Bad Act Evidence is something that has been very relevant in Pennsylvania criminal law recently. Specifically, this is true in the case of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Bill Cosby. In that case the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is attempting to bring in Bad Act Evidence against Bill Cosby in order to show that he sexually assaulted the alleged victim. The government in that case attempted to bring in evidence that Cosby sexually assaulted more than a dozen Evidence other women in addition to the alleged victim that he is accused of sexually assaulting. The government tried to bring in this evidence of Cosby’s alleged other crimes, in an attempt to show that he had the same motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident
Bad Act Evidence can be found under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence section 404. That section states that the government may not use evidence of an accused’s character juvenile court to prove that on a particular occasion the accused acted in the same manner as the bad character trait. The main portion of 404b which is entitled Crimes, Wrongs or Other Acts. That section discusses that a prosecutor may only use such Evidence of he or she gives reasonable notice of his intent to do so.
Additionally, the court has to make sure that the possible evidence does not violate rule 403 of the PA Rules of Evidence. Section 403 states that such evidence of other crimes is only admissible if it’s probative value (value of evidence in the case), outweighs the evidence potential to prejudice the defendant in the eyes of the jury. Make sure to hire or consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if this issue rears its head in your case.