Minnesota Court Rules
Rule 404. Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes
(a)Character evidence generally. Evidence of a person’s character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:
(1) Character of accused. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same;
(2) Character of victim. Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same, or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor.
(3) Character of witness. Evidence of the character of a witness, as provided in Rules 607, 608, and 609.
(b)Other crimes, wrongs, or acts.
(1) Evidence of another crime, wrong, or act is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
(2) In a criminal prosecution, such evidence shall not be admitted unless the prosecutor, consistent with the rules of criminal procedure, gives notice of its intent to offer the evidence. The notice must include a summary of the evidence and the specific purpose(s) for which the evidence will be offered. Such evidence shall not be admitted in a criminal prosecution unless
(a) the proffered evidence is relevant to an identified material issue other than conduct confirming with a character trait;
(b) the other crime, wrong, or act and the participation in it by a relevant person are proven by clear and convincing evidence; and
(c) the probative value of the evidence is not outweighed by its potential for unfair prejudice to the defendant.
Evidence of past sexual conduct of the victim in prosecutions involving criminal sexual conduct, including attempts or any act of criminal sexual predatory conduct is governed by Rule 412.
(Amended effective January 1, 1990; amended effective September 1, 2006; amended effective January 1, 2019.)