In the construction of legal cases, there are elements for which there is no evidence that can directly prove their occurrence. On those occasions, circumstantial evidence -also known as indirect evidence- comes into play to support the process, since it allows to prove those facts that are not supported by direct evidence. For this purpose, indirect evidence leads to the reasonable deduction or inference of the occurrence of certain events, through proven estimates of other related facts that have been directly proven.
Indicative or indirect evidence only makes sense when it is used based on an already admitted fact. or proven that may give rise to a presumption of certainty for the purposes of the legal process, i.e., it must contain sufficient information and be directly linked to the other evidence that has already been proven and correlated to the case.
However, the scope of this type of test is limited because it is not valid when a precise link is missing. and direct between the base fact and the inferred fact. Furthermore, it must be taken into account that the indirect evidence does not necessarily lead to a single result, but it is possible that it admits several logical options coming from the same facts taken as a basis.
It is not easy to recognize the validity of circumstantial evidence. in a legal proceeding. In this case, the object of the proof is a fact different from the one to be proved and with legal relevance to the case. In this sense, the relation of the proven facts makes it possible to reach the fact to be proven, thanks to the inference judgment.
The Spanish Supreme Court recognizes 19 criteria to validate the use of circumstantial or indirect evidence:
- Must be proven evidenceIndications are different from suspicions; to include one of these tests, it is necessary to have proven indications and not mere possibilities.
- It should not be based on a judgment on subjective conviction.
- You must be convinced that the facts occurred as reported.
- Reasons must be given for the concurrence and its evidentiary relevance.
- The elements of circumstantial evidence are the following: A base or indicia statement, a consequence statement (the reference in the sentence to what is inferred) and a logical and rational link between the two elements.
- The requirements for circumstantial evidence are the following: a) Plurality of indications, b) Demonstration by direct proof of the plurality of indications, c) Precise, concrete and direct link according to the rules of human judgment between the proven fact or indication and the fact to be inferred, d) That the judicial body gives reasons in its judgment for the reasoning of how it has arrived at the certainty of the fact.
- The need for motivation and explanation of the case must be stronger and more precise around circumstantial evidence than in direct evidence.
- There must be a rationale inductive nature of circumstantial evidence.
- Motivation is essential for the process of inference of evidence.
- The logical link between the indication and the assertion The company's success in the presentation of this type of evidence is a key factor in the success of the presentation.
- They require the so-called subjective certaintyleading to judicial conviction.
- The sum of the evidence determines that the crime was committed.
- It is necessary to establish some facts to conclude immediate facts.
- Judgment of inference should be sufficiently clear.
- The entire inference process has to be reasonable.
- Indications should form a chain.
- It must be possible to carry out the control of constitutionality.
- The conclusion of an inference The presumptive value must be considered closed, strong and determined.
- The following must be required a prevailing probability.