The Law Office of Mark Deniz has the privilege of enlisting some of the best young legal minds in San Diego. One of these persons is George Konugres. George is a third year law student at Cal Western SOL. He has an extremely impressive resume and has an intense desire to help people. He was invited to write on subjects that he comes across while working with the firm. In just this past week George 2nd chair a trial of ours in El Cajon as well as participated in a Felony Preliminary hearing.
Today, he is writing about Evidence and relevance.
“To Be Relevant Or
Not To Be, That Is The Question”
One of the most frequent objections during court proceedings is relevance, from preliminary hearings to actual trial. Often people will ask why certain witness statements or items were excluded from the proceeding. My answer is usually relevance, which they have a hard time understanding.
I believe to confusion arise in the difference between the legal definition of relevance and the everyday definition of relevance. The everyday definition of relevance means something that relates to the matter at hand. However, just because something may relate to the matter does not me that legally it is relevant.
In order to be relevant in the court of law evidence must (1) have a high probative value, and (2) it must be a fact or consequence to determine elements of a claim, credibility of a witness, or background info about a witness.
To have a high probative value the evidence must make something more or less likely. For example some one may inquire as to why their economic status may be relevant. Unfortunately if some one is very poor, and they are being accused of stealing something, it tends to make it more likely than not that they didn’t have money to pay, so they may have taken it. Conversely, if someone is very wealthy, it may be less likely that they would steal because they could probably pay for the items. Therefor certain aspects of a case my come into evidence, not necessarily just because there is a connection to information about the alleged crime, but based on the strength, validity, and importance of the information’s connection.
As to point two, evidence will be relevant if, it is a fact or consequence to determine elements of a claim, credibility of a witness, or background info about a witness.
An example would be asking a witness if they were at the movies on a certain night. Being at the movies may not seem relevant to ask a witness. However, if they were at the movies on a night between a certain time then it less likely they were no standing out on the street corner where the assault took place and probably didn’t see the alleged assault take place.
Thus, just because something is relevant, does not indicate it is legally relevant.
Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected]