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CHARACTER EVIDENCE CHART

CIVIL CASES CRIMINAL (D) CRIMINAL (V)


Generally not admissible to show Prosecution cannot open the door SELF-DEFENSE
propensity to D’s propensity only D may offer D will initiate examination of V to
evidence of good character traits of show that he/she acted in self-
EXCEPTION: D through: defense
1) Character it self is a material - reputation
issue in the case - opinion Prosecution will show counter
evidence with opinion or
i) defamation Once, however, the D has opened reputation of V’s good character
ii) negligent entrustment the door to his/her character, the
iii) wrongful death Prosecution can then ask on Cross-
Examination of that same victim of
2) Where character itself is the SPECIFIC ACTS of D through
issue, it may be proved by: OPINION
- Prosecution may not bring
i) specific Acts extrinsic evidence to show this
ii) opinion
iii) reputation

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CASES SPECIFIC ACTS OF D’S SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CASES


Victim’s sexual Behavior or sexual MISCONDUCT (RAPE SHIELD LAWS)
disposition is NOT ADMISSIBLE
INADMISSIBLE to show GEN: in civil/criminal cases
EXCEPTION: PROPENSITY proceedings involving alleged
- ADMISSIBLE ONLY if Probative misconduct to show sexual
Value Substanitally Outweighs it’s ADMISSIBLE to show if they are behavior OR sexual disposition are
Prejudicial Effects INDEPENDENTLY RELEVENT to INADMISSIBLE
show other than D’s propensity to
commit crime: MIMIC OK EXCEPTION:
No opinion or reputation evidnce is
i) Motive allowed, but SPECIFIC INSTANCES
ii) Intent are ADMISSIBLE to show
iii) Mistake or Accident i) consent
(lack of) ii) someone other than
iv) Identity D is the source of
v) Common Plan or Semen, Injury or
Scheme Other Physical
vi) Opportunity Evidence
vii) Knowledge
ADMISSIBLE IF:
i) sufficient evidence
for jury finding that
D committed the
crime, AND
ii) Probative Value
Substantially
Outweighs its
Prejudicial Effects

In SEXUAL MISCONDUCT and


CHILD MOLESTATION cases,
specific instances of D’s conduct
are admissible to show propensity