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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  25 years experience practicing attorney
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Could a motion to suppress evidence be granted based on the

Customer Question

Could a "motion to suppress evidence" be granted based on the "chain of custody" being violated concerning some digital video evidence. The video footage was not turned over to the police for three weeks. I contend it has been edited & altered. Does this defense tactict have a chance of working (in the state of CA)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 3 years ago.

Dear JACUSTOMER - You would have to have some credible evidence of tampering and not just that it was kept for 3 weeks. I'm not certain who had the video but I'm quite certain that with modern technology it can be easily detected as to whether there were an y alterations. You would have a right to have the tape inspected for any defects or changes. If they were found then you would have an excellent case to have the tapes suppressed.

 

Dave Kennett

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Does the concept of "chain of custody" have any merit. Basically, my employer has had it out for me for a long time. THIS IS THE SITUATION: I am accused of stealing money out of my cashbox at work. (I did'nt take shit) The video shows my hand going from the box to my pocket. No money is seen in my hand. I was probably putting a piece of gum or candy in my pocket (getting ready to go on break) This video is the entire "evidence" against me. No human being seen or thought anything out of the ordinary. I clocked out, went home, after I balanced out. My supervisor said "great job" as always (I have worked hear for 14 years) No money is missing. Unless you count the "money" I supposedly put in my pocket. What do you think?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 3 years ago.

Frankly it would appear that this is not evidence of anything but your hand going from the cash box to your pocket with no cash visible. I cannot imagine that just that and nothing else could possibly be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt which it would take to convict you. Your attorney can file a motion to suppress based on the chain of evidence and that the tape may be altered but even if it is admitted it doesn't seem to prove anything.

 

It's hard to believe that a prosecutor would accept criminal charges with just this so called evidence. Whatever you do you should not talk to the police or the prosecutor and allow your attorney to handle the case.

 

Dave

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I pissed off management big time. I became the union "shop steward" and I called them out on some labor law violations that had been going on for a long time (i.e. lack of meal breaks) When this started I think they wanted me to just quit and be done with it. (part time job) I did make the STUPID mistake of talking to the detective. He completely lied and twisted my words around in his deposition. But the "County DA" did NOT file the complaint. The City Attorney stepped in and filed the charges (petty theft).
The reason I mention this fact is this: Guess Who My Employer Is ? The City of Ana####.

But like you said. The evidence is kinda lacking. So my last question is this: What will the trial look like. Can the prosecution put on a case with no humans taking the stand against me. The case literately consists of "exhibit A" the video that was reviewed three days after I last worked. Will the prosecuter just show the video to the jury, while making commentary on how it shows my guilt?
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 3 years ago.

No, the prosecutor would at least have to have someone introduce the video to authenticate it. Your attorney would have the opportunity to cross examine the witness and attack the validity of the tape.

 

Dave

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