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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 30383
Experience:  Lawyer
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Is it illegal to go on "hear say"...than start surveillance

Customer Question

Is it illegal for police to go on "hear say"...than start surveillance on someone such as bugging property..home..including showers that children use...also if not illegal is there a time frame in which such evidence is collected. Also how often can planes and helicopters fly over your home and can drones be used in court
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
To get a warrant for surveillance, a police officer must produce a sworn affidavit, supported by probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found at the place he's asking to search. An affidavit may be based on hearsay (and usually is). However, to get a conviction in court, the prosecution would need witnesses to appear and testify as to things they personally observed - hearsay isn't enough to support a conviction.
A person who is charged with a crime has a right to request a copy of the affidavit and can move to suppress evidence if the affidavit isn't enough to establish probable cause.
There's no law about how frequently planes or helicopters could pass over a person's home. However, if planes and helicopters are constantly overhead causing a nuisance, it may be possible to file a complaint with the police department. That doesn't necessarily affect the admissibility of any evidence found using those planes and helicopters.
If the warrant is valid, evidence from video taken by a drone is admissible in court. A defendant can seek to dispute the chain of custody of the video to make sure it wasn't tampered with or that it's otherwise not a video of the defendant's home or business and is therefore unreliable evidence.
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