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Is Video Footage Admissible Evidence in Fort Myers Domestic Violence Cases?


Due to the widespread availability of smartphones, nanny cams, and baby cams, video surveillance may become an important form of evidence in a Fort Myers domestic violence case. But is this video footage even admissible in court? If you have been accused of domestic violence, you might be asking yourself this very question. The answer is somewhat complex, and it might be worth exploring this issue alongside a qualified defense lawyer.

Florida’s Two-Party Consent Laws Explained

 Florida has a two-party consent system when it comes to recordings, which means that your spouse must get your consent before recording you. If they record you without your knowledge and the footage involves a private setting (like your family home), the resulting evidence may be inadmissible in court. Not only that, but the individual who distributes this footage could face criminal consequences themselves.

However, Florida amended its two-party consent system in 2021, allowing those protected by injunctions (protective orders) to record audio communications that violate said injunctions. However, this only applies to those who have already obtained injunctions, and it only deals with audio communications.

The end result? It is more challenging to use secret recordings in court in Florida compared to most other states. The Sunshine State is one of only 12 jurisdictions that maintain two-party consent laws – and most other states have abandoned these rules – citing the benefits for allegedly abused individuals who need to prove the existence of domestic violence.

Judges Can Still Admit Video Footage in Some Cases 

That being said, the two-party consent system in Florida does not guarantee the admissibility of video evidence in domestic violence cases. Some judges may choose to admit the evidence if they feel it is very relevant – and some residents may be willing to accept the criminal consequences of failing to get consent in exchange for showing the footage in court. In the end, it is important to work with a qualified, experienced defense attorney to ensure that this evidence stays out of court.

When the Two-Party Consent Laws Do Not Apply 

If the alleged incident occurred in public, then the two-party consent laws may not apply. For example, you might have been caught on camera allegedly threatening or assaulting your significant other in a public area. If a bystander records this footage, it may find its way into court – even if your significant other does not want to press charges.

These laws may also not apply if you have visible security cameras on your property, and both spouses are aware of these cameras. Footage from these cameras would likely be admissible, as both spouses may inherently be aware that they are being recorded.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Fort Myers 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Fort Myers criminal defense attorney, Look no further than Foley & Wilson. With our assistance, you can strive for optimal results – even in the face of seemingly convincing evidence. Some video footage may be inadmissible, and you may have the opportunity to have this evidence thrown out of court. To learn more about your legal options as you approach a domestic violence charge, be sure to book a consultation today.




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