Can you use video surveillance as evidence?
Video security systems in your home or at your business give you an easy way to catch criminal activity, should it happen. But, can you use that surveillance as evidence in court?
Yes, you can use it as evidence in court, but it may not be enough evidence to have something on camera.
While that may seem contradictory, unfortunately, it is. Video footage is great to have on your side if it doesn’t get ruled out. It can be a determining factor in catching a criminal, removing you as a suspect, and give you a chance to win insurance money when things go missing.
Why would video footage get ruled out as evidence?
Video footage getting ruled out most commonly happens when the footage is not clear or shot from too far away to determine what really happened.
For instance, if someone says they were robbed while walking down the road and video surveillance on the street doesn’t have a clear shot of the victim or perpetrator, the evidence can be ruled out.
To have the footage be deemed reasonable evidence, the footage must explain how it was taken, why it was taken, the clarity of footage, whether it looks tampered with, and have credibility.
Timestamps and date stamps also help footage be taken more seriously. Of course, if the footage is taken on a smartphone, it may not be taken as seriously as footage taken from professional video security systems.
Many things come into play on whether video surveillance can be used as evidence in fighting crime, but one thing is for sure, having it installed in your home can save you from becoming a victim of crime.