Evidence that can not be presented to the jury or decision maker for any of a variety of reasons: it was improperly obtained, it is prejudicial (the prejudicial value outweighs the probative value), it is hearsay, it is not relevant to the case etc.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
Testimony or other evidence that fails to meet state or federal court rules governing the types of evidence that can be presented to a judge or jury. The main reason evidence is ruled inadmissible is because it falls into a category deemed so unreliable that a court should not consider it as part of a deciding a case --for example, hearsay evidence or an expert's opinion that is not based on facts generally accepted in the field. Evidence will also be declared inadmissible if it suffers from some other defect -- for example, as compared to its value, it will take too long to present or risks inflaming the jury. In addition, in criminal cases, evidence that is gathered using illegal methods is commonly ruled inadmissible.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:17 pm