character evidence


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Related to character evidence: Opinion Evidence

Character Evidence

Proof or attestations about an individual's moral standing, general nature, traits, and reputation in the general community.

A character witness is an individual who testifies as to the habits and reputation of another person. In criminal cases, a defendant might attempt to reduce the possibility that he or she will be convicted of committing the crime as charged by exhibiting his or her good character or propensity for not committing the offense. Ordinarily, this is limited to testimony concerning the particular character trait that is in issue. For example, evidence concerning the defendant's trustworthiness with property might be relevant in an Embezzlement case. The character witness must be a person who is familiar with the defendant's reputation in the community fairly close to the time the crime was committed.

In federal trials the admissibility of character evidence and the use of character witnesses are governed by the Federal Rules of Evidence.

character evidence

evidence of the character of a witness. In criminal proceedings, evidence as to the accused's bad character may only be adduced if it has been sought to establish good character. In civil proceedings, character evidence of the parties is largely irrelevant except in defamation cases where the plaintiff ‘s general bad reputation maybe proved in mitigation of damages, subject to rebuttal by general evidence of good character. Evidence as to the truthfulness of witnesses may be given in both civil and criminal cases.
References in periodicals archive ?
What rules of evidence apply to admitting character evidence, and GMC in particular, on the merits?
The United States, through Federal Rule of Evidence 404, disallows all propensity character evidence as such.
Character evidence is thus governed by a contradiction.
54) Such hearings are only "necessary" where there is a "threshold showing of good cause--that is, upon proof of a colorable ground to believe that character evidence favorable to the defense actually does exist and will be disclosed by the requested examination.
78) If character evidence is deemed inadmissible at one phase of
Restoring the character evidence ban was not the legislature's
THE CHARACTER EVIDENCE PROHIBITION: A REVIEW OF ITS HISTORICAL EVOLUTION IN THE ANGLO-AMERICAN COMMON LAW TRADITION AND ITS MODERN TREATMENT BY THE FEDERAL RULES OF EVIDENCE
A more substantive explanation of the reasons to avoid propensity reasoning might have highlighted the reliability-related concern that bad character evidence can be overvalued and is considered an untrustworthy indicator of guilt.
By ignoring the forbidden inference and focusing solely on the purpose for which the evidence is offered, courts admit disguised character evidence through expert witnesses.
1) On the merits, a myriad of rules largely discourages the TC from putting on character evidence by setting an appropriately high burden.
Before a court may apply the character evidence regulatory scheme