7 Things About Obtaining Admissible Video Surveillance Footage You Need to Know

7 Things About Obtaining Admissible Video Surveillance Footage You Need to Know

Video surveillance systems have been used in the court of law for successful prosecution or dismissals in cases in for many years. It is a vital tool for prosecutors and defense attorneys in , CA alike, but not all video footage can be admitted in every case. Certain criteria needs to be met before video surveillance can be admitted into a court case. These are 7 things you should know about obtaining admissible video surveillance footage:

1. Relevancy

The video must be relevant. This means that the video must have the content that pertains to the arguments of the case. Whatever is in the video, it must provide information that can provide answers to important issues in the case. It must also coincide with various facts such as the dates and time in the questions. You cannot bring a video of events that happened three years ago to the case that is dealing with an event that happened a few months ago.

2. Authenticity

The video must be authentic. With this, the message must be accurate in representing the subject. In most cases, the court will only allow raw footage only. The court will not admit enhancements, after-effects, or edits as these might misrepresent the truth. The lighting must be in point to ensure that the image of the subject is clear. Make sure that you have tested for pixelation on your monitor.

3. Camera resolution

Resolution is crucial for any surveillance footage. The capturing of the image with top notch clarity heavily relies on the camera resolution. The minimum resolution should be 480 x 640. Anything below this would produce grainy results, and it will be difficult to extract anything from it. Do not get tempted to enhance the footage as this would disqualify your evidence. Always remember that the sharper the resolution the more details can be extracted from the footage.

4. Camera position

This is a key factor to consider. How is the placement of the camera? Does it capture the most important details? Is it placed in a position where it can capture the faces of subjects of differing heights? These are questions you need to answer. Placing more cameras can help with this.

5. Light position about camera placement

The lighting of the room must be done in a way that subjects will be lit from the front. You must control the lighting system in a manner that the camera can always capture clear images. Sometimes, you may need to offset some bright light in one direction by making the other side brighter. More light allows for a greater depth of the coverage field.

6. Recording setup

In most camera surveillance systems, recording is done over old footage as a means of maximizing space. This can be devastating if the footage gets over-written. Make sure that you have retrieved the footage immediately after the incident occurred.

7. Image file formatting

For evidence purposes, the footage must cover the entire incidence. But the court might need some clarification on some areas that might not be captured in your compressed file. This is why it's necessary to have the 'native files'. This is the original file that covers the entire recording.

So, if you are securing your home or business, you need to consider all these factors in order to ensure that video captured on your surveillance system will be admissible in the court of law as evidence.

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images Certifications & Training

With 16 years of experience in law enforcement, Tim Truby, CEO, is fully certified in video surveillance and training.

  • Certified Advanced Crime Prevention Specialist
  • Academy Instructor Certification
  • California POST Certification in Specialized Surveillance Equipment
  • California POST Certification in Basic Crime Prevention
    • Advanced Crime Prevention through Environmental Design
    • Certified Alibi Security Dealer
    • Enhanced Risk and Threat Assessment (FEMA)
    • Incident Command System (100 & 200)
    • Certified Cognitech Video Forensic Investigator
    • Neighborhood Watch Toolkit Trainer
    • Computer Crimes/Investigations
    • Domestic Crisis for Crisis Negotiators