If I live in the state of Maryland, can a tape recording be used as evidence during a criminal trial?
If someone does not know that they are being recorded but they are, and they admit that they were guilty in a criminal case, can that evidence be used in court?
- ChrisLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Admissibility of surveillance tape footage, or of any footage, is ultimately up to the judge. Generally speaking, tape will almost always be permitted to be entered into evidence. A few general exceptions exist:
1) If the state cannot prove/disclose WHO shot the footage. For example, a random YouTube video showing you commit a crime may not be admissible unless the state can find the camera man. This exception is rooted in the 6th Amendment's assurance that you may confront your accuser.
2) If the tape is not probative (as in, it does not help the state prove an element of the crime).
3) If the tapes probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect. For example, if you are being charged with purchasing alcohol under age and there is a video of you drinking what might be a beer while you are wearing a KKK uniform and kicking a puppy, the tape may be barred from evidence.
The fact that you did not know that you were being recorded might have some bearing on whether or not the tape can be entered into evidence. Were you in a public place when you were recorded? If you were in a public place, or a place that could be seen from a public place (like inside of a store or standing inside a house with open windows), then the tape will most likely be admitted into evidence.
Maryland does have a two-party consent law (both parties must know they are being recorded) for taped conversations. This does not apply to surveillance tape. Keep in mind that the state may have had a warrant to allow taping.
Speak with an attorney, tell him/her the details of your case, and he/she will give you a more detailed answer.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
That all depends on who made the recording, how it was made, and why it was made. If the defense wants to block all possibility of the tape being used in evidence, they need to bring a pre trial motion in limine wherein they ask the court to prevent the prosecution from using it or even referring to it. In the end, it is up to the judge to decide what he/she will and will not allow as evidence.
- 1 decade ago
A tape can be used, but whether or not it is admissible is up to the judge. Also, the prosecutor is the one who decides how a case will be proven in court, so they might not even use it unless it really makes a difference.
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- SophistLv 71 decade ago
The only way a tape recording can be used is if both parties were aware they were being taped and consented to it and if it can be demonstrated that said recording had not been tampered with.