A Trial Lawyer You Can Trust

What is hearsay?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | Criminal Defense

When you present your defense in court, you will need to provide evidence that will help you to disprove any evidence the prosecutor brings. Remember that you are not proving your innocence but rather proving there is a reasonable doubt of your guilt.

One option when presenting your case is calling witnesses. However, when you do this, it is essential to ensure your witnesses can testify to information they personally heard or experienced. You must avoid hearsay because it can be damaging to your case.


Hearsay is similar to a rumor or gossip. It is something someone heard that they have no evidence of its validity. For example, a witness cannot testify that he heard someone say someone else committed a crime. To be acceptable and not hearsay, the witness would have had to see the person commit the crime or have the person directly tell him of committing the crime.


The court will not allow hearsay evidence in most cases. It operates in facts where rumors or gossip often have roots in fiction. However, there are some exceptions to this rule in some courts. The Federal Rules of Evidence provides a list of rules about hearsay, which provide some situations in which the court will allow it.

In general, you want solid evidence deeply rooted in fact. Your chances to put up a successful defense hinge on your ability to present concrete proof against the accusations of the prosecutor. You do not want to hurt your case by presenting hearsay, which the prosecution would get the chance to prove false.


RSS Feed

FindLaw Network

Our Practice Areas




Business And
Civil Litigation

Results And

You Need A Fighter On Your Side

Super Lawyers
State Bar Of California | CBLS | California Board Of Leal Specialization | Certified Since 2001
The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

How Can We Help You?