2021 Georgia Code
Title 24 - Evidence
Chapter 4 - Relevant Evidence and Its Limits
§ 24-4-401. "Relevant Evidence" Defined

Universal Citation: GA Code § 24-4-401 (2021)

As used in this chapter, the term "relevant evidence" means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.

(Code 1981, §24-4-401, enacted by Ga. L. 2011, p. 99, § 2/HB 24.)

Cross references.

- Test for relevant evidence, Fed. R. Evid. 401.

Law reviews.

- For article, "The Myth of Conditional Relevancy," see 14 Ga. L. Rev. 435 (1980). For article, "'They Say He's Gay': The Admissibility of Evidence of Sexual Orientation," see 37 Ga. L. Rev. 793 (2003). For annual survey on evidence law, see 70 Mercer L. Rev. 97 (2018). For article, "An Overview of Ultimate Issue Evidence," see 25 Ga. St. B.J. 19 (June 2020). For note discussing the possible uses of video tape and its admissibility as evidence, see 5 Ga. St. B.J. 393 (1969). For comment discussing the admissibility of ex parte affidavit in nonjury situations, in light of Camp v. Camp, 213 Ga. 65, 97 S.E.2d 125 (1957), see 20 Ga. B.J. 392 (1958). For comment discussing admissibility of relevant motion picture films, in light of Long v. General Elec. Co., 213 Ga. 809, 102 S.E.2d 9 (1958), see 22 Ga. B.J. 92 (1959).



  • General Consideration
  • Relevancy Defined
  • Criteria of Admissibility
  • Relevant Evidence in Civil Cases
  • Relevant Evidence in Criminal Cases
  • Requirements for Appeal


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 29 Am. Jur. 2d, Evidence, §§ 301, 537.

9A Am. Jur. Pleading and Practice Forms, Evidence, § 11.

Excluding Illegally Obtained Evidence, 5 Am. Jur. Trials 331.

The Daubert Challenge to the Admissibility of Scientific Evidence, 60 Am. Jur. Trials 1.


- 31A C.J.S., Evidence, § 245 et seq. 32 C.J.S., Evidence, § 808 et seq.


- Evidence of intemperate habits on question of damages from death or personal injuries, 9 A.L.R. 1405.

Admissibility of evidence as to insurance on issue of negligence in operation or care of automobile, 28 A.L.R. 516.

Competency or qualification of witness who had not seen or examined property before fire to testify as to damage by fire, 33 A.L.R. 297.

Evidence of experience with intruders on other occasions as admissible on issue of justification in defending premises, 45 A.L.R. 1418.

Admissibility of evidence, and propriety and effect of questions, statements, comments, etc., tending to show that defendant in a personal-injury or death action carries liability insurance, 56 A.L.R. 141; 74 A.L.R. 849; 95 A.L.R. 388; 105 A.L.R. 1319; 4 A.L.R.2d 761.

Evidence as to what was seen by use of mirror, 57 A.L.R. 409.

Evidence as to threats made to keep witness away from criminal trial, 62 A.L.R. 136.

Admissibility of expressions of pain or suffering by person injured, 64 A.L.R. 557.

Admissibility on question of justification for dismissal or discharge of officer or employee for incompetency, of evidence as to his experience in other similar office or employment, 65 A.L.R. 1096.

Admissibility on question as to quality, condition, or capacity of articles, machines, or apparatus, of evidence in regard to similar things manufactured or sold by the same person, 66 A.L.R. 81.

Admissibility of secondary evidence of incriminating document in possession of defendant, 67 A.L.R. 77.

Admissibility of declarations by one involved in an accident in relation to his employment by or agency for other person, 67 A.L.R. 170; 150 A.L.R. 623.

Relevancy of race, color, nationality, sex, age, etc., of person whose conduct is in question, 71 A.L.R. 1301; 145 A.L.R. 1362.

Admissibility of test or experiment after accident as bearing on condition of automobile at time of accident, 72 A.L.R. 863.

Admissibility in behalf of defendant in action for libel or slander of similar charges made by other persons against plaintiff, 74 A.L.R. 732.

Physical condition of place before or after event as evidence of condition at time of event, 80 A.L.R. 446.

Admissibility of evidence of other accidents on issue of negligence in respect of maintenance of electric wires, rails, etc., 81 A.L.R. 685.

Admissibility of statements or declarations of plaintiff's spouse in an action for alienation of affections for the purpose of showing his or her mental state, 82 A.L.R. 825.

Admissibility and weight on issue of mental capacity or undue influence in respect of will or conveyance, of instruments previously executed by the person in question, 82 A.L.R. 963.

Right of expert to give an opinion based on testimony of other witnesses not incorporated in a hypothetical question, 82 A.L.R. 1460.

Admissibility in prosecution for homicide of declarations indicating suicidal disposition on part of deceased, 83 A.L.R. 434.

Admissibility, and effect of admission, in condemnation proceedings of plans and specifications as regards the work to be done on, or the particular use to be made of, the land in question, 89 A.L.R. 879.

Admissibility in action for slander or libel of evidence of aversion or contempt manifested as consequence of libelous or slanderous publication, to show its hurtful tendency, 105 A.L.R. 944.

Admissibility and weight on question of materiality of misrepresentation, of testimony of officers or employees of insurer to effect that application would not have been accepted but for the misrepresentation, or that there was a rule or policy to reject risks of the kind that would have been shown but for the misrepresentation, 115 A.L.R. 100.

Liability as for malpractice as affected by failure to take or advise the taking of an X-ray picture after operation, or to resort to other means of determining advisability of a supplementary operation or special treatment, 115 A.L.R. 298.

Necessity of expert evidence to warrant submission to jury of issue as to permanency of injury or as to future pain and suffering, or to sustain award of damages on that basis, 115 A.L.R. 1149.

Admissibility of inculpatory statements made in presence of accused and not denied or contradicted by him, 115 A.L.R. 1510.

Admissibility in criminal prosecution of evidence of motive of one other than defendant to commit the crime, 121 A.L.R. 1362.

Evidence which indirectly or incidentally suggests poverty or wealth of party not in itself proper matter of proof, 122 A.L.R. 1408.

Evidence of acquisition or possession of money, source of which is not traced, as admissible against defendant in criminal case, 123 A.L.R. 119; 91 A.L.R.2d 1046.

Discretion of trial court in criminal case as to permitting or denying view of premises where crime was committed, 124 A.L.R. 841.

Admissibility on issue of negligence or contributory negligence of statements warning one of danger, 125 A.L.R. 645.

Right, in civil action for malicious prosecution, to prove or rely on facts not known to defendant when he began prosecution or action which show or tend to show guilt or liability of plaintiff, 125 A.L.R. 897.

Admissibility against defendant in criminal case of evidence, otherwise competent, as to other offense as affected by fact that a charge for such offense is pending against him, 125 A.L.R. 1036.

Admissibility, in action against manufacturer, packer, or bottler for personal injury due to defective or injurious condition of article, of evidence that like products were free from, or were subject to, defective or injurious conditions, 127 A.L.R. 1194.

Admissibility in action for death of evidence as to pecuniary condition of deceased, 128 A.L.R. 1084.

Admissibility, to show bias or interest of witness, of evidence that he or his employer had compensated the party for whom he testified, in circumstances creating right to subrogation, 128 A.L.R. 1110.

Expert and opinion evidence as regards fire, 131 A.L.R. 1113.

Admissibility, in support of general credibility of an accomplice-witness who has not been impeached, of evidence from nonaccomplice witness not otherwise relevant or of probative value as against defendant, 138 A.L.R. 1266.

Admissibility, in prosecution for burglary, of evidence that defendant, after alleged burglary, was in possession of burglarious tools and implements, 143 A.L.R. 1199.

Conduct of jury in nature of demonstration, test, or experiment during authorized view, 150 A.L.R. 958.

Motive in bringing action or choosing the forum or venue as proper matter for cross-examination, 157 A.L.R. 604.

Admissibility of photograph of corpse in prosecution for homicide or civil action for causing death, 159 A.L.R. 1413; 73 A.L.R.2d 769.

Admissibility of evidence of repairs, change of conditions, or precautions taken after accident, 170 A.L.R. 7; 64 A.L.R.2d 1151.

Admissibility of declarations by testator on issue of revocation of will, 172 A.L.R. 354.

Application of statute excluding testimony of one person because of death of another when invoked by or against one who sues or defends in two capacities, only one of which is within the statute, 172 A.L.R. 714.

Admissibility against beneficiary of life or accident insurance policy of statements of third persons included in or with proof of death, 1 A.L.R.2d 365.

Admissibility of evidence, and propriety and effect of questions, statements, comments, etc., tending to show that defendant in a personal-injury or death action carries liability insurance, 4 A.L.R.2d 761.

Admissibility of evidence as to financial condition of debtor on issue as to payment of debt, 9 A.L.R.2d 205.

Proof of prospective earning capacity of student or trainee, or of its loss, in action for personal injury or death, 15 A.L.R.2d 418.

Admissibility of declaration of persons other than members of family as to pedigree, 15 A.L.R.2d 1412.

Admissibility of evidence that defendant in negligence action has paid third persons on claims arising from the same transaction or incident as plaintiff's claim, 20 A.L.R.2d 304.

Admissibility of evidence as to tire tracks or marks on or near highway, 23 A.L.R.2d 112.

Physiological or psychological truth and deception tests, 23 A.L.R.2d 1306.

Admissibility in homicide prosecution for purpose of showing motive of evidence as to insurance policies on life of deceased naming accused as beneficiary, 28 A.L.R.2d 857.

Reference by counsel for prosecution in opening statement to matters which he does not later attempt to prove as ground for new trial, reversal, or modification, 28 A.L.R.2d 972.

Mode of establishing that information obtained by illegal wire tapping has or has not led to evidence introduced by prosecution, 28 A.L.R.2d 1055.

Lack of proper automobile registration or operator's license as evidence of operator's negligence, 29 A.L.R.2d 963.

Admissibility of evidence of absence of other accidents or injuries at place where injury or damage occurred, 31 A.L.R.2d 190.

Footprints as evidence, 35 A.L.R.2d 856.

Admissibility of evidence of absence of other accidents or injuries from a customary practice or method asserted to be negligent, 42 A.L.R.2d 1055.

Admissibility, in railroad crossing accident case, of evidence of other functional failures of railroad crossing devices and appliances of the same kind at other times, 46 A.L.R.2d 935.

Blood grouping tests, 46 A.L.R.2d 1000.

Prejudicial effect of prosecuting attorney's misconduct in physically exhibiting to jury objects or items not introduced as evidence, 46 A.L.R.2d 1423.

Admissibility in evidence of rules of defendant in action for negligence, 50 A.L.R.2d 16.

Admissibility in evidence of colored photographs, 53 A.L.R.2d 1102.

Admissibility of evidence as to experiments or tests in civil action for death, injury, or property damage against electric power company or the like, 54 A.L.R.2d 922.

Admissibility and permissible use, in malicious prosecution action, of documentary evidence showing that prior criminal proceedings against instant plaintiff were terminated in his favor, 57 A.L.R.2d 1086.

Admissibility in evidence of aerial photographs, 57 A.L.R.2d 1351.

Propriety, in trial of civil action, of use of skeleton or model of human body or part, 58 A.L.R.2d 689.

Prejudicial effect of admission, in personal injury action, of evidence as to financial or domestic circumstances of plaintiff, 59 A.L.R.2d 371.

Admissibility and propriety, in rape prosecution, of evidence that accused is married, has children, and the like, 62 A.L.R.2d 1067.

Admissibility, in nonstatutory rape prosecution, of evidence of pregnancy of prosecutrix, 62 A.L.R.2d 1083.

Admissibility of evidence of repairs, change of conditions, or precautions taken after accident, 64 A.L.R.2d 1151.

Admissibility of evidence of repairs, change of conditions, or precautions taken after accident, 64 A.L.R.2d 1296; 15 A.L.R.5th 119.

Admissibility of evidence of value or extent of decedent's estate in action against estate for reasonable value of services furnished decedent, 65 A.L.R.2d 945.

Propriety of permitting plaintiff in personal injury action to exhibit his person to jury, 66 A.L.R.2d 1334.

Admissibility, in civil case involving usury issue, of evidence of other assertedly usurious transactions, 67 A.L.R.2d 232.

Admissibility and propriety, in homicide prosecution, of evidence as to deceased's spouse and children, 67 A.L.R.2d 731.

Admissibility, in homicide prosecution, of deceased's clothing worn at time of killing, 68 A.L.R.2d 903.

Admissibility, on issue of defendant's negligence in respect of condition of place where plaintiff was injured, of evidence of prior accidents or injuries at same place, 70 A.L.R.2d 167; 21 A.L.R.4th 472.

Admissibility of photograph of corpse in prosecution for homicide or civil action for causing death, 73 A.L.R.2d 769.

Counsel's right in arguing civil case to read medical or other learned treatises to the jury, 72 A.L.R.2d 931.

Admissibility, in wrongful death action, of photograph of decedent made in his lifetime, 74 A.L.R.2d 928.

Admissibility of experimental evidence to determine chemical or physical qualities or character of material or substance, 76 A.L.R.2d 354.

Admissibility of experimental evidence as to explosion, 76 A.L.R.2d 402.

Admissibility of experimental evidence to show visibility or line of vision, 78 A.L.R.2d 152.

Admissibility of experimental evidence, skidding tests, or the like, relating to speed or control of motor vehicle, 78 A.L.R.2d 218.

Admissibility, in wrongful death action brought for benefit of minor children, of evidence of decedent's desertion, nonsupport, abandonment, or the like, of said children, 79 A.L.R.2d 819.

Admission of liability as affecting admissibility of evidence as to the circumstances of accident on issue of damages in a tort action for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage, 80 A.L.R.2d 1224.

Counsel's use, in trial of condemnation proceeding, of chart, diagram or blackboard, not introduced in evidence, relating to damages or the value of the property condemned, 80 A.L.R.2d 1270.

Admissibility, as against objection of remoteness, of evidence as to past earnings, upon issue as to amount of damages in an action for personal injury or death, 81 A.L.R.2d 733.

Propriety, in trial of criminal case, of use of skeleton or model of human body or part, 83 A.L.R.2d 1097.

Admissibility in evidence of braces, crutches, or other prosthetic or orthopedic devices used by injured party, 83 A.L.R.2d 1271.

Propriety of permitting view by jury in civil personal injury or death action as affected by claimed change of conditions since accident or incident, 85 A.L.R.2d 512.

Propriety of reopening criminal case in order to present omitted or overlooked evidence, after submission to jury but before return of verdict, 87 A.L.R.2d 849.

Admissibility, in prosecution for assault or similar offense involving physical violence, of extent or effect of victim's injuries, 87 A.L.R.2d 926.

Admissibility of evidence of accused's good reputation as affected by remoteness of time to which it relates, 87 A.L.R.2d 968.

Suspension or revocation of driver's license for refusal to take sobriety test, 88 A.L.R.2d 1064.

Ruling on offer of proof as error, 89 A.L.R.2d 279.

Evidence of acquisition or possession of money, source of which is not traced, as admissible against defendant in criminal case, 91 A.L.R.2d 1046.

Admissibility in evidence of sample or samples of article or substance of which the quality, condition, or the like is involved in litigation, 95 A.L.R.2d 681.

Admissibility, in wrongful death action for pecuniary loss suffered by next of kin, etc., of evidence as to decedent's personal qualities with respect to sobriety or morality, 99 A.L.R.2d 972.

Financial worth of one or more of several joint defendants as proper matter for consideration in fixing punitive damages, 9 A.L.R.3d 692.

Admissibility, in prosecution for obtaining money or property by fraud or false pretenses, of evidence of subsequent payments made by accused to victim, 10 A.L.R.3d 572.

Workmen's compensation: use of medical books or treatises as independent evidence, 17 A.L.R.3d 993.

Eminent domain: admissibility of photographs or models of property condemned, 23 A.L.R.3d 825.

Admissibility of evidence of proposed or possible subdivision or platting of condemned land in issue of value in eminent domain proceedings, 26 A.L.R.3d 780.

Race or color of child as admissible in evidence on issue of legitimacy or paternity, or as basis of rebuttal or exception to presumption of legitimacy, 32 A.L.R.3d 1303.

Admissibility of evidence of family circumstances of parties in personal injury actions, 37 A.L.R.3d 1082.

Products liability: admissibility of evidence of other accidents to prove hazardous nature of product, 42 A.L.R.3d 780.

Admissibility of evidence that injured plaintiff received benefits from a collateral source, on issue of malingering or motivation to extend period of disability, 47 A.L.R.3d 234.

Propriety and prejudicial effect of prosecutor's remarks as to victim's age, family circumstances, or the like, 50 A.L.R.3d 8.

Admissibility of lie detector test taken upon stipulation that the result will be admissible in evidence, 53 A.L.R.3d 1005.

Admissibility, in disputed paternity proceedings, of evidence to rebut mother's claim of prior chastity, 59 A.L.R.3d 659.

Admissibility of evidence of subsequent repairs or other remedial measures in products liability cases, 74 A.L.R.3d 1001; 38 A.L.R.4th 583.

Admissibility in criminal case, on issue of defendant's guilt, of evidence that third person has attempted to influence a witness not to testify or to testify falsely, 79 A.L.R.3d 1156.

Municipal corporation's safety rules or regulations as admissible in evidence in action by private party against municipal corporation or its officers or employees for negligent operation of vehicle, 82 A.L.R.3d 1285.

Products liability: admissibility, against manufacturer, of product recall letter, 84 A.L.R.3d 1220.

Accused's right to discovery or inspection of records of prior complaints against, or similar personnel records of, peace officer involved in the case, 86 A.L.R.3d 1170.

Propriety and prejudicial effect of informing jury that accused has taken polygraph test, where results of test would be inadmissible in evidence, 88 A.L.R.3d 227.

Admissibility of evidence of, or propriety of comment as to, plaintiff spouse's remarriage, or possibility thereof, in action for damages for death of other spouse, 88 A.L.R.3d 926.

Admissibility of opinion evidence as to employability on issue of disability in health and accident insurance and workers' compensation cases, 89 A.L.R.3d 783.

Admissibility of hypnotic evidence at criminal trial, 92 A.L.R.3d 442.

Admissibility of evidence of subsequent criminal offenses as affected by proximity as to time and place, 92 A.L.R.3d 545.

Admissibility of photographs of stolen property, 94 A.L.R.3d 357.

Admissibility, in rape case, of evidence that accused raped or attempted to rape person other than prosecutrix, 2 A.L.R.4th 330.

Admissibility, weight, and sufficiency of blood-grouping tests in criminal cases, 2 A.L.R.4th 500.

Admissibility of evidence of accused's drug addiction or use to show motive for theft of property other than drugs, 2 A.L.R.4th 1298.

Propriety of requiring criminal defendant to exhibit self, or perform physical act, or participate in demonstration, during trial and in presence of jury, 3 A.L.R.4th 374.

Prosecutor's reference in opening statement to matters not provable or which he does not attempt to prove as ground for relief, 16 A.L.R.4th 810.

Modern status of rules as to admissibility of evidence of prior accidents or injuries at same place, 21 A.L.R.4th 472.

Modern status of rule regarding necessity for corroboration of victim's testimony in prosecution of sexual offense, 31 A.L.R.4th 120.

Emotional manifestations by victim or family of victim during criminal trial as ground for reversal, new trial, or mistrial, 31 A.L.R.4th 229.

Admissibility of visual recording of event or matter giving rise to litigation or prosecution, 41 A.L.R.4th 877.

Admissibility of bare footprint evidence, 45 A.L.R.4th 1178.

Products liability: admissibility of defendant's evidence of industry custom or practice in strict liability action, 47 A.L.R.4th 621.

Admissibility of voice stress evaluation test results or of statements made during test, 47 A.L.R.4th 1202.

Products liability: admissibility of evidence of absence of other accidents, 51 A.L.R.4th 1186.

Admissibility, in criminal cases, of evidence of electrophoresis of dried evidentiary bloodstains, 66 A.L.R.4th 588.

Prejudicial effect of bringing to jury's attention fact that plaintiff in personal injury or death action is entitled to workers' compensation benefits, 69 A.L.R.4th 131.

Impeachment or cross-examination of prosecuting witness in sexual offense trial by showing that similar charges were made against other persons, 71 A.L.R.4th 469.

Admissibility of evidence of absence of other accidents or injuries at place where injury or damage occurred, 10 A.L.R.5th 371.

Admissibility of evidence of polygraph test results, or offer or refusal to take test, in action for malicious prosecution, 10 A.L.R.5th 663.

Admissibility of evidence in homicide case that victim was threatened by other than defendant, 11 A.L.R.5th 831.

Ineffective assistance of counsel: battered spouse syndrome as defense to homicide or other criminal offense, 11 A.L.R.5th 871.

Admissibility of evidence of repairs, change of conditions, or precautions taken after accident - modern state cases, 15 A.L.R.5th 119.

Sufficiency of evidence that witness in criminal case was hypnotized, for purposes of determining admissibility of testimony given under hypnosis or of hypnotically enhanced testimony, 16 A.L.R.5th 841.

Admissibility in evidence of composite picture or sketch produced by police to identify offender, 23 A.L.R.5th 672.

Admissibility of government factfinding in products liability actions, 29 A.L.R.5th 534.

Admissibility of evidence relating to accused's attempt to commit suicide, 73 A.L.R.5th 615.

Evidence of trailing by dogs in criminal cases, 81 A.L.R.5th 563.

Admissibility of results of presumptive tests indicating presence of blood on object, 82 A.L.R.5th 67.

Admissibility of computer-generated animation, 111 A.L.R.5th 529.

Admissibility and use of evidence of nonuse of bicycle helmets, 2 A.L.R.6th 429.

Admissibility in state criminal case of results of polygraph (lie detector) test Post Daubert cases, 10 A.L.R.6th 463.

Admissibility of evidence of prior accidents or injuries at same place, 15 A.L.R.6th 1.

Admissibility and effect of evidence or comment on party's military service or lack thereof, 24 A.L.R.6th 747.

Admissibility, after enactment of Rule 411, Federal Rules of Evidence, of evidence of liability insurance in negligence actions, 40 A.L.R. Fed. 541.

Admissibility of evidence of medical defendant's apologetic statements or the like as evidence of negligence, 97 A.L.R.6th 519.

Construction and application of standard for reviewing challenges to sufficiency of evidence supporting conviction - Supreme Court cases, 76 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 295.

Use of tweets as evidence in civil and criminal trials, 25 A.L.R. Fed. 3d 5.

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