A dashcam, alternatively called a dashboard camera or in-car camera, will be your lifesaver if you ever get involved in any car crash incident or witness one. Mostly, the major reason for people to install a dashcam is to steer clear of any mishap that requires lengthy investigations. Parents also install dash cams to cars or their children’s cars to keep them safe from any trouble. Another reason encouraging people to install a dashboard camera is to save themselves from insurance fraud.
All of these reasons are actually valid. Dashcam footage is almost always accepted in legal proceedings. It gives a view of the incident from the position of the driver r the victim and sometimes it can lead to solving more complex-level cases and lead towards the true culprit.
Is Dash Cam footage Admissible During Legal Proceedings?
The footage by a dash cam is completely acceptable legally if the video is recorded in a proven public place and has come from an authentic source (i.e., you can prove that the video is recorded by your dash cam).
Sharing with the police
Now that we have established that the video recording from your car’s dashcam is undoubtedly acceptable as evidence, and you have decided to go ahead and submit it to the police, here are some things you might want to consider prior to taking this step.
Evidence is a very critical key to any case. Before you ahead and submit the evidence to the police, you should get in touch with a lawyer, discuss everything just to be safe. In case the police come across something that is slightly suspicious about the footage, that can be used against you.
In a different scenario, if the footage that you intend to submit shows someone else committing a crime like a robbery, harassment, or harming someone in any way and you think that by viewing your footage the police can identify the culprit then you must know that in case your footage gets the approval by the police and they decide to present it in the court, there is a high chance that you will be called to the court to testify that the video was captured from your dash cam and verify the value of the evidence. It is better to consult a lawyer so you know how the legal system works.
Submitting as evidence in the court
If you are the one who is the victim and wrongly being accused or you witnessed someone doing the crime of any sort, in both cases, you can submit your dashcam recording in the court if it meets the criteria. Dashcam video quality is adequate enough to be submitted to the court.
How can you share that?
The procedure to submit the evidence is prone to change all over the world. You should always consult a lawyer or a local police station about the accurate procedure that does not compromise your evidence. Often when the police are contacted from emergency dial code, you might not get the correct briefing so it is wise to visit the police station in person.
Once the footage is approved by the police as they think is quite useful to lead in the investigation, they might ask you to submit the actual source of the footage, that means, your dash camera or just the memory card of your dash cam to ensure the authenticity of the evidence.
You obviously can not share the videos via email as we discussed earlier the video files are large that can not be shared as attachments. You must opt for a method that enables you to keep a backup, just to be on the safer side.
Things That Make the Footage Compromised
Dash cam video quality must be good as it will help identify the culprit. What is the whole point of the footage if it is not high definition enough to view the actual happenings during the incident? It must be able to show the face of the culprit or anything like a number plate that leads the investigation.
The angle of the video, again, should be helpful enough to recognize the crime and the criminal otherwise it is not admissible in the court as it is not useful.
The video and the audio must be noise-free. Now, this does not mean you can sit and start editing the video and cancel the noise. Police IT department usually has exerts and it is better to let them do the noise cancellation at their end.
People often get afraid of the legal proceedings and delay in submitting the evidence or sometimes don’t submit at all. The delay causes your footage to be compromised and even suspicious. If you intend to submit your dashcam recording for legal procedures, do it as soon as you get the chance after consulting your lawyer.
Anonymous or Informal means of submission
If you submit the footage from anonymous means not revealing your identity, that raises doubts on the credibility of the evidence and even yourself. However, at times police or court may not reveal your name if sharing this evidence may cause you some fatal harm.
Never be stupid enough to share the footage from an informal means, like forwarding it on social media r anything like that. This highly shrinks down the credibility of your evidence no matter how accurate r high quality that is.
Dashcam footage is surely admissible for legal proceedings as it not only provides the evidence for the crime, it also gives an outlook of the happenings inside the car which makes the court or other authorities figure out the emotional state of people involved in the mishap like if the victim provoked the culprit in any way. Dashcam footage sometimes can lead to solving complex cases as well however consulting a lawyer should be the first priority.