Primary evidence is the most reliable type of evidence. This is the proof that, in any feasible circumstance, provides the crucial clue on a contested fact and confirms the court's creation of an original document through documentary evidence. Primary sources include letters, journals, and reports by individuals who were present or involved in the event being documented.
Secondary evidence is less reliable but can be used to corroborate primary evidence or fill in gaps in the history of a topic. Secondary sources include archival documents, books, and articles. These items may not be available online, but they do exist and are worth seeking out at libraries or museums.
Tertiary evidence is least reliable of all, as it is derived from witnesses' memories of events that have already passed away. Tertiary sources include oral histories and archeological findings.
Evidence is important because it proves facts about which there is disagreement. Evidence gives credibility to claims made in arguments or statements made during testimony, and it can also help prove or disprove theories about what happened in history. Evidence can show your case or defend a person accused of a crime. Evidence is found in police investigations to identify suspects or determine if an act was intentional or accidental. It can also reveal new information about a crime scene or witness account. In trials, evidence is used to prove guilt or innocence.
The original document delivered to the court for review is considered primary evidence. Any document that is not the original but is cited in Section 63 is considered secondary evidence. Before presenting supplementary evidence, notice must be given. The purpose of this requirement is to allow the other party an opportunity to examine the evidence you intend to submit.
Primary evidence is information that directly relates to the facts of the case. It includes testimony of witnesses who actually see or experience the facts at issue, as well as documents such as affidavits, contracts, or photographs that show what actually happened. Primary evidence cannot be contradicted; instead, it must be accepted by the fact-finder as true.
Secondary evidence is information that does not relate to specific facts but nevertheless may have some effect on the fact-finder's determination. It includes reports from government agencies such as police departments or medical examiners, as well as expert opinions based on studies of the facts of the case. Secondary evidence can be contradicted by other evidence or theories about the case. For example, if the plaintiff alleges that defendant was speeding and witnesses testify that they saw him driving slowly, then the defendant can introduce evidence that traffic cameras installed near the scene recorded him driving within the speed limit.
Evidence that has no actual effect on the proceedings but may influence the jury is called "hearsay".
Documentary evidence is classified into two types: main evidence and secondary evidence. Main evidence is information that directly proves or disproves the facts in a case. It includes eyewitness accounts, photos, and medical records. Secondary evidence uses information about the nature of the crime to identify suspects and witnesses. This evidence can include police reports from other cases, physical evidence such as fingerprints or DNA, and public records such as court documents or government agency files.
Documentaries are one type of primary source material. Primary sources are materials that were actually used in or near the events they describe. Examples include letters written by activists, newspapers articles, and videos recorded at the time of the event itself. Documents such as these help prove the facts in a case because they provide direct information about what happened.
Evidence that provides indirect proof of facts includes testimony, interviews with witnesses or victims, police reports, and scientific tests. Indirect evidence cannot prove or disprove any facts; it only shows that certain people were likely involved in the crime. For example, police officers could testify that they found fingerprint evidence at the scene of the crime, which means someone must have been there.
In general, there are two sorts of evidence: direct and circumstantial. As the term indicates, direct evidence is evidence that directly connects a defendant to the offense for which they are on trial, without the need for inference. An eyewitness's sworn testimony is a frequent example. Circumstantial evidence is proof of facts and circumstances indicating guilt; these facts and circumstances must be consistent with the defendant's innocence and inconsistent with any other rational conclusion. Events and circumstances may give rise to both direct and circumstantial evidence. For example, if a defendant is accused of murdering someone, then evidence such as physical traces at the scene, medical records indicating the cause of death, and witness statements describing what happened immediately before and after the victim died are all considered direct evidence of murder.
Indirect or circumstantial evidence is evidence that proves facts and circumstances from which one can reasonably conclude that the crime in question was committed by the defendant. For example, if a defendant is accused of robbing a bank, then evidence such as eyewitness accounts of the crime, fingerprints found at the scene, and changes of clothing worn by the defendant during the robbery are all examples of indirect or circumstantial evidence used to prove the defendant guilty of robbery. The distinction between direct and indirect/circumstantial evidence is important because the law requires that each type of evidence be examined separately and judged on its own merit.
Real evidence, demonstrative evidence, documented evidence, and testimonial evidence are the four types and definitions of evidence. Real evidence is physical objects such as documents, photographs, and tangible things that can be touched by the human hand. Demonstrative evidence is images, videos, or drawings that show facts or conditions but not necessarily everyone who saw them. Documented evidence is information stored in a computer that can be retrieved later. Electronic evidence is recorded directly into computers so it cannot be removed like paper documents. Testimonial evidence is statements from witnesses about what they saw or heard.
Evidence can be classified as real, demonstrative, documentary, or testimonial. This classification helps lawyers determine how to process evidence for trial. For example, if evidence is only relevant to a particular issue in the case, it should be offered on that point only. If evidence is relevant to multiple issues, it should be admitted in its entirety rather than divided up among different witnesses or exhibits.
As a result, a newspaper story, journal, magazine, book, or other source can only be deemed secondary evidence rather than primary evidence. As a result, the study concludes that a newspaper item is secondary, but the sources are primary.
Fingerprints and DNA are the most distinguishing pieces of evidence since, like snowflakes, no two persons have the same prints or, with the exception of identical twins, the same DNA. Fingerprints are unique to an individual and while some people may have very similar fingerprints, no two people have the same set of fingerprints.
Fingerprints are found on objects that a person has touched including door knobs, light switches, desks, and phones. Since no two people will ever have the same fingerprint, this type of evidence can be used by police to identify someone who hasn't been photographed in a crime scene photo array. DNA is found on items that haven't been contacted by human skin including glass, metal, and even soap scum. Because no two individuals will have the same DNA sequence, this type of evidence can also be used to identify people who don't fit the description of a suspect.
Individualized evidence means evidence that can be traced to an individual defendant. This type of evidence includes fingerprints, DNA, blood stains, bullets, and tool marks. Since each person's blood type is different, blood stains can be identified as belonging to an individual defendant. Similarly, since only one person can own a particular gun, guns discovered at the scene of the crime can be identified as having come from outside suspects.