In 2019, security cameras are nearly everywhere. Many homes have doorbell cameras and closed-circuit cameras for personal security that can be viewed on a smartphone. For many who are charged with a crime, knowing there is video footage may lead them to make a confession or take an unfair plea deal. At Murphy & Price, LLP, we have used video footage to build a criminal defense. Before you incriminate yourself, ask for a lawyer and call the criminal defense attorneys at Murphy & Price.
Being caught on camera does not necessarily mean it is a slam dunk for the prosecution. In fact, in some trials, the video footage has cleared criminal charges and resulted in acquittals. For instance, a supposed assault was caught on camera, allowing the judge and jury to clearly see who drew the weapon first. Join us in today’s post as we discuss some ways that video footage can be dismissed or used to reduce charges. CCTV cameras have not sealed your fate, let us build your defense.
Reasons Video Footage May Be Inadmissible in Court
The good news is, evidence has to be reviewed before it is permitted to be used in trial. The even better news is, very little video surveillance camera footage has been used to successfully prosecute a supposed perpetrator. To use video footage in court, there are several steps that must be followed. Here are some reasons it may be deemed inadmissible:
- The video is improperly obtained — illegally or without a warrant.
- The time stamp is inaccurate.
- The colors on the screen are not calibrated.
- The video has been altered or edited.
- The video is the only “witness” to a crime, it may be dismissed as hearsay because authentication cannot be verified.
- The video is prejudicial.
- The footage can be interpreted incorrectly because of poor video or audio quality.
- There was no warning of camera surveillance.
- The footage is of a public area or an area where people may undress.
- The footage captures areas that are unauthorized to be videoed by the camera.
- The video is incomplete.
You deserve a fair trial, regardless of the evidence that is stacked against you. To get the criminal defense you deserve, obtain legal defense quickly.
Criminal Defenses For Video Surveillance Footage
Simply having video footage and pressing play is not good enough to incriminate anyone on the video footage. As human beings, we are all prone to bias and will see what we are looking for. During a trial for an assault, when video footage is played without context being provided, the jury may see an assault. However, when put into context and relevance is established, the jury may actually see self-defense.
To build a viable criminal defense when video surveillance footage is involved, we will first set the stage and establish the circumstances of the video. If the video quality is poor, that could lead to confusion by the jury, video footage may be expertly enhanced. Next, we will summarize what the video has captured, and more importantly, what it has failed to capture.
Building an effective defense has little to do with the footage presented against you and more to do with the facts of the case and a firm understanding of criminal law. At the Law Offices of Murphy & Price, LLP, we begin building your defense as soon as you contact us for your complimentary consultation. If you have been charged with a crime and threatened with video evidence, contact us before you talk to law enforcement or prosecutors.