Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Three Defenses to Surveillance Footage

A man in Hyde Park was recently arrested after law enforcement released surveillance footage of the man attacking a child. While the man’s name has not yet been released, law enforcement has stated that the man is being charged with indecent assault, battery on a child under the age of 14, and lewd and lascivious conduct. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the assault, which occurred in the area between High and Bussey streets at the beginning of August 2020. Law enforcement has stated that they do not believe the man knew the child at the time of the attack.


If law enforcement has relied on surveillance footage to make a charge, it can prove difficult to attack this evidence and have it excluded from court. Simply because a video is admitted into a court of law, however, does not mean that the video establishes a person’s guilt. Instead, there are common surveillance footage issues that can be introduced to weaken this evidence. The following reviews some of the strongest strategies that can be used to attack surveillance footage.


Tampering With the Footage


There is always the chance that footage has been tampered with in some way. As technology has progressed over the last decade, it has become much easier for anyone to acquire software that can be used to edit a video or photograph. To decrease the risk of tampering, a clear chain of evidence must be shown for the footage. The footage also must come from a credible source. If these requirements are not satisfied, your lawyer can likely create a strong strategy to keep this evidence out of court.


Poor-Quality Footage


While the technology exists, the cost of obtaining high-quality cameras is still high. As a result, many businesses have poor-quality recording systems. This might mean that footage of an offense is blurry, too far away to clearly see anything, or shot from the wrong angle. In the case of poor quality footage, a defense lawyer can often establish that the footage does not accurately depict the person being charged.


The Footage is Incomplete


While footage often depicts the entirety of an act, this is not always the case. Sometimes, footage leaves our earlier incidents that better explain an accident. For example, a person who is charged with assault might have been protecting themselves from another person’s force. Other times, the footage might leave open questions about how the offense occurred. In these situations, an experienced defense lawyer can often argue that the footage is incomplete and positions the person being charged in a false light.


Speak with a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer


The state of Massachusetts takes crimes against minors seriously, and these convictions can result in substantial penalties. If you are charged with such an offense, it can greatly help the outcome of your case to retain the assistance of a skilled lawyer. Contact Edward R. Molari today.