To be admissible, oral testimony must only accept the rule of first-hand knowledge. It only covers what a person personally sees, hears, and perceives. As a result, hearsay is no longer admissible in oral testimony.
Oral evidence is often necessary for legal proceedings to determine who owns what. For example, if you have a dispute with another person about ownership of something like a car or house, you can't simply take their word for it; you need proof. The proof may be written documents such as contracts or mortgages, but sometimes it's also necessary to witness someone signing over property ownership papers. In cases where there are no documents available that clearly state who owns what, then both parties will often provide an oral testimony regarding the matter before a judge or jury.
Hearsay evidence is not admissible in court because it is not reliable. For example, if I say "I saw my friend Bob at his house yesterday afternoon", you cannot assume that this statement refers to what actually happened. Maybe he was at his girlfriend's house or his parents' house- you cannot know for sure because there is no way for me to prove this information beyond a reasonable doubt. With hearsay evidence, we trust that the person providing the information had a good reason for knowing what they were saying was true.
Hearsay testimony is frequently ruled inadmissible at trial. In general, hearsay cannot be used as evidence in a court of law. The reason hearsay is not admissible as evidence is simple: the individual giving the statement cannot be cross-examined since he or she is not present in court. Therefore, there is no way to verify the statement or determine its accuracy.
Here are some other reasons why hearsay evidence is not admitted at trials:
It is unreliable. People make mistakes when talking on the phone or even writing letters. They forget things they said and they alter their stories depending on what someone else says. All these issues can arise with hearsay evidence too. For example, an out-of-court statement made by a witness while on the stand under oath but not subject to cross-examination would be considered highly unreliable.
It is illegal. Some statements made outside of court cannot be used as evidence because they were made without any idea they would one day be offered as proof. For example, if a person makes a false confession to police officers without knowing that it will be used against him or her, it is illegal and cannot be used as evidence.
It violates the right to confrontation. Hearsay evidence denies the defendant his or her right to confront witnesses against them. This right is found in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 22 of the Colorado Constitution.
Only if the statement is provided for the veracity of its contents is it hearsay. In general, courts reject hearsay evidence in criminal and civil proceedings. The hearsay restriction is intended to prevent jurors from accepting secondhand information that has not been cross-examined. Hearsay evidence is unreliable because no opportunity was given for the opponent to question the declarant about his or her allegations.
When making a determination at trial, judges often rely on hearsay evidence to prove critical facts. For example, police officers may report an informant's statements during investigations or prosecutors may mention informants' testimony during closing arguments. Both types of evidence are considered hearsay because they are statements made by another person (the officer or prosecutor) without being presented in court and offered for their truth.
Hearsay evidence can be useful tools for law enforcement officials to obtain information quickly during crimes or other emergency situations. However, jurors should not believe everything they hear during trials because people tend to believe things they hear from others rather than examining the evidence themselves. Judges also allow hearsay evidence because there may be many factors outside of court that prevent parties from presenting all relevant evidence in court. For example, witnesses may die or leave the area, evidence may be lost or damaged, and attorneys may be unable to find other sources of information about the incident.
"Hearsay" is broadly defined as testimony or papers citing persons who are not present in court. When the individual being cited is not there, establishing credibility, as well as cross-examination, becomes impossible. As a result, hearsay evidence is not admissible. Unless you can find a legal exception that applies to this case, it would be best if you did not cite documents as evidence.