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RULE 5-608. EVIDENCE OF CHARACTER OF WITNESS FOR TRUTHFULNESS OR UNTRUTHFULNESS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 5. Evidence (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 600. Witnesses
MD Rules, Rule 5-608
RULE 5-608. EVIDENCE OF CHARACTER OF WITNESS FOR TRUTHFULNESS OR UNTRUTHFULNESS
(a) Impeachment and Rehabilitation by Character Witnesses.
(1) Impeachment by a Character Witness. In order to attack the credibility of a witness, a character witness may testify (A) that the witness has a reputation for untruthfulness, or (B) that, in the character witness's opinion, the witness is an untruthful person.
(2) Rehabilitation by a Character Witness. After the character for truthfulness of a witness has been attacked, a character witness may testify (A) that the witness has a good reputation for truthfulness or (B) that, in the character witness's opinion, the witness is a truthful person.
(3) Limitations on Character Witness's Testimony.
(A) A character witness may not testify to an opinion as to whether a witness testified truthfully in the action.
(B) On direct examination, a character witness may give a reasonable basis for testimony as to reputation or an opinion as to the character of the witness for truthfulness or untruthfulness, but may not testify to specific instances of truthfulness or untruthfulness by the witness.
(4) Impeachment of a Character Witness. The court may permit a character witness to be cross-examined about specific instances in which a witness has been truthful or untruthful or about prior convictions of the witness as permitted by Rule 5-609. Upon objection, however, the court may permit the inquiry only if (A) the questioner, outside the hearing of the jury, establishes a reasonable factual basis for asserting that the prior instances occurred or that the convictions exist, and (B) the prior instances or convictions are relevant to the witness's reputation or to the character witness's opinion, as appropriate.
(b) Impeachment by Examination Regarding Witness's Own Prior Conduct Not Resulting in Convictions. The court may permit any witness to be examined regarding the witness's own prior conduct that did not result in a conviction but that the court finds probative of a character trait of untruthfulness. Upon objection, however, the court may permit the inquiry only if the questioner, outside the hearing of the jury, establishes a reasonable factual basis for asserting that the conduct of the witness occurred. The conduct may not be proved by extrinsic evidence.
(c) Effect on Privilege Against Self-Incrimination. The giving of testimony, whether by an accused or by any other witness, does not operate as a waiver of the witness's privilege against self-incrimination when examined with respect to matters which relate only to credibility.
Committee note: This Rule does not address proof of specific instances of conduct when offered on some theory other than impeachment by past acts indicative of a character trait of untruthfulness, such as evidence bearing on bias, interest, hostility, motive to misrepresent, or inability to observe, remember, or narrate. It also does not address the admissibility of evidence under the “opened door” theory.
Source: This Rule is derived in part from F.R.Ev. 608.

Credits

[Adopted Dec. 15, 1993, eff. July 1, 1994.]
MD Rules, Rule 5-608, MD R REV Rule 5-608
Current with amendments received through September 1, 2017
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