Real Evidence Law and Legal Definition

Real evidence refers to evidence addressed directly to senses of the court or jury without interposing the testimony of witnesses other than as required in laying the basis for such evidence.

It is a type of physical evidence and consists of objects that were involved in a case or actually played a part in the incident or transaction in question. Thus, the use of physical objects before a jury falls into two categories: (1) real evidence, and (2) demonstrative evidence.

Real evidence involves the production of some object which had a direct part in the incident, and includes the exhibition of injured parts of the body. Demonstrative evidence, such as a model, map, photograph, X-ray, etc., is distinguished from real evidence in that it has no probative value in itself, but serves merely as a visual aid to the jury in comprehending the verbal testimony of a witness. [Smith v. Ohio Oil Co., 10 Ill. App. 2d 67, 75 (Ill. App. Ct. 4th Dist. 1956)].