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Is word of mouth enough evidence to convict?

Columbus, OH |

An item went missing at a college party and someone claims they saw another person take the item. Is this enough evidence to convict someone of taking the item?

Should also state that the person who claims they saw the event occur was intoxicated at the time and this person is the only person to have seen the event occur.

Attorney Answers 3


I would think so. You are describing eyewitness testimony, which is direct evidence (as opposed to circumstantial evidence, which is indirect evidence). Why wouldn't that be enough to convict?

Not legal advice as I don't practice law in Ohio. It's just my two cents on the facts you describe in light of general principles of law. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Ohio licensure.

Good luck.

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If your questions is whether a witness could testify that they were told by another person that they saw the defendant taking the item and whether such testimony could be used as evidence against the defendant, the answer is generally no. All criminal trials are subject to the rules of evidence. An out of court statement being offered to prove the truth of the matter at trial would generally be inadmissable.

However, if the witness is testifying that they saw the defendant take the item that would be admissable as evidence.

The information provided by this answer is designed for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as legal advice for your specific situation. We cannot guarantee the confidentiality of the Internet. This answer, its content, nor any e–mail transmission does not create an attorney–client relationship. Simon J. Patry of Dysinger & Associates, LLC is licensed to practice in the State of Ohio and the State of Illinois.

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Possibly. It depends on the credibility of the witness and the jury's determination if the person is telling the truth. You can always challenge an eyewitness's testimony, but it is considered direct evidence.

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