Definitions for circumstantial evidence
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word circumstantial evidence
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
proof of facts offered as evidence from which other facts are to be inferred.
Origin of circumstantial evidence:
circumstantial evidence, indirect evidence(noun)
evidence providing only a basis for inference about the fact in dispute
Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or the intervening inference. On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be possible. Inference from one piece of circumstantial evidence may not guarantee accuracy. Circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more valid as proof of a fact when the alternative explanations have been ruled out. Circumstantial evidence allows a trier of fact to deduce a fact exists. In criminal law, the inference is made by the trier of facts in order to support the truth of assertion. Testimony can be direct evidence or it can be circumstantial. If the witness claims they saw the crime take place, this is considered direct evidence. For instance, a witness saying that the defendant stabbed the victim is direct evidence. By contrast, a witness who says that she saw the defendant enter a house, that she heard screaming, and that she saw the defendant leave with a bloody knife gives circumstantial evidence. It is the necessity for inference, and not the obviousness of a conclusion, that determines whether or not evidence is circumstantial.
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"circumstantial evidence." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/circumstantial evidence>.