Tuesday 14 November 2023

What is the distinction between real and demonstrative evidence ?

 Real and demonstrative evidence are two distinct types of evidence used in legal proceedings, each serving a different purpose and having specific characteristics. Here's a distinction between them:

Real Evidence:

  • 1) Definition: Real evidence, also known as physical evidence or tangible evidence, refers to actual objects or physical items that are directly related to the case. It includes items, substances, or tangible materials that can be presented in court.

  • Examples: Real evidence can include weapons, documents, photographs, drugs, clothing, murder weapons, and physical objects involved in the alleged crime, such as a stolen item or a damaged vehicle.

  • 2) Purpose: Real evidence is introduced to provide concrete proof of the existence of an object, condition, or fact. It helps establish the physical aspects of a case and can be used to corroborate or refute witness testimony.

  • 3) Handling: Real evidence is typically submitted to the court, and the judge can physically examine or analyze the objects during the trial. The chain of custody is crucial to maintaining the integrity of real evidence.

Demonstrative Evidence:

  • 1) Definition: Demonstrative evidence, on the other hand, is not the actual object in question but rather a representation or illustration of facts or ideas related to the case. It is used to help explain or clarify information for the judge.

  • Examples: Demonstrative evidence can include diagrams, charts, graphs, photographs (which are not actual evidence in themselves but are used to illustrate facts), computer simulation, maps, models, and recreations.

  • 2) Purpose: Demonstrative evidence is introduced to make complex or abstract information more understandable to the court. It is often used to support witness testimony or to illustrate the sequence of events.

  • 3) Handling: Demonstrative evidence is usually presented by way of visual aids, electronic presentations, or physical props, and it is not physically entered into evidence like real evidence.

In summary, real evidence consists of physical objects directly related to the case, while demonstrative evidence includes visual aids and representations used to help the court understand the facts of the case. Both types of evidence are essential in legal proceedings, with real evidence providing concrete proof, and demonstrative evidence assisting in the comprehension and presentation of complex or abstract information.

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