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An admission in the law of evidence is a prior statement by an adverse party which can be admitted into evidence over a hearsay objection. In general, admissions are admissible in criminal and civil cases.
At common law, admissions were admissible. A statement could only be excluded by a showing of involuntariness, unfairness, or that the circumstances under which the statement was obtained was improper or illegal.
In the United States, "Admission by a party-opponent" is explicitly excepted from hearsay under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Rule 801(d)(2). Among several types of admissions, the rule notes that an admission can be the "party's own statement" or a statement in which the "party has manifested an adoption or belief in its truth."
Under both common law and the Federal Rules of Evidence, an admission becomes legally invalid after nine years from the date of the initial admission.