How to Use Video Evidence in Criminal Cases Video Editing: Dos and Don’ts

Video Evidence in Criminal Cases Video Editing

Building a case is not easy since it consists of countless factors investigators need to look at. Of course, this requires not just collecting the evidence but also following the guidelines imposed by the law.

By doing so, the law intends to provide all the parties in the case equal chances of winning the case. It goes without saying that the lawyer also plays a vital role in determining the outcome of the court case, depending on his capability.

However, we would like to return to collecting the evidence. You surely know about countless types of evidence that need to be collected to build a strong case. We are talking about countless types, literally.

The type of evidence also depends on the situation that has occurred. Of course, we must say that the most widespread evidence in numerous cases today is videos, especially the ones taken from surveillance.

While taking raw video as evidence is the most important factor, it must be said that it is possible to edit that particular video. If you are interested in looking at some tools you can use to do it, you can give this a go.

Surely, there is some potential for videos to be misused in this case. However, we must say it is possible to do some editing. Today, we want to talk about the dos and don’ts of doing so in a criminal case.

Common Types of Admissible Video Evidence

Teenager taking video of bullying boy with mobile phone at schoo

To explain the best ways to edit a video that is yet to be presented in front of the club, we would like to talk about common types of admissible evidence of this sort.

The reason is quite simple: editing can help highlight the pinnacle of the video, which is an easy way to present the material that will not take too much time during the court hearing, don’t you agree? Let’s take a look at some of the common types.

The first one we want to discuss is demonstrative. We are talking about a form that establishes a fact. Let us say that the perpetrator is about to rob someone’s home, and the camera caught him.

Editing is possible, but not by cutting the part where the perpetrator enters the premises and steals. The next form is known as testimonial, which is quite clear to understand since it revolves around a witness talking about what he or she saw.

The third form is known as documentary. In this form, the court will be able to take a look at some of the documents relevant to the case. Of course, the document can be of various sorts, depending on the case at hand.

The final form consists of the real depictions of the crime scene. For instance, an individual can record the shards of glass, murder weapon, or many other things relevant to the case.

Misleading Videos are a No-No

Misleading Videos in Court

The most important thing our readers must understand is that editing is the easiest way to create misleading videos. Therefore, it is crucial to be extremely careful when conducting this procedure. Technical concerns are something courts pay extra attention to.

We all know just how many technological possibilities are out in the open for everyday people in this day and age.

The commonest issue in this regard is synchronization and timing. Of course, these two issues are quite common, regardless of whether they are edited or not.

However, the damage caused during the editing can be quite obvious and can resemble the damage in some other situations. With that in mind, the professionals who are invited by the court will be responsible for handling these technical aspects.

The whole point of these editing mistakes is that they are misleading. What does it mean for a video to be misleading? Well, we are talking about the removal of the context that led to the results seen in the video presented in front of the court.

To prevent this from happening, the jurors and judges will take a look at the documents that come with the case, and these are compared with the video.

But we want to talk about the misleading part a little bit more. It is possible that an edited video might consist of moments that aim to paint a wrong image of the case. When that happens, the evidence will be overruled without any issues.

Misleading content is a factor that may ruin numerous court rulings, not just in the case of edited videos. With that in mind, it is essential to be careful when editing those that are about to be presented to the jurors or judges.

Potential Inadmissible Video Evidence


To prevent any issues like misleading videos, courts have a set of rules that need to be followed, as we’ve said. That is why we want to point out a couple of potentially inadmissible video evidence.

The first one we would like to talk about is known as hearsay. That happens when the witness talks in front of the camera. However, we must say that hearsay can sometimes pass through the strict court rules, but only in a handful of cases.

Another form we want to talk about is the situation when the content wastes time. For instance, it can happen that a video testimony can last long, but the witness fails to provide sufficient evidence or proper testimony.

At the same time, we want to talk about an expert testimony that fails to provide the expertise needed. While this may not seem like a common thing, it really is one of the commonest things that happens in the world of law.

Closing Thoughts

Video Evidence in Criminal Cases Video Editing

As you can see, it is quite possible to witness video evidence in the courtroom. Of course, video editing is possible, as we’ve explained earlier.

Here, you can see all the things you should know regarding editing this sort of content that is about to be major evidence. We are certain you will see these do’s and don’ts and find them to be of help.