(a) Title. These rules may be cited as the Texas Rules of Evidence.
(b) Scope. These rules apply to proceedings in Texas courts except as otherwise provided in subdivisions (d)-(f).
(c) Rules on Privilege. The rules on privilege apply to all stages of a case or proceeding.
(d) Exception for Constitutional or Statutory Provisions or Other Rules. Despite these rules, a court must admit or exclude evidence if required to do so by the United States or Texas Constitution, a federal or Texas statute, or a rule prescribed by the United States or Texas Supreme Court or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. If possible, a court should resolve by reasonable construction any inconsistency between these rules and applicable constitutional or statutory provisions or other rules.
(e) Exceptions. These rules—except for those on privilege—do not apply to:
(1) the court’s determination, under Rule 104(a), on a preliminary question of fact governing admissibility;
(2) grand jury proceedings; and
(3) the following miscellaneous proceedings:
(A) an application for habeas corpus in extradition, rendition, or interstate detainer proceedings;
(B) an inquiry by the court under Code of Criminal Procedure article 46B.004 to determine whether evidence exists that would support a finding that the defendant may be incompetent to stand trial;
(C) bail proceedings other than hearings to deny, revoke, or increase bail;
(D) hearings on justification for pretrial detention not involving bail;
(E) proceedings to issue a search or arrest warrant; and
(F) direct contempt determination proceedings.
(f) Exception for Justice Court Cases. These rules do not apply to justice court cases except as authorized by Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 500.3.
(g) Exception for Military Justice Hearings. The Texas Code of Military Justice, Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 432.001-432.195, governs the admissibility of evidence in hearings held under that Code.
In these rules:
(1) “civil case” means a civil action or proceeding;
(2) “criminal case” means a criminal action or proceeding, including an examining trial;
(3) “public office” includes a public agency;
(4) “record” includes a memorandum, report, or data compilation;
(5) a “rule prescribed by the United States or Texas Supreme Court or the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals” means a rule adopted by any of those courts under statutory authority;
(6) “unsworn declaration” means an unsworn declaration made in accordance with Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 132.001; and
(7) a reference to any kind of written material or any other medium includes electronically stored information.
Notes and Comments
Comment to 1998: “Criminal proceedings” rather than “criminal cases” is used since that was the terminology used in the prior Rules of Criminal Evidence. In subpart (b), the reference to “trials before magistrates” comes from prior Criminal Rule 1101(a). In the prior Criminal Rules, both Rule 101 and Rule 1101 dealt with the same thing – the applicability of the rules. Thus, Rules 101(c) and (d) have been written to incorporate the provisions of former Criminal Rule 1101 and that rule is omitted.
Comment to 2015 Restyling: The reference to “hierarchical governance” in former Rule 101(c) has been deleted as unnecessary. The textual limitation of former Rule 101(c) to criminal cases has been eliminated. Courts in civil cases must also admit or exclude evidence when required to do so by constitutional or statutory provisions or other rules that take precedence over these rules. Likewise, the title to former Rule 101(d) has been changed to more accurately indicate the purpose and scope of the subdivision.