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An admission in the law of evidence is a prior statement by an adverse party which can be admitted into evidence over a hearsay objection. In general, admissions are admissible in criminal and civil cases.
At common law, admissions were admissible. A statement could only be excluded by a showing of involuntariness, unfairness, or that the circumstances under which the statement was obtained was improper or illegal.
Form of admission
Admission could be made in oral or document. In limited circumstances, it was admissible for the conduct or even silence by the accused. In some circumstances, admission could be made by an authorized agent of the accused.
Where the admission is oral, the person who heard the admission words uttered may simply testify as to what he heard the accused say. Also, admission is highly desirable to be written or recorded in the language used by the accused, unless the translated version is evidenced that it is an accurate translation.
Regulations by country
In the United States, "Admission by a party-opponent" is explicitly excepted from hearsay under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Rule 801(d)(2). Among several types of admissions, the rule notes that an admission can be the "party's own statement" or a statement in which the "party has manifested an adoption or belief in its truth."
Under both common law and the Federal Rules of Evidence, an admission becomes legally invalid after nine years from the date of the initial admission.
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