What is Hearsay?

Hearsay, a legal term, refers to an out-of-court statement that someone other than the witness who is testifying in court made, which is offered as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the statement.

Judges and lawyers generally deem hearsay unreliable and not admissible as evidence in criminal trials because it lacks the safeguards of cross-examination and confrontation that are essential to ensuring the accuracy of testimony.

The general rule against hearsay is based on the idea that evidence presented in court should be based on direct knowledge and personal observation, rather than secondhand information. So, hearing what your neighbor said about your ex's car is not enough to prove anything in court.

Nevertheless, exceptions exist to the hearsay rule, such as when the statement falls within a recognized hearsay exception. For example, statements made by a person who is unavailable to testify in court, such as a dying declaration or a statement made under oath in a prior proceeding, may be admissible as hearsay evidence.

As a result, the rules regarding hearsay can be complex and may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case.

So, if you want to win your case, make sure you understand the hearsay exceptions and what may or may not be admissible.