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Evidence, in law, that which is advanced by parties to a legal dispute to prove, or contribute to the proof of, their case. To be admissible in court evidence must conform to various rules designed to ensure its clear and fair presentation to the judge and jury. Evidence may consist of the oral testimony of witnesses summoned by either side or of documents or physical objects. Evidence may be direct, supporting the facts of the case, or circumstantial: information from which facts may reasonably be deduced. An eyewitness account of an auto accident is direct evidence; unaccountable damage to the defendant's auto may be circumstantial evidence. In a criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, whose evidence must demonstrate the guilt of the defendant. In a civil suit, both sides must present evidence to support their claims.

See also: Crime laboratory.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Erasistratus to Federalism