Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Evidence


Quick Summary of Evidence

to provide evidence for; to stand as proof of; to show by one’s behavior, attitude, or external attributes

What is the dictionary definition of Evidence?

Dictionary Definition

n. every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial). It also includes so-called “circumstantial evidence” which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances which logically lead to a conclusion of fact. Comments and arguments by the attorneys, statements by the judge and answers to questions which the judge has ruled objectionable are not evidence. Charts, maps and models which are used to demonstrate or explain matters are not evidence themselves, but testimony based upon such items and marks on such material may be evidence. Evidence must survive objections of opposing attorneys that it is irrelevant, immaterial or violates rules against “hearsay” (statements by a party not in court), and/or other technicalities.

  1. Facts or observations presented in support of an assertion.
  2. legal Anything admitted by a court to prove or disprove alleged matters of fact in a trial.
  3. One who bears witness.

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 the testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos and laboratory reports. Rules that are as strict as they are quirky and technical govern what types of evidence can be properly admitted as part of a trial. For example, the hearsay rule purports to prevent secondhand testimony of the “he said, she said” variety, but the existence of dozens of exceptions often means that hairsplitting lawyers can find a way to introduce such testimony into evidence. See also admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence.

Full Definition of Evidence

Evidence is any type of information presented at a trial to persuade the jury or judge. There are different types of evidence, and the United States has established specific rules regarding the admissibility of evidence including collection.

Evidence can also be direct evidence, such as eye witness testimony from a witness who saw the crime first-hand, or indirect evidence, such as testimony from an expert witness who was not at the crime scene. There is also circumstantial evidence and real evidence, which include fibres, hair, weapons and any other physical objects. Documentary evidence is also valuable to a case which includes any document relating to the trial such as models, charts, and other displays that help the jury understand the facts of the case.

Generally, the evidence must be relevant to the case to be presented to the court, and it must be in its original form, if possible. Evidence is gathered during the discovery process, which occurs outside of the courtroom and allows the parties in the case to exchange information and interview witnesses through the deposition process. If parties have a disagreement about evidence which should be shared a judge will resolve the dispute.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Evidence. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
September 24, 2022 https://payrollheaven.com/define/evidence/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Evidence. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
https://payrollheaven.com/define/evidence/ (accessed: September 24, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Evidence. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 24, 2022
, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/evidence/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Evidence are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 28th April, 2020 | 0 Views.