The ability of a piece of evidence to make a relevant disputed point more or less true.
For example: In a trial of a defendant for murder, the defendant's dispute with his neighbor (unrelated to the crime) has a no probative value because it provides no relevant information to the trier of the fact. However, if the defendant's dispute was with the victim, this has a much higher probative value as it could be a motive for the murder.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
The term used to describe the weight of evidence submitted to prove something. Courts may exclude evidence when its probative value is outweighed by the prejudice the evidence may cause. For example, a prosecutor in a criminal case may wish to introduce the previous criminal conduct of a defendant to show a propensity to commit the crime at issue, but that must be weighed against the right of the accused to be tried on the facts of the present case.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:22 pm