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What is Hearsay in Criminal Courts?

Hearsay-Colorado-Courts.jpg"Hearsay" sounds so simple, but with exceptions to the rule of Hearsay, courts have greatly complicated this evidence principle so that even lawyers can't figure it out completely. This rule can have a huge impact on your trial for disorderly conduct, assault or domestic violence in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas County. Here is the definition of Hearsay according to the Colorado Rules of Evidence:

"Hearsay is a statement other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the mater asserted."

Now that you know the rule, you should know there are two types of statements which are not considered hearsay in criminal courts (they seem to be exceptions but are not called that). They are:

1. Prior Statement by Witness

2. Admission by Party - Opponent

There are twenty-three exceptions to the Hearsay Rule, which states that Hearsay is inadmissible. Here are the exceptions:

1. Spontaneous Present Sense Impression

2. Excited Utterance

3. The Existing Mental, Emotional, or Physical Condition

4. Statement for Purposes of Medical Diagnosis or Treatment

5. Recorded Recollection

6. Records of Regularly Conducted Activity

7. Absence of Entry in Records Kept in Accordance with the Provisions of Paragraph (6)

8. Public Records and Reports

9. Records of Vital Statistics

10. Absence of Public Record or Entry

11. Records of Religious Organizations

12. Marriage, Baptismal, and Similar Certificates

13. Family Records

14. Records of Documents Affecting an Interest in Property

15. Statement in Documents Affecting an Interest in Property

16. Statements in Ancient Documents

17. Market Reports, Commercial Publications

18. Learned Treatises

19. Reputation Concerning Personal or Family History

20. Reputation Concerning Boundaries or General History

21. Reputation as to Character

22. Judgment of Previous Conviction

23. Judgment as to Personal, Family, or General History or Boundaries

You need an experienced criminal lawyer at your hearing or trial in Adams, Montrose or Denver County courts because the Hearsay Rule and its exceptions can be very complicated. They affect the admissibility of evidence and what a jury can hear. If not analyzed properly under the Hearsay rule and its exceptions, the District Attorney may be able to keep out important evidence of your innocence.

There are many other evidence rules which can prevent evidence of your innocence from being heard by your jury. Judges and court clerks won't help you out.  Don't try to learn in a short time what experienced lawyers have wrestled with for years. Call our attorneys at 303-731-0719, for a free initial consultation. Together, we can protect your future.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

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