Legal Definition of Character Evidence
Evidence introduced in a trial which bears on the truth and honesty of a witness or party is termed character evidence.3 min read
Character evidence: Evidence introduced in a trial which bears on the truth and honesty of a witness or party is termed character evidence. Evidence of a person's good or bad character; such evidence may give rise to reasonable doubt.
Character evidence includes criminal convictions and reputation in the community for honesty. Character evidence is usually permitted when a person's honesty is an issue, such as when a criminal defendant testifies or has been charged with perjury or fraud. It is not permitted when the defendant does not testify and the crime he is charged with doesn't involve the defendant's truthfulness (for example, the defendant is charged with illegal possession of drugs). Although used infrequently in civil cases, character evidence may be given in custody cases where the honesty of a party arguably affects their ability to be a good parent (for example, in the case of a habitual liar), or in cases of fault divorce. The opinion generally entertained of a person derived from the common report of the people who are acquainted with him.0px;" class="adsbygoogle">