Law of Evidence

I.     Course Prefix/Number: LAE 270

       Course Name: Law of Evidence

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines legal aspects of evidence.  Content includes search and seizure, civil rights, handling of suspects, evaluation of evidence and court admissibility.

IV.   Learning Objectives

This course is designed to have the student learn the legal aspects of handling evidence, gathering evidence and presenting, in court, evidence in a criminal case. In any criminal case the student should be able to evaluate the admissibility of evidence.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Types of Evidence
    1. Direct
    2. Indirect
    3. Circumstantial
  2. Admissibility of Evidence
    1. Exclusionary rule
    2. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
    3. Silver Platter Doctrine
  3. Competency of Evidence
    1. Relevancy
    2. Materiality
  4. Blueprint of Evidence Rules
    1. Civil Practice Act
    2. Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions
  5. Burden of Proof
    1. Civil
    2. Criminal
  6. Discovery
  7. Mapp Vs. Ohio
    1. Impact of the Mapp case of Local Police
    2. The latest cases in the realm of Mapp
  8. Substitutes for Evidence
  9. Evidentiary Privileges
    1. Husband and Wife
    2. Doctor - Patient
    3. Priest - penitent
    4. Other professional relationships
  10. The Hearsay Rule
  11. The United States Constitution and its relationship to Evidence Rules

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The class is a traditional lecture and discussion class. It is handled in the traditional law school method with the student being challenged by the use of questions. Students are permitted to question the instructor and challenge legal theories.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Reading, written briefs, oral discussion.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Criminal Evidence, Klotter, Current Edition

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be determined by the degree of the students' comprehension of the material presented in the lectures and assignments. The following is a rough breakdown of factors considered in grading:

Midterm 40%
Final 40%
Class Participation  10%
Attendance 10%

Extra credit assignments may be arranged with the instructor on an individual basis.

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance is required.

Make up exam by instructor's permission only.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.