When presenting your case, you will most likely have documents or other things you want the court to consider before coming to a decision. The court can only consider these documents or other items that support your claim if you successfully admit them into evidence. To do so, you must comply with the Colorado Rules of Evidence. The purpose of these rules is to ensure fairness to the end of “ascertaining the truth and securing a just determination.”
In very broad terms, for any piece of evidence presented for consideration, you must lay a proper foundation so the court can determine it is both authentic and relevant to your case. In general, to authenticate something, you must produce evidence sufficient to support a finding that the item is what you claim it to be.
In addition, to prove a piece of evidence is relevant, you must show that:
There are rules of evidence as to each kind of document that you want to admit. For instance, the requirements for the admission of a photo are different from the requirements to admit a text exchange between parties.
To admit a photo into evidence, the witness testifying needs to be able to state that the photograph is a “true and accurate representation” of a relevant fact or situation.
Sample questions and tasks to admit a photo might be:
Before the court will admit a text message, the witness must be able to state that the printouts of the text message accurately reflect the content of the message. Second, the witness must be able to establish the identity of the sender of the message. Common ways of identifying the sender include asking the witness to describe the following:
Sample questions and tasks to admit a text message may include:
There are too many rules to explain them all in this short article. Yet, it is important for you to be aware that these rules exist. Having documentation to support your position is not enough; you must convince the court to admit it into evidence to be considered as a part of your case.
Do you have questions about the Rule of Evidence or another legal matter? Call us today at (303) 622-5502 to schedule a consultation.
 Fed Rules of Evidence Rule 102