It is possible that during the course of a court case, the honesty and morality of a person may come into question. When this happens, a person can submit character evidence to prove his or her qualities to be true.
During a court case, an oral witness testimony can be crucial to the legal counsel who solicited the witness. When so crucial a witness testimony becomes, it also becomes as crucial to assert the character of the witness who is presenting such a testimony. Thus, character evidence is submitted to the court to prove that the individual providing a witness testimony is worth believing. However, character evidence may also be used to discredit a witness that has been solicited by the opposing counsel. An example of the use of character evidence can be seen in divorce courts wherein one spouse attempts to discredit the other in an effort to gain some form of damages or custody of the children. A spouse may also present character evidence in order to prove that he or she should gain certain assets or custody over children rather than providing character evidence that smears his or her spouse.
Character evidence can become absolutely vital to the judgment of a court case such as those regarding alimony, custody, and fraud. It is not possible to use character evidence to launch a smear campaign against another individual in court. However, character evidence is used when it is absolutely necessary and relevant to the outcome of the case.