Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Legal Dictionary Home

Need Professional Help? Talk to a Lawyer

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

searchbox small
Probative Value
The term used to describe the weight of evidence submitted to prove something. Courts may exclude evidence when its probative value is outweighed by the prejudice the evidence may cause. For example, a prosecutor in a criminal case may wish to introduce the previous criminal conduct of a defendant to show a propensity to commit the crime at issue, but that must be weighed against the right of the accused to be tried on the facts of the present case.