Res Gestae Law and Legal Definition

Res gestae is a legal term meaning "things done". In evidence law, it is used to refer to words spoken that are so closely connected to an event that they are considered part of the event, and their introduction does not violate the hearsay rule. For instance, a spontaneous, excited declaration made at witnessing a startling event may be introduced to prove the event occurred.

Res gestae goes to all acts that are necessary to fill in the factual context of criminal charges. These facts may be happenstance, or they may be criminal in nature and reflect poorly on the defendant. Either way, they are independently relevant for descriptive purposes.