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ARTICLE IV. RELEVANCY AND ITS LIMITS

Table of Contents

Article I. General Provisions
Article II. Judicial Notice
Article III. Presumptions
Article IV. Relevancy and Its Limits
Rule 404
Rule 405
Rule 406
Rule 407
Rule 408
Rule 409
Rule 410
Rule 411
Rule 413
Rule 414
Rule 415
Article V. Privileges
Article VI. Witnesses
Article VII. Opinions and Expert Testimony
Article VIII. Hearsay
Article X. Contents of Writings, Recordings,
and Photographs

Revised Rule 404. Character Evidence Generally [Not Admissible to Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes] [changes highlighted]

(a)[Character evidence generally.] Character is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense. Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is admissible when character is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense;

(b) Propensity. Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:

(1) Character of accused. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same;

(2) Character of victim. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same, subject to rule 412. [, or e] Evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim is admissible if offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor;

(3) Character of witness. Evidence of [the] a trait of character of a witness is admissible as provided in rules 607, 608, and 609.

[(b) Other crimes, wrongs, or acts. Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as to proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident, provided that upon request by the accused, the prosecution in a criminal case shall provide reasonable notice in advance of trial, or during trial if the court excuses pretrial notice on good cause shown, of the general nature of any such evidence it intends to introduce at trial.] [Moved to Revised Rule 405]

Click here to see commentary on Revised Articles 404(a) & 404(b).

(c) Methods of Proving Character [Moved from Current Rule 405]. [(a) Reputation or opinion. In all cases in which evidence of character or a trait of character of a person is admissible, proof may be made by testimony as to reputation or by testimony in the form of an opinion. On crossexamination, inquiry is allowable into relevant specific instances of conduct.]

[(b) Specific instances of conduct. In cases in which character or a trait of character of a person is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense, proof may also be made of specific instances of that person's conduct.]

When character evidence is admissible pursuant to this Rule, proof may be made only through opinion testimony or by evidence of specific instances of conduct, if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the person committed the act in question. Character may not be proven with reputation evidence.

Click here to see commentary on Revised Article 404(c).

Revised Rule 404. Character Evidence Generally [clean copy]

(a) Character is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense. Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is admissible when character is an essential element of a charge, claim, or defense;

(b) Propensity. Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:

(1) Character of accused. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same;

(2) Character of victim. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same, subject to rule 412. Evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim is admissible if offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor;

(3) Character of witness. Evidence of a trait of character of a witness is admissible as provided in rules 607, 608, and 609.

(c) Methods of Proving Character. When character evidence is admissible pursuant to this Rule, proof may be made only through opinion testimony or by evidence of specific instances of conduct, if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the person committed the act in question. Character may not be proven with reputation evidence.

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