rather than an analog video signal Sound' is Vibration transmitted through a Solid, Liquid, or Gas; particularly sound means those vibrations composed of Frequencies
While many courts in the United States have applied the Federal Rules of Evidence to digital evidence in the same way as more traditional documents, courts have noted very important differences. A court is a forum used by a power base to adjudicate disputes and dispense civil, labour administrative and criminal Justice under its The Federal Rules of Evidence ( FRE) govern the admission of facts by which parties in the federal courts of the United States may prove their cases As compared to the more traditional evidence, courts have noted that digital evidence tends to be more voluminous, more difficult to destroy, easily modified, easily duplicated, potentially more expressive, and more readily available. As such, some courts have sometimes treated digital evidence differently for purposes of authentication, hearsay, the best evidence rule, and privilege. Authentication (from Greek αυθεντικός real or genuine from authentes author is the act of establishing or confirming something (or someone as Not to be confused with Heresy. Hearsay is a legal term referring to the use of out of court statements as evidence The best evidence rule is a Common law rule of evidence which can be traced back at least as far as the 18th century A privilege &mdashetymologically "private law" or law relating to a specific individual&mdashis a special Entitlement or immunity granted by a government In December of 2006, strict new rules were enacted within the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requiring the preservation and disclosure of electronically stored evidence. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP are rules governing Civil procedure in United States district (federal courts that is court procedures for Civil
As with any evidence, the proponent of digital evidence must lay the proper foundation. The Law of evidence governs the use of Testimony (eg oral or written statements such as an Affidavit) and exhibits (e Courts largely concerned themselves with the reliability of such digital evidence. As such, early court decisions required that authentication called "for a more comprehensive foundation. " US v. Scholle, 553 F. 2d 1109 (8th Cir. 1976).
As courts, like society, became more familiar with digital documents, they backed away from the higher standard. Courts have since held "computer data compilations… should be treated as any other record. " US v. Vela, 673 F. 2d 86, 90 (5th Cir. 1982).
Nevertheless, the "more comprehensive" foundation required by Scholle remains good practice. The American Law Reports lists a number ways to establish the comprehensive foundation. In American law, the American Law Reports are a resource used by American Lawyers to find a variety of sources relating to specific legal rules doctrines It suggests that the proponent demonstrate "the reliability of the computer equipment", "the manner in which the basic data was initially entered", "the measures taken to insure the accuracy of the data as entered", "the method of storing the data and the precautions taken to prevent its loss", "the reliability of the computer programs used to process the data", and "the measures taken to verify the accuracy of the program". 7 American Law Reports 4th, 8, 2b.
Digital evidence is almost never in a format readable by humans. The best evidence rule is a Common law rule of evidence which can be traced back at least as far as the 18th century As such, another step is required for admitting any digital document into evidence. Conceptually, any additional step creates a new document, which might otherwise not qualify under the "best evidence rule". The best evidence rule is a Common law rule of evidence which can be traced back at least as far as the 18th century However, the Federal Rules of Evidence rule 1001(3) states "if data are stored in a computer…, any printout or other output readable by sight, shown to reflect the data accurately, is an ‘original. ’"
Moreover, courts almost never bar printouts under the best evidence rule. The best evidence rule is a Common law rule of evidence which can be traced back at least as far as the 18th century In Aguimatang v. California State Lottery, the court gave near per se treatment to the admissibility of digital evidence stating "the computer printout does not violate the best evidence rule, because a computer printout is considered an ‘original. ’" 234 Cal. App. 3d 769, 798.
Very often an opponent to digital evidence will object to its admission as hearsay. Not to be confused with Heresy. Hearsay is a legal term referring to the use of out of court statements as evidence "Testify" redirects here For other uses see Testify (disambiguation and Testimony (disambiguation. Not to be confused with Heresy. Hearsay is a legal term referring to the use of out of court statements as evidence Like documentary evidence, not all digital evidence is hearsay. Documentary evidence is any evidence introduced at a trial in the form of Documents.
First, there is some digital evidence which is not hearsay at all. Hearsay is a "statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial… offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. "Testify" redirects here For other uses see Testify (disambiguation and Testimony (disambiguation. " A declarant is a person. Therefore, courts have held that digital evidence is not hearsay when it is "the by-product of a machine operation which uses for its input ‘statements’ entered into the machine" and was "was generated solely by the electrical and mechanical operations of the computer and telephone equipment. " State v. Armstead, 432 So. 2d 837, 839 (La. 1983).
Moreover, where the evidence is not offered to prove the truth of the statements, digital evidence is not hearsay. This is the case, for example, with logs of chatroom conversations. The term chat room, or chatroom, is primarily used by Mass media to describe any form of Synchronous conferencing, occasionally even Asynchronous conferencing While a chatroom log may contain many out of court statements, which would otherwise be hearsay, they may be used for other purposes, including as a party admission. Background The party admission, in the Law of evidence, is a type of statement that appears to be hearsay (an out of court statement but is US v. Simpson, 152 F. 3s 1241 (10th Cir. 1998).
Second, hearsay recognizes a number of exceptions. Most frequently, proponents of digital evidence seek admission under the business records exception. The business records exception to the US hearsay rule is based on Rule 803(6 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE This perhaps is because the definition of business records includes a "data compilation. " FRE 803(6). The Federal Rules of Evidence ( FRE) govern the admission of facts by which parties in the federal courts of the United States may prove their cases However, obviously not every piece of digital evidence is a business record. Such reliance on the business records exception has had bad results for its proponents. In Monotype Corp. PLC v. International Typeface Corp, the plaintiffs relied on the business records exception to attempt to admit two e-mails as evidence that the defendants had infringed their copyright only to have it excluded by the court. A plaintiff ( Π in Legal shorthand) also known as a claimant or complainant, is the party who initiates a Lawsuit 43 F. 3d 443 (9th Cir. 1994). The court noted that the e-mail was not created "in the regular course of [the third party’s] business. "
Other proponents have had success with the public records exception, excited utterance, Present sense impression, and the FRE 807—the catch-all. An excited utterance, in the Law of evidence, is a statement made by a person in response to a startling or shocking event or condition A present sense impression, in the Law of evidence, is a statement made by a person (the Declarant) that conveys his or her sense of the state of an Where digital evidence does not meet one of the other exceptions but has "equivalent circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness" that hearsay seeks to protect against, a court may apply the catch-all.
United States of America: