Some admissions made by defendants are considered hearsay evidence and must be admitted under the admissions exception to the hearsay rule. This exception is discussed in more detail below.
Other admissions made by defendants are non-hearsay admissions. To learn more about non-hearsay admissions click here.
The admissions exception to the hearsay rule refers to any statements made by a defendant confessing to the offence for which they have been charged. These statements are generally seen as trustworthy on the basis of the idea that people typically do not confess to committing crimes they have not committed.
Before an admission can be admitted against an accused, the Crown must satisfy the court, on a balance of probabilities, that the accused was the individual who made the statement.
In some cases, admissions are not hearsay and may be admitted as non-hearsay evidence. This may occur where the accused made an admission during their formal police interview. In that case, the Crown may play the video tape of the accused’s statement in court and enter the video into the record as an exhibit against the accused.
Person A attends a party hosted by a friend. During the party person A gets into a heated argument with person B. Person A pulls out a gun and shoots at person B, hitting them in the stomach. Person A then flees the scene, running to nearby friend’s house, person C. When person A arrives at person C’s house, person C asks what happened. Person A indicates that he just shot person B during an argument. Person A’s statement to person C is an admission and may be admitted under the admissions exception to the hearsay rule.