RULE 608. A WITNESS'S CHARACTER FOR TRUTHFULNESS OR UNTRUTHFULNESS

Effective Date: 3/1/2014

(a) Reputation or Opinion Evidence. A witness's credibility may be attacked or supported by testimony about the witness's reputation for having a character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, or by testimony in the form of an opinion about that character. But evidence of truthful character is admissible only after the witness's character for truthfulness has been attacked.

(b) Specific Instances of Conduct. Except for a criminal conviction under Rule 609, extrinsic evidence is not admissible to prove specific instances of a witness's conduct in order to attack or support the witness's character for truthfulness. But the court may, on cross-examination, allow them to be inquired into if they are probative of the character for truthfulness or untruthfulness of:

(1) the witness; or
(2) another witness whose character the witness being cross-examined has testified about.

(c) Privilege Against Self-Incrimination. A witness does not waive the privilege against self-incrimination by testifying about a matter that relates only to a character for truthfulness.

Rule 608 was amended, effective March 1, 1990, March 1, 2005; March 1, 2014.

Rule 608 is taken from Rule 608 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. It develops the exception stated in Rule 404 to the general prohibition against use of character evidence by allowing evidence of a witness' truthful or untruthful character to support or attack the witness' character for truthfulness.

Rule 608 was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendment is technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.

Rule 608 was amended, effective March 1, 2005, to substitute the term "character for truthfulness" for the term "credibility" in subdivisions (b) and (c).

Rule 608 was amended, effective March 1, 2014, 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 Minutes of April 26-27, 2012, page 24; January 29-30, 2004, page 21; March 24-25, 1988, page 12; December 3, 1987, page 15; April 8, 1976, page 27. Fed.R.Ev. 608; Rule 608, SBAND proposal.

CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Ev. 404 (Character Evidence; Crimes or Other Acts); N.D.R.Ev. 607 (Who May Impeach a Witness); N.D.R.Ev. 609 (Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction).

Effective Date Obsolete Date
03/01/2014 View
03/01/2005 03/01/2014 View
03/01/1990 03/01/2005 View