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Related to probative: Probative value


Having the effect of proof, tending to prove, or actually proving.

When a legal controversy goes to trial, the parties seek to prove their cases by the introduction of evidence. All courts are governed by rules of evidence that describe what types of evidence are admissible. One key element for the admission of evidence is whether it proves or helps prove a fact or issue. If so, the evidence is deemed probative. Probative evidence establishes or contributes to proof.

Probative facts are data that have the effect of proving an issue or other information. Probative facts establish the existence of other facts. They are matters of evidence that make the existence of something more probable or less probable than it would be without them. They are admissible as evidence and aid the court in the final resolution of a disputed issue. For example, in the case of a motor vehicle accident, a witness's testimony that she saw one automobile enter the intersection on a red light is a probative fact about whether the driver was at fault.

Evidence has probative value if it tends to prove an issue. However, probative value may refer to whether the evidence is admissible. Rules of evidence generally state that relevant evidence, which tends to prove or disprove an alleged fact, may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. A trial court must use a Balancing test to make this determination, but rules of evidence generally require that relevant evidence with probative value be excluded only if it is substantially outweighed by one of the dangers described in the rule.


adj. in evidence law, tending to prove something. Thus, testimony which is not probative (does not prove anything) is immaterial and not admissible or will be stricken from the record if objected to by opposing counsel. (See: probative facts, probative value)


adjective demonstrative, empiric, evidential, evidentiary, experimental, exploratory, offering evidence, probatory, providing evidence, providing proof, verificative
Associated concepts: probative evidence, probative facts, probative value, probative weight
See also: tentative
References in periodicals archive ?
This is clearly true of the interlocking concepts of relevance, probative value, and the "counterweights" (24) that can block the admission of relevant evidence.
render the disputed term probative of bias, the court's decision is
lack probative value on the question of whether a person has expressed
While errors in survey methodology usually go to the weight of the evidence, an improper survey may be excluded under Rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when its probative value is substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect or potentially misleading a jury.
23) Courts and commentators justify the exclusion because they fear a jury will place too much emphasis on the defendant's past crimes or bad acts, punishing the defendant for those prior misdeeds or overestimating their probative value.
discretion to exclude convictions whose probative value on a
have probative value that is greater than trifling because a jury
Meanwhile, Public Prosecution is preparing its closing pleading, where it will present the incident and the probative evidences on the availability of the mistake from all the defendants, as well as reply back on their defense during the court hearings.
We find particularly probative the regulation's exemptions, which evince a compromise of social and economic concerns, as well as private interests," the court said.