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What is circumstantial evidence and can I prove my accident case or be convicted of a crime with only circumstantial evidence?

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Mar 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

I recently received this question. What is circumstantial evidence and can I prove my accident case or be convicted of a crime with only circumstantial evidence?

The answer is yes. In order to understand circumstantial evidence, we first have to define direct evidence.

Direct evidence is something that is observed first hand and testified to by a witness.

Circumstantial evidence is proof of certain facts and circumstances from which the judge or jury may infer that the facts in dispute either existed or didn't exist.

Here are a couple of illustrations showing how circumstantial evidence is applied.

A guy is on the ground with blood all over from a stab wound. Somebody comes up and sees me standing over the body full of blood with a knife in my hand. The witness didn't see me stab the guy, however, a judge or jury could infer that I stabbed the guy because I was in the area, had the knife in my hand, and was full of blood. I could be convicted of stabbing the guy even though no one saw me stab the guy even though the case is circumstantial.

Here is another illustration.

Before I go to bed I look outside and everything is clear and dry. When I wake up, I go outside and there is snow on the ground. I can infer from the snow on the ground that it snowed while I was asleep.

So to recap, you can prove an accident claim or be convicted of a crime with circumstantial evidence only, direct evidence is always better and it is subject to less attack, however, circumstantial evidence is sufficient.

If you have any questions about this a Northwest Indiana legal matter, give us a call at (219) 874-4878.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+


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