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Real evidence is a type of physical evidence and consists of objects that were involved in a case or actually played a part in the incident or transaction in question.


Examples include the written contract, the defective part or defective product, the murder weapon, the gloves used by an alleged murderer.

Trace evidence, such as fingerprints and firearm residue, is also a type of real evidence. Real evidence is usually reported upon by an expert witness with appropriate qualifications to give an opinion. This normally means a forensic scientist or one qualified in forensic engineering.


Admission of real evidence requires authentication, demonstration of relevance, and a showing that the object is in “the same or substantially the same condition” now as it was on the relevant date. An object of real evidence is authenticated through witness statements or by circumstantial evidence called the chain of custody.

See also



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