Declaration against interest

Declarations against interest are an exception to the rule on hearsay in which a person's statement may be used, where generally the content of the statement is so prejudicial to the person making it that he would not have made the statement unless he believed the statement was true. The Federal Rules of evidence limit the bases of prejudices to the declarant to tort and criminal liability. Some states, such as California, extend the prejudice to "hatred, ridicule, or social disgrace in the community."

The admissibility of evidence under the declaration against interest exception to the hearsay rule is often limited by the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment.

A declaration against interest differs from a party admission because here the declarant does not have to be a party to the case, but must have a basis for knowing that the statement is true. Furthermore, evidence of the statement will only be admissible if the declarant is unavailable to testify.

For example, California's Evidence Code Section 1230 defines "Declarations against interest" as:

External links

  • http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_804
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