Cameras are nearly everywhere people go, from convenience stores to shopping centers to event locations. Today, some businesses require that their drivers utilize a dash cam, and most law enforcement officers’ vehicles are equipped with dash cams. While one may not think a dash cam in a police vehicle can assist one’s case should they be accused of a crime, those who find themselves accused of wrongdoing have a tool at their disposal – a dash cam.
Can I use a dash cam as a defense in my case?
Can a dash cam be utilized in one’s defense in court? Research shows that, when a dash cam is relevant to the crime one is accused of perpetrating, the footage from a dash cam is considered credible evidence and can be utilized in one’s defense. There are a couple of other considerations, however. Most judges will allow for the use of dash cam footage as long as it is recorded in a public place. Furthermore, defendants must be able to show that the footage was recorded at the time of the incident in question. If you as a driver happen to have a dash cam, then you’ll also need to prove that it is indeed your personal dash cam that recorded the footage. One’s attorney can subpoena dash cam evidence as well.
What might make my footage inadmissable?
One must also remember that the footage must be of suitable quality as well. Grainy footage may not be acceptable. Low-quality footage (those with poor lighting, for instance) may be ruled inadmissable as well. It’s also important to note that, should you be accused of a crime in relation to a motor vehicle accident, you’ll want to ensure that the moments leading up to the accident are available on the footage.
Some jurisdictions may not allow for dash cam footage to be utilized, but, overall, most states will allow for dash cam footage as evidence in both civil and criminal cases.Also, if the footage is reviewed and it is determined that someone has edited the footage or otherwise altered it, the judge may rule the footage inadmissable. Finally, if you are recording and the dash cam picks up a conversation with another person prior to the incident, the footage may not be acceptable evidence as the usage could constitute a violation of the second person’s privacy.
Can dash cam footage be used against me?
One should also keep in mind that dash cam evidence can be used against a defendant in a criminal or civil case. Some describe dash cam footage as a double-edged sword, and it can be. This is why it’s important for those involved in a suit to consult a knowledgeable attorney who can not only procure the footage (if it’s not your own) and determine whether it can help or hurt your case.
So, how can a dash cam help a person accused of wrongdoing? There are two chief ways a dash cam can help the accused’s case. First, the dash cam evidence may be able to prove there was no crime committed or no wrongdoing on the part of the accused. Second, a dash cam can help to highlight problematic areas in the case.
A dash cam can prove you did nothing wrong.
First, let’s look an example of how the dash cam can prove there is no wrongdoing. If an individual is charged with reckless driving, for instance, possessing one’s own dash cam can prove that the driver was indeed driving properly. Again, some defendants may subpoena police footage. Defendants who are confident they were not recklessly driving can ask for the dash cam footage as a part of the discovery process. If the footage shows that there was no evidence of improper driving, then the use of the footage is to the defendant’s benefit.
If you have an upcoming case and you have dash cam evidence, it’s always smart to contact an attorney about using the footage in your case. Whether you need assistance in obtaining dash cam footage or you have footage of your own, meeting with an attorney can determine how valuable the dash cam footage is to your upcoming case.