§300 Applicability of code
Except as otherwise provided by statute, this code applies in every action before the Supreme Court or a court of appeal, superior court, municipal court, or justice court, including proceedings in such actions conducted by a referee, court commissioner, or similar officer, but does not apply in grand jury proceedings.
§310 Questions of law for court
(a) All questions of law (including but not limited to questions concerning the construction of statutes and other writings, the admissibility of evidence, and other rules of evidence) are to be decided by the court. Determination of issues of fact preliminary to the admission of evidence are to be decided by the court as provided in Article 2 (commencing with Section 400) of Chapter 4.
(b) Determination of the law of an organization of nations or of the law of a foreign nation or a public entity in a foreign nation is a question of law to be determined in the manner provided in Division 4 (commencing with Section 450).
§311 Procedure when foreign or sister-state law cannot be determined
If the law of an organization of nations, a foreign nation or a state other than this state, or a public entity in a foreign nation or a state other than this state, is applicable and such law cannot be determined, the court may, as the ends of justice require, either:
(a) Apply the law of this state if the court can do so consistently with the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this state; or
(b) Dismiss the action without prejudice or, in the case of a reviewing court, remand the case to the trial court with directions to dismiss the action without prejudice.
§312 Jury as trier of fact
Except as otherwise provided by law, where the trial is by jury:
(a) All questions of fact are to be decided by the jury.
(b) Subject to the control of the court, the jury is to determine the effect and value of the evidence addressed to it, including the credibility of witnesses and hearsay declarants.
§320 Power of court to regulate order of proof
Except as otherwise provided by law, the court in its discretion shall regulate the order of proof.
Chapter 4. Admitting and Excluding Evidence
Article 1. General Provisions
§350 Only relevant evidence admissible
No evidence is admissible except relevant evidence.
§351 Admissibility of relevant evidence
Except as otherwise provided by statute, all relevant evidence is admissible.
§351.1 Polygraph examinations; results, opinion of examiner or reference; exclusion
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the results of a polygraph examination, the opinion of a polygraph examiner, or any reference to an offer to take, failure to take, or taking of a polygraph examination, shall not be admitted into evidence in any criminal proceeding, including pretrial and post conviction motions and hearings, or in any trial or hearing of a juvenile for a criminal offense, whether heard in juvenile or adult court, unless all parties stipulate to the admission of such results.
(b) Nothing in this section is intended to exclude from evidence statements made during a polygraph examination which are otherwise admissible.
§352 Discretion of court to exclude evidence
The court in its discretion may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will (a) necessitate undue consumption of time or (b) create substantial danger of undue prejudice, of confusing the issues, or of misleading the jury.
§352.1 Criminal sex acts; victims address and telephone number
In any criminal proceeding under Section 261, Section 264.1, subdivision (d) of Section 286, or subdivision (d) of Section 288a of the Penal Code, or in any criminal proceeding under subdivision (c) of Section 286 or subdivision (c) of Section 288a of the Penal Code in which the defendant is alleged to have compelled the participation of the victim by force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm, the district attorney may, upon written motion with notice to the defendant or the defendants attorney, if he or she is represented by an attorney, within a reasonable time prior to any hearing, move to exclude from evidence the current address and telephone number of any victim at such hearing.
The court may order that evidence of the victims current address and telephone number be excluded from any hearings conducted pursuant to such criminal proceeding if the court finds that the probative value of such evidence is outweighed by the creation of substantial danger to the victim.
Nothing in this section shall abridge or limit the defendants right to discover or investigate such information.
§353 Effect of erroneous admission of evidence
A verdict or finding shall not be set aside, nor shall the judgment or decision based thereon be reversed, by reason of the erroneous admission of evidence unless:
(a) There appears of record an objection to or a motion to exclude or to strike the evidence that was timely made and so stated as to make clear the specific ground of the objection or motion; and
(b) The court which passes upon the effect of the error or errors is of the opinion that the admitted evidence should have been excluded on the ground stated and that the error or errors complained of resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
§354 Effect of erroneous exclusion of evidence
A verdict or finding shall not be set aside, nor shall the judgment or decision based thereon be reversed, by reason of the erroneous exclusion of evidence unless the court which passes upon the effect of the error or errors is of the opinion that the error or errors complained of resulted in a miscarriage of justice and it appears of record that:
(a) The substance, purpose, and relevance of the excluded evidence was made known to the court by the questions asked, an offer of proof, or by any other means;
(b) The rulings of the court made compliance with subdivision (a) futile; or
(c) The evidence was sought by questions asked during cross-examination or recross-examination.
§355 Limited admissibility
When evidence is admissible as to one party or for one purpose and is inadmissible as to another party or for another purpose, the court upon request shall restrict the evidence to its proper scope and instruct the jury accordingly.
§356 Entire act, declaration, conversation, or writing, may be brought out to elucidate part offered
Where part of an act, declaration, conversation, or writing is given in evidence by one party, the whole on the same subject may be inquired into by an adverse party; when a letter is read, the answer may be given; and when a detached act, declaration, conversation, or writing is given in evidence, any other act, declaration, conversation, or writing which is necessary to make it understood may also be given in evidence.
Article 2. Preliminary Determinations on Admissibility of Evidence
§400 "Preliminary Fact"
As used in this article, "preliminary fact" means a fact upon the existence or nonexistence of which depends the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence. The phrase "the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence" includes the qualification or disqualification of a person to be a witness and the existence or nonexistence of a privilege.
§401 "Proffered evidence"
As used in this article, "proffered evidence" means evidence, the admissibility or inadmissibility of which is dependent upon the existence or nonexistence of a preliminary fact.
§402 Procedure for determining foundational and other preliminary facts
(a) When the existence of a preliminary fact is disputed, its existence or nonexistence shall be determined as provided in this article.
(b) The court may hear and determine the question of the admissibility of evidence out of the presence or hearing of the jury; but in a criminal action, the court shall hear and determine the question of the admissibility of a confession or admission of the defendant out of the presence and hearing of the jury if any party so requests.
(c) A ruling on the admissibility of evidence implies whatever finding of fact is prerequisite thereto, a separate or formal finding is unnecessary unless required by statute.
§403 Determination of foundational and other preliminary facts where relevancy, prior knowledge, or authenticity is disputed
(a) The proponent of the proffered evidence has the burden of producing evidence as to the existence of the preliminary fact, and the proffered evidence is inadmissible unless the court finds that there is evidence sufficient to sustain a finding of the existence of the preliminary fact, when:
(1) The relevance of the proffered evidence depends on the existence of the preliminary fact;
(2) The preliminary fact is the personal knowledge of a witness concerning the subject matter of his testimony;
(3) The preliminary fact is the authenticity of a writing; or
(4) The proffered evidence is of a statement or other conduct of a particular person and the preliminary fact is whether that person made the statement or so conducted himself.
(b) Subject to Section 702, the court may admit conditionally the proffered evidence under this section, subject to evidence of the preliminary fact being supplied later in the course of the trial.
(c) If the court admits the proffered evidence under this section, the court:
(1) May, and on request shall, instruct the jury to determine whether the preliminary fact exists and to disregard the proffered evidence unless the jury finds that the preliminary fact does exist.
(2) Shall instruct the jury to disregard the proffered evidence if the court subsequently determines that a jury could not reasonably find that the preliminary fact exists.
§404 Determination of whether proffered evidence is incriminatory
Whenever the proffered evidence is claimed to be privileged under Section 940, the person claiming the privilege has the burden of showing that the proffered evidence might tend to incriminate him, and the proffered evidence is inadmissible unless it clearly appears to the court that the proffered evidence cannot possibly have a tendency to incriminate the person claiming the privilege.
§405 Determination of foundational and other preliminary facts in other cases
With respect to preliminary fact determinations not governed by Section 403 or 404:
(a) When the existence of the preliminary fact is disputed, the court shall indicate which party has the burden of producing evidence and the burden of proof on the issue as implied by the rule of law under which the question arises. The court shall determine the existence or nonexistence of the preliminary fact and shall admit or exclude the proffered evidence as required by the rule of law under which the question arises.
(b) If a preliminary fact is also a fact in issue in the action:
(1) The jury shall not be informed of the courts determination as to the existence or nonexistence of the preliminary fact.
(2) If the proffered evidence is admitted, the jury shall not be instructed to disregard the evidence if its determination of the fact differs from the courts determination of the preliminary fact.
§406 Evidence affecting weight or credibility
This article does not limit the right of a party to introduce before the trier of fact evidence relevant to weight or credibility.
§410 "Direct evidence"
As used in this chapter, "direct evidence" means evidence that directly proves a fact, without an inference or presumption, and which in itself, if true, conclusively establishes that fact.
§411 Direct evidence of one witness sufficient
Except where additional evidence is required by statute, the direct evidence of one witness who is entitled to full credit is sufficient for proof of any fact.
§412 Party having power to produce better evidence
If weaker and less satisfactory evidence is offered when it was within the power of the party to produce stronger and more satisfactory evidence, the evidence offered should be viewed with distrust.
§413 Partys failure to explain or deny evidence
In determining what inferences to draw from the evidence or facts in the case against a party, the trier of fact may consider, among other things, the partys failure to explain or to deny by his testimony such evidence or facts in the case against him, or his willful suppression of evidence relating thereto, if such be the case.