Circumstantial Evidence

What is circumstantial evidence? “Circumstantial evidence is proof of facts or circumstances that give rise to reasonable inferences of other facts that tend to establish [the] guilt or innocence of the defendant.” People v. Saxon, 871 N.E.2d 244 (Ill. App. Ct. 2007).

Yesterday, when I arrived home for lunch, I knew that birds had been in my snowy driveway while I was at work. I didn’t see the birds, so how did I know they were there? When I left home in the morning, there were no tracks of any kind in my driveway (other than tire tracks). When I arrived back home at lunch time, there were bird tracks in my driveway. Accordingly, since I observed no tracks when I left home and then observed bird tracks when I came back, I reasonably inferred that there were birds in my driveway while I was at work. My observations about the conditions of my driveway are circumstantial evidence that birds were in my driveway.

Picture of Bird Tracks

Jeremy Richey


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Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.