In Idaho is an accusation of a crime considered evidence?

Can someone accuse me of a crime and that’s enough evidence to charge me?

Asked on March 6, 2017 under Criminal Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An "accusation" is not evidence, but a person's testimony--what they say happened--IS evidence, and can be enough to charge; it can even be enough to convict, if the person is very persuasive and credible (and the accused is not). So if a person says that you committed a crime and their statement or testimony to that effect is credible, yes, you can be charged. While other evidence (e.g. forensic evidence, photographs, etc.) is very useful and powerful, and a case based only on a person's testimony is weaker, there is no specific legal requirement for forensic or documentary evidence; witness testimony is sufficient. 
The key thing, the testimony must be based on "personal knowledge"--on what the person him/herself perceived or saw. It's not sufficient evidence if it's just based on something they were told or heard, unless what they were told or heard was essentially a confession by the accused.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.