In-court testimony that includes statements made outside of court may be considered hearsay. Generally speaking, hearsay evidence is not admitted in cases that take place in Virginia or other states. However, there are scenarios in which it may be allowed to be heard and considered by a jury. For instance, if a person made a statement to a medical professional at the scene of a crash or some other crime scene, that information could be used in a legal proceeding.
Documents may also be accepted as evidence in a trial even though the information that they contain could be considered hearsay. The same is true as it relates to statements related to a person’s reputation. As a general rule, evidence can be introduced that would allow justice to be properly served or that would help to prove a material fact.
Finally, hearsay evidence may be introduced in a courtroom proceeding if an individual is unable to testify. This could be the case if a person refuses to testify, can’t remember what happened or has passed away. Individuals may also be unable to participate in a trial because of a mental illness or because they can’t be found. If this happens, a person’s former statements or statements made against his or her own interest can be introduced as evidence in a matter.
Individuals who are charged with DUI, burglary or other crimes may benefit from retaining an attorney. Legal counsel could help prevent hearsay or other types of evidence from being presented to a jury. This may make it easier to negotiate a plea deal or have a case dropped entirely. If a case is dropped, it might be possible to have a charge expunged.