Ever had a dash cam siezed as "evidence"?

beachump

Learning to Fly
Premium Plus
Beginner User
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
113
Reaction score
191
Location
DFW
I once tried to use my footage as evidence in my favor but the prosecutor wouldn't allow it. Has anybody had a cop seize theirs? Lots of incrimination evidence on them, speed for one thing.
 

RaggedEdge

RDForum owner and Rdtalk.org Founder
Administrator
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
7,637
Location
Middle Tennessee
I once tried to use my footage as evidence in my favor but the prosecutor wouldn't allow it. Has anybody had a cop seize theirs? Lots of incrimination evidence on them, speed for one thing.
5th amendment
 

rdrlsr385

Learning to Fly
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Beginner User
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
149
5th amendment
Only applies to testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings. Dash cams, auto black boxes, GPS, cell phones, laptops, documents and email accounts are all open game. Criminal prosecutors will get a warrant. All of these are also subject to subpoena in civil proceedings. If you don't want it seen then don't use it, record it, email it, type it or write it anywhere.
 

RaggedEdge

RDForum owner and Rdtalk.org Founder
Administrator
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 26, 2018
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
7,637
Location
Middle Tennessee
Only applies to testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings. Dash cams, auto black boxes, GPS, cell phones, laptops, documents and email accounts are all open game. Criminal prosecutors will get a warrant. All of these are also subject to subpoena in civil proceedings. If you don't want it seen then don't use it, record it, email it, type it or write it anywhere.
Yes, a warrant would be needed to get the footage. The OP said the procecutor wouldn't allow him to show video that was favorable to him. Well, the procecutor can pound sand, that is up to the judge.
 

STS-134

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
11,778
Reaction score
13,008
Location
Saratoga, CA
Only applies to testimonial evidence in criminal proceedings. Dash cams, auto black boxes, GPS, cell phones, laptops, documents and email accounts are all open game. Criminal prosecutors will get a warrant. All of these are also subject to subpoena in civil proceedings. If you don't want it seen then don't use it, record it, email it, type it or write it anywhere.
Encrypt it. Then refuse to provide the password on the grounds that it can be used to incriminate you. Since the password is something you know and would at that point be recorded only in your mind, you cannot be forced to provide it. If you didn't encrypt it and it's actually incriminating and something happens, destroy it before you're asked to provide it.
 

factoryguy

chasing rabbits
Premium Plus
Beginner User
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
221
Reaction score
565
Location
Southcentral PA
Encrypt it. Then refuse to provide the password on the grounds that it can be used to incriminate you. Since the password is something you know and would at that point be recorded only in your mind, you cannot be forced to provide it. If you didn't encrypt it and it's actually incriminating and something happens, destroy it before you're asked to provide it.
Good idea... I was thinking, however, that some information may not be so easy to destroy. For instance, the connected cameras that push data to the cloud. In these cases, they could go after the host.
 

Signal Environment

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
542
Reaction score
1,673
Good idea... I was thinking, however, that some information may not be so easy to destroy. For instance, the connected cameras that push data to the cloud. In these cases, they could go after the host.
Definitely something to consider when setting up cloud storage.

Might be able to encrypt your cloud storage as well depending on who you are using. Or set up a home server so that you are the host.

If that's too much trouble though, it might be safest from a legal standpoint to just disable the feature.
 

goblin

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
765
Reaction score
1,122
... it's actually incriminating and something happens, destroy it before you're asked to provide it.
That would be destruction of evidence, if proven. In some scenarios it can lead to the judge allowing/instructing the jury to consider that there was a dashcam, but it was destroyed because its content was incriminating.


Now, G. forbid, if dashcam owner immediately retrieves the memory card from the dashcam (because it contains all the proof of innocence, right) and stores it in his/her pocket for safeguarding, then the memory card is lost because with all this stress they forgot said pocket has a hole, and it's such a pitty, Your Honor, because it contained proof of innocence, not guilt, and now it's unfortunately gone... This would be an attempt to preserve evidence gone bad, right, not destruction of evidence ;)
 

STS-134

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
11,778
Reaction score
13,008
Location
Saratoga, CA
That would be destruction of evidence, if proven. In some scenarios it can lead to the judge allowing/instructing the jury to consider that there was a dashcam, but it was destroyed because its content was incriminating.

Officers are public officials and are expected to keep footage of themselves doing their duties. It would probably be different if he was off duty in his own personal vehicle. Additionally, if you really want get rid of some video, just leave the dashcam permanently powered and let it overwrite the files after about a day. That's not destruction of evidence, it's just something that happens due to the technological limitations of the camera.

But the suggestion I've seen that you not record/use a dashcam isn't something I'd recommend. It could be what establishes that you aren't at fault, and unless you really suck at driving, why would you think that dashcam footage would be more likely to show you at fault than not?
 

goblin

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
765
Reaction score
1,122
...why would you think that dashcam footage would be more likely to show you at fault than not?
Because this is what was being disussed in your previous post, which I was commenting on.

Nobody can force you to use a dashcam or not.
But once you have it, even though it's yours and even though you installed it to protect you rather than incriminate you, it becomes evidence if you get involved in an event where evidence is used/needed.

The chances are indeed overwhelming that you'd be able to get rid of said evidence without anyone noticing (who on earth will pay attention at what you're doing inside your vehicle after a crash ?), but IF anyone notices (cctv footage from before the event, showing you have a camera, or the other driver's dashcam showing you removing yours, or anything like that) - you're in, and it can be used against you.

This is from another forum, so not 100% guaranteed correct, but it sounds right to me:

"...No. That would be destruction of evidence in a potential criminal case as well as spoliation in a civil case. The former is a crime. The latter gives rise to sanctions and can also cause a judge to give the jury what is called an adverse inference instruction. An adverse inference instruction means that the jury is allowed to assume that you deleted the dashcam recording because it was harmful to you...."

Not to mention that if it comes to that (dashcam being needed as evidence in a criminal case) - declaring that you didn't have one (while you actually did and destroyed it) will likely be done under oath. And that's yet another thin ice field.
 
Last edited:

mikeoxlong

Learning to Fly
Beginner User
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
257
Reaction score
329

thebravo

Security
ModSec
Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Corgi Lovers
Advanced User
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
7,601
Reaction score
18,140
Location
FL (formerly CT)
well having been in a major crash with dash cams recently... I mentioned the dash cameras to the officer when he was taking my statement in the ER. He said if I could recover footage and provide on a disc, great, if not they had a decent idea of what happened from multiple witness statements. I recovered the camera out of my car a few days later and provided them a disc with the footage (I wasn't at fault). So despite being an 8 car crash with injuries and the at fault driver being given a 1st degree misdemeanor ticket they didn't search the cars at the scene or go after warrants for the footage... if they had decided to it would have taken weeks with how slow the justice system is and it would have long since overwritten. Now perhaps if you shot someone (or were acused of doing so), or mowed down some pedestrians intentially then they might be more interested. But for most traffic day to day collisions they don't really seem to care that much or be that interested. Your insurance company will be more interested generally.
 

samq45

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
1,999
Reaction score
3,476
Location
Saratoga, NY
Keep an empty SD Card with some previous weeks or months footage (maybe a full one) and swap that into the dashcam as needed..... Not sure how many times people have said I had my dash cam but it did not record, but there have been quite a few reports of them not working or overwriting.
 

STS-134

Premium Plus
Lifetime Premium
Advanced User
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
11,778
Reaction score
13,008
Location
Saratoga, CA
Keep an empty SD Card with some previous weeks or months footage (maybe a full one) and swap that into the dashcam as needed..... Not sure how many times people have said I had my dash cam but it did not record, but there have been quite a few reports of them not working or overwriting.
I always carry a backup SD card in the car just in case the card that's in the cam fails.
 

Saussie

PSL +5
Intermediate User
Joined
May 8, 2018
Messages
1,133
Reaction score
736
Location
The middle of nowhere
I've thought about this scenario as well. I've noticed online you can buy an SD recorder box, that has AV inputs for connecting a camera of your choice. Doesn't have to be a dash cam. So I've been thinking of small pinhole type cameras to connect to this and burying the recorder in the dash. If it's not visible on the windscreen, the out of sight, out of mind method leaves the option in your hands more so. Lets you decide if you're going to say you have one fitted or not for whatever reason.
Also been thinking about backing this up with some IR LED arrays, much like you see on a cctv camera, to throw a bit more light out at night. Also wondered if Perspex blocks this type of LED (it shouldn't, but prefer to fully test first before giving it the yay or nay).
Just have not got around to this. I tinker with cars enough as it is and I need to be more motivated lately to pursue this.
I've a good cctv webcam with some great night vision ability. Have been slack to try it out. That said, it would be a better test by using the actual intended components I would plan to use, just to be certain.
Ideally, a wifi camera type setup would go one better. I've been thinking of parking out front of my place, and being able to login to the camera and somehow switch the IR LED's on when I want as well.
Doing this, I can basically park the camera/car wherever I like, within wifi range and have a look at what's going on in the street anytime.
This is still just an idea for me I'm half keen on investigating further.
Have seen a nice dash cam version on the Scotty Kilmer channel. He showed people basically driving around in the dark with no lights on. Looking at the screen you could easily make out where you're going. Bit of a police chase getaway gadget, flick the lights completely off sorts thing, and keep on driving. Obviously that could be an issue in itself trying to make sure other drivers see you in the dark.
However... It seems it was available on Amazon and is completely sold out last time I looked. Doesn't solve my wifi capability needs though and the screen was pretty big for my liking, but the idea was there somewhat.
 
Last edited:

Discord Server

Latest threads

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
95,434
Messages
1,452,299
Members
24,457
Latest member
Sgtmac
Top