Types of Evidence

Many different people identified different categories of evidence. This article synthesizes these various categorizations and includes some of my thoughts on the topic.

Evidence is “The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos, and laboratory reports. Strict rules limit what can be properly admitted as evidence, but dozens of exceptions often mean that creative lawyers find a way to introduce such testimony or other items into evidence. (See: admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence)”[1]


Demonstrative evidence:
“Objects, pictures, models, and other devices used in a trial or hearing to demonstrate or explain facts that the party is trying to prove.”[2]

Real evidence:
Real evidence is also known as physical evidence or material evidence. It’s basically any physical object that is relevant to the case or topic at hand.[3]

Testimonial evidence:
“Written or oral assertion offered as proof of truth in court. Includes hearsay and testimony.”[4]

Documentary evidence:
“Such evidence as is furnished by written instruments, inscriptions, documents of all kinds, and also any inanimate objects admissible for the purpose, as distinguished from “oral” evidence, or that delivered by human beings viva voce.”[5]

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[1] – https://www.nolo.com/dictionary/evidence-term.html. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

[2] – https://www.nolo.com/dictionary/demonstrative-evidence-term.html. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

[3] – https://barprephero.com/legal-terms/evidence/real-evidence/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

[4] – https://thelawdictionary.org/testimonial-evidence/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

[5] – https://thelawdictionary.org/documentary-evidence/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2020.

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