It’s All Hearsay! They don’t have anything.
I often hear a client or potential client tell me that the police or prosecutor don’t have any evidence against them. “All they have is hearsay.”
But what is hearsay really? Typical cases where hearsay is an issue are the ones where it is a “He said, she said” case such as domestic assault, assault, or criminal sexual conduct charges such as rape.
Hearsay is not usually admissible as evidence at trial and lawyers can spend a lot of time arguing over what can and cannot come in as evidence.
A simple question to ask yourself is this: “Did the person who is going to testify SEE, HEAR, or OBSERVE IN PERSON what they are testifying to OR are they testifying about what SOMEONE ELSE TOLD them they heard, saw, or observed?” A witness can only testify about his or her own personal observations – not other people’s. If a prosecutor wants to present evidence that an assault happened, then someone has to testify who actually witnessed the assault. A jury then has the job to assess that person’s credibility.