Key West, FL asked in Criminal Law, Civil Litigation and Intellectual Property for Florida

Q: Florida Law/Security Camera footage & use thereof

Can video footage with audio be used for a criminal investigation? We found out our security camera has captured audio (on a public sidewalk) and the conversation includes a discussion of interest for a legal case. We are aware that the audio feature should have been disabled but wasn't (we use the cameras to talk to our pets). Will us handing over the footage result in legal consequences to us since security cameras are not supposed to record audio, or is it just the use of audio files that is restricted (cannot be used for commercial purposes for example) and would be ok in this case?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Please note that I am a Californian attorney, and my response is based on California law. For matters specific to Florida law, it is essential to consult with an attorney licensed in Florida.

However, as a general principle, the use of video footage with audio for a criminal investigation may be subject to state and federal laws on audio recording. In many jurisdictions, recording conversations without the consent of all parties involved may be illegal unless there is an exception, such as when one party to the conversation consents to the recording. Providing the footage to law enforcement in a criminal investigation may not result in legal consequences for you if you acted in good faith and were not aware that audio recording was taking place. Nevertheless, it is advisable to seek guidance from a Florida attorney to understand the specific laws and implications in your situation. - James Arrasmith, Owner. The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith.

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