Legal Question in Criminal Law in Texas

I shot my husband with a red ryder bb gun and he told his brother and his brother told his friend and I was arrested 3 hours later for deadly conduct is this not hear say

Asked on 10/06/11, 10:27 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cynthia Henley Cynthia Henley, Lawyer

Hearsay only applies to court proceedings. When a person repeats something that was said by a third party (not the witness who is testifying) and it is offered for the truth of the matter asserted (ex. John testified that Jack said that Jane shot Joe) then it is hearsay and not admissible. Why? Because Jack is not testifying so he cannot be cross examined about the source of his information and his credibility cannot be impeached. Now, Joe can testify that Jane shot him and if Jack saw Jack can testify to what he say but in my example John is only repeating what Jack told him so his information is of no value in determining guilt / not guilty. (His information might become relevant if Jack saw the shooting and later testifies that he did not see it but he had told John that he did.)

As far as making an arrest, police rely on hearsay all the time to get information, to develop leads, and to make arrests. Because your husband (or someone else) has already been posting questions on this or some other site on which I answer about how to withdraw his affidavit, I know that the police have his statement that you shot him so they have sufficient evidence to present to a jury in an attempt to get a conviction. (There may or may not be defense issues available for you.)

But, the answer to your question is no - it is not hearsay because hearsay is a statement made by a 3rd person, not the person testifying, offered in evidence for the truth of the matter asserted. You have not had a trial yet.

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Answered on 10/06/11, 10:40 pm

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