Present Sense Impression Law and Legal Definition

A present sense impression is an exception to the hearsay rule, which prohibits introduction of out-of-court statements of unavailable witnesses into evidence when offered for truthfulness. Federal Rule of Evidence 803(1) creates an exception for a statement "describing or explaining an event or condition made while the declarant was perceiving the event or condition, or immediately thereafter." In orderto fall under this exception, the following factors must exist:

1. Immediacy: The present-sense-impression exception applies only if virtually no time passes between the event being perceived and the declarant’s statement about it.

2. Must describe or explain: The present sense impression must describe or explain the event that the declarant has perceived.