Search Site
Menu
Distinctions with a difference: present sense impressions vs. excited utterances

Though they seem similar, there are clear and definitive differences between Rule 803(1) Present Sense Impressions and Rule 803(2) Excited Utterances. If applied correctly, each rule provides an exception to the the rule against hearsay. The former is used in court in the trial of a personal injury case far more than the latter. The present sense impression exception involves a “statement describing or explaining an event or condition, made while or immediately after the declarant perceived it”. The rule has two conditions which must be met: first, that the statement explains or describes the event, and second that it is made during or immediately after the event. The excited utterance exception involves “a statement relating to a startling event or condition, made while the declarant was under the stress of excitement that it caused.” Likewise, this rule also has two conditions which must be met: first, that the declarant speaks while excited– under the “ambit of excitement”– by the event and second, that the excited speech “relates” to the event.

The major difference between the two exceptions is the factors which limit their applicability. The present sense impression exception is very much related to time, requiring either that the statement was made during the event or immediately afterwards . Otherwise, the relationship between the description and the event loses credibility. It is for this reason that the rule prohibits any statement of memory or belief. The excited utterance exception requires that the person is still in an excited state when the statement is made.

Don’t forget that neither of these exceptions– as so often happens in law– cannot come into play until the requisite foundation has been laid.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert Feinberg and his team were nothing short of stellar. They were prompt in all communications, insulated me from complications with insurances while I recovered from my injuries, and produced a favorable outcome after all was said and done. Ver...

    Read more

    Nigel Mathes

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Great communication and follow up. Responsive to my needs and positive result's !

    Read more

    Chris Connor

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    They went the extra mile. Stood behind me. Had a difficult claim with a motor vehicle accident. I'm very satisfied with the outcome. Richard

    Read more

    richard turk

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    We have had the pleasure of working with Colleen Santora on couple legal issues. We have always had a good communication during our very long process. We feel good responsive, open,& honest communication during a injury case should be the strongest ...

    Read more

    Edward Hyde

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Very professional firm, always pay attention to detail. Knowledgeable and successful. Written on behalf of Mikhail Zaytsev.

    Read more

    Yelena Wise

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form