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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 11780
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Im looking regarding photos taken of alcohol bottles dden in

Customer Question

Hi- Im looking for information regarding photos taken of alcohol bottles hidden in a car or garage in my custody case in family law. if i can submit them as evidence
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: filed for divorce on friday and I am trying to organize all of my evidence before being called in for our initial hearing. basically- after a long time of suspicion, I caught on to my husband's abuse of alcohol. it got pretty out of control. he was never violent but very emotionally abusive and scary for the kids to witness hours of him yelling at me. He had secretly been hiding bottles of vodka up in the rafters of the garage and would drink there when changing out his scrubs after work... also in the spare tire area of his car, and bottles of powerade/water etc he emptied out and replaced with vodka to carry in his car a long term affair with his boss surfaced, as well as a DUI arrest..... just trying to find out what is admissible so i can protect our kids. he argues with me that im not "letting him" drive them although his license is restricted right now
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Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
i dont want my question to be placed on the public forum since i put a little more detail than I would have if i had known you fly other customer's questions
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Yes, photos can certainly be admitted as evidence in a court proceeding. You must first authenticate the photos so that the court knows that they are what they appear to be. Authenticating photos requires the photographer to testify as to what they are. So, you could get on the witness stand and describe the scene, and then explain that you took the photos and that they accurately represent the scene. You can be cross-examined, of course, but then the photos should be admissible assuming their accuracy wasn't successfully called into question.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
thank you, ***** ***** clarify, i took the photos myself, at various times during the last year or so, to document as ongoing behavior. I immediately emailed them to myself for the time stamp. Because I had to do this quickly to go undetected, I only recently thought of the fact that I have never taken a picture further back to show his plates or the whole car to prove it was in fact his vehicle. could that discredit the photos? I have also collected some of the bottles, not even sure if that matters as Im sure proving they were indeed his would require a fingerprint or dna match on the opening/spout etc, which, just seems a little far fetched for a family court judge to agree to. I just want to make my case as strong as possible right out the gate since he has driven the kids drunk before (they came home terrified once explaining a road rage incident that occurred where he told them "sorry i forgot you were in the car") and also the kids have told me that he frequently visited a local liquor shop and left them in the car while he quickly ran in for a purchase. I'm representing myself- which i know isnt recommended but I simply can't afford an attorney, so I am doing my best to research and be as prepared as possible. thanks for your reply
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hi again.

No, the photos would not be discredited just because they don't show his whole car, etc. The more detail, the better, of course. But discrediting the photos would only happen if they can convince the judge that the photos were photoshopped or otherwise do not represent the scene.

I agree that the bottles are probably not as useful. Not only because of the effort to find DNA or fingerprints, but also because they don't really tell the judge much. In other words, they don't tell the judge when they were consumed, or by whom. I've seen people with dozens of empty bottles, but it doesn't mean that they consumed the contents in a short period of time, or that the owner consumed the contents at all.