What is Hearsay in a Criminal Case in Jacksonville?

We have all heard the word “hearsay”, but what it exactly?

Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted. When someone testifies in a criminal trial, they are generally not allowed to tell the jury statements made by themselves or someone else at a prior time. The reason these statements are not allowed is because they are not trustworthy.

Some statements are not considered hearsay, such as a statement made prior to the trial testimony that is inconsistent with the testimony and a statement of identification of a person made after perceiving the person.

There are also some exceptions to the hearsay rule. They are:

1. Spontaneous Statements describing an event while the declarant was perceiving the event.

2. An Excited Utterance that relates to a startling event made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by the event.

3. A statement about the declarant’s then-existing state of mind, emotion, or physical state.

4. Statements for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment.

5. A recorded memory concerning a matter the declarant once had knowledge, but now has lost recollection of.

6. Records of regularly conducted business activities.

There are also several other exceptions in Florida.