Sonoma, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: Can a dashcam clip from 3 years ago showing a misdemeanor, be used against someone now, considering the rules of SOL?

A little over 3 years ago I had an incident with a driver where I made a maneuver that could hypothetically be considered reckless driving, a misdemeanor, which was recorded on my dashcam. I want to publish the video on Youtube for the first time, showing people what NOT to do. The video has never been seen by anyone but me and there was never any police involvement in the incident. Considering the way statute of limitations works here, could I possibly get in trouble if authorities NOW discover my video that is over 3 years old? I do realize also, that misdemeanors (if my maneuver was even considered reckless driving at all) typically need to be witnessed first-hand by a police officer in order to pursue charges, but not always. My voice can be heard in the video, but they'd still have to prove I was the one driving. I want this video to be a learning moment for all. But if you were me, would you post the video online or forget it, considering its age and statute of limitations?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Rhonda Mae Hixon
Rhonda Mae Hixon
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Redding, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You won't be prosecuted (successfully) for a reckless driving that occurred more than 3 years ago; The Statute of Limitations is one year.

1 user found this answer helpful

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You asked: "But if you were me, would you post the video online or forget it, considering its age and statute of limitations?" IMO, when in doubt whether to post online or not, don't. What if someone was injured and you gave false information to them about how the accident occurred. This could be Fraud and the statute of limitations on Fraud is three years AFTER THE FRAUD IS DISCOVERED. You could open yourself up to trouble.

Next, despite your good intentions, when you post something on line it could be interpreted many ways and could still be used as something other than what you wanted.

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