RULE 609. IMPEACHMENT BY EVIDENCE
OF A CRIMINAL CONVICTION
CRIME (a) General rule. For the purpose of attacking the character
for truthfulness of a witness,
(a) In General. The following rules apply to attacking a witness's character for truthfulness by evidence of a criminal conviction:
(1) evidence that a witness
other than an accused has been convicted of a crime must be
admitted, subject to Rule 403, if the crime was punishable by death or imprisonment in
excess of one year under the law under which the witness was convicted, and evidence that
an accused has been convicted of such a crime must be admitted if the court determines that
the probative value of admitting that evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to the accused;
(1) for a crime that, in the convicting jurisdiction, was punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year, the evidence:
(A) must be admitted, subject to Rule 403, in a civil case or in a criminal case in which the witness is not a defendant; and
(B) must be admitted in a criminal case in which the witness is a defendant, if the probative value of the evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to that defendant; and
(2) evidence that any witness
has been convicted of a crime must be admitted regardless of
the punishment, if the elements of the crime required proof or admission of an act of
dishonesty or false statement by the witness.
(2) for any crime regardless of the punishment, the evidence must be admitted if the court can readily determine that establishing the elements of the crime required proving - or the witness's admitting - a dishonest act or false statement.
(b) Time limit. Evidence of a
conviction under this rule is not admissible if a period of more
than ten years has elapsed since the date of conviction or of the release of the witness from
any confinement imposed for that conviction, whichever is the later date unless the witness
is still in confinement for that conviction.
(b) Limit on Using the Evidence After 10 Years. This subdivision (b) applies if more than 10 years have passed since the witness's conviction or release from confinement for it, whichever is later. Evidence of the conviction is admissible only if:
(1) its probative value, supported by specific facts and circumstances, substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect; and
(2) the proponent gives an adverse party reasonable written notice of the intent to use it so that the party has a fair opportunity to contest its use.
(c) Effect of pardon, annulment, or certificate of rehabilitation. Evidence of a
is not admissible under this rule if (1) the conviction is vacated or has been the subject of a
pardon, annulment, certificate of rehabilitation, or other equivalent procedure based on a
finding of the rehabilitation of the person convicted, and that person has not been convicted
of a subsequent crime that was punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year,
or (2) the conviction has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, or other equivalent
procedure based on a finding of innocence.
(c) Effect of a Pardon, Annulment, or Certificate of Rehabilitation. Evidence of a conviction is not admissible if:
(1) the conviction has been vacated or is the subject of a pardon, annulment, certificate of rehabilitation, or other equivalent procedure based on a finding that the person has been rehabilitated, and the person has not been convicted of a later crime punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year; or
(2) the conviction has been the subject of a pardon, annulment, or other equivalent procedure based on a finding of innocence.
(d) Juvenile adjudications.
Evidence of juvenile adjudications is generally not admissible
under this rule. However, the court, in a criminal case, may allow evidence of a juvenile
adjudication of a witness other than the accused if conviction of the offense would be
admissible to attack the credibility of an adult and the court is satisfied that admission in
evidence is necessary for a fair determination of the issue of guilt or
(d) Juvenile Adjudications. Evidence of a juvenile adjudication is admissible under this rule only if:
(1) it is offered in a criminal case;
(2) the adjudication was of a witness other than the defendant;
(3) an adult's conviction for that offense would be admissible to attack the adult's credibility; and
(4) admitting the evidence is necessary to fairly determine guilt or innocence.
(e) Pendency of an Appeal. A conviction that satisfies this rule is admissible even if an appeal is pending. Evidence of the pendency is also admissible.
Rule 609 was amended, effective March 1, 1990, January 1, 1995, March 1, 2008; ____________.
Rule 609 is taken from the Uniform
Rules of Evidence (1974)
and has been modified only
for the purpose of clarification. In subdivision (b), the phrase "unless the
witness is still in
confinement for that conviction" was added to make it clear that where there is no release
the expiration of the ten-year period will not bring a confined witness under this section.
Subdivision (c) was modified by adding the words " is vacated" in
paragraph (1). This was
done to assure that cases involving deferred imposition of sentences would be
This rule varies from Federal Rule 609 in that the Federal rule gives a court discretion, in subdivision (b), to extend the ten-year period during which evidence of a conviction may be admitted. Under this rule, the court has no discretion in the matter.
Rule 609 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendment is technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective January 1, 1995, to track the 1990 federal amendment.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective March 1, 2008. The amendment states the circumstances under which evidence of a conviction of a crime involving dishonesty or false statement may be admitted.
Rule 609 was amended, effective ______________, in response to the December 1, 2011, revision of the Federal Rules of Evidence. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. There is no intent to change any result in any ruling on evidence admissibility.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee
: of___________________; of September 28-29, 2006,
pages 16-18; September 23-24, 1993, page 21; November 7-8, 1991, pages 4-5;
October 25-26, 1990, page 16; March 24-25, 1988, page 12; December 3, 1987, page 15;
April 26-27, 1979, page 9; April 8, 1976, pages 28-29; October 1, 1975, page 5. Fed.R.Ev.
609; Rule 609, SBAND proposal; Rule 609, Uniform Rules of Evidence (1974).