Can The Videotape Be Submitted As Evidence At Trial?

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I was videotaped in my home (in Massachusetts) without my knowledge or consent. Can that videotape be submitted as evidence against me in a criminal trial?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Massachusetts has what’s called a “two-party consent” law for audio recordings. This means that both the person making the recording and the person being recorded have to consent. Video recordings are covered by this law if they also capture audio. That means that the recording of you in your home, made without your knowledge and consent, is probably illegal in your state. However, even if it is illegal, it still may be admissible in a criminal trial against you. This is because “evidence rules” that the court uses to decide what is and is not credible evidence is different from the laws preventing recording without consent. If the recording meets other rules of evidence for admissibility, it may be used against you in a criminal trial. The exception to this would be if the police recorded you. In this case, the police would need to have had a warrant to record you. If they did not have the warrant, the recording would probably not be admissible against you.

Because this is potentially a very serious issue, you should consult with a criminal law attorney in your area.



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Author: House Attorney