What evidence can I show the judge?
You can give almost anything to the court as evidence as long as it is relevant to the case and it does not violate one of the rules of evidence. For example, you generally cannot give in a letter that someone wrote for your trial or tell the judge something that someone else said due to the rule against hearsay. The most common types of evidence are:
- Testimonial – The testimony presented by the parties and any witnesses that they call to help with their case.
- Expert – Testimony from a witness who has expertise in a technical area and will give an opinion that the judge could rely upon when deciding the outcome of the case.
- Physical/real evidence –Any physical, tangible, or touchable thing that relates to the case. For example, a torn shirt from a domestic violence incident, an item that may have been broken by the abuser, a weapon, etc.
- Documentary – Letters, emails, photographs, and other documents relevant to the case.
- Demonstrative – A chart or illustration that you create for the trial to explain something to the judge that might not be easily understood without some visual assistance. For example, when describing why you had to use physical force in self-defense, you might draw out the layout of the house and indicate where the parties were standing to show why you could not escape.