Admission by Silence Law and Legal Definition

Admission by silence means the failure by a party, in whose presence, hearing, or observation of an act or declaration is made, to assert that such act or declaration is untrue. Admission by silence is based upon the principle that when the act or declaration is such as naturally to call for action or comment if not true, the party against whom such act or declaration is made must assert it as untrue if it is proper and possible for him/her to do so.

In order to take an admission as admission by silence it must appear:

(1)that the party heard and understood the act or declaration;

(2) that the party was at a liberty to make a denial of such act or declaration;

(3)that the act or declaration was in respect to some matter affecting the party's rights, to which s/he had interest, and which naturally calls for an answer;

(4)that the facts were within the party's knowledge; and

(5) that the inference to be drawn from the party's silence would be material to the issue.

In People v. Cihak, 169 Ill. App. 3d 606 (Ill. App. Ct. 1988), the court observed that “to qualify as an admission by silence or an implied admission, it is essential that the accused heard the incriminating statement and that it was made under circumstances which allowed an opportunity for the accused to reply, and where a man similarly situated would ordinarily have denied the accusation”.