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

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.