Can I be arrested if a video shows me doing what appears to be drugs?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I be arrested if a video shows me doing what appears to be drugs?

I was recently at a venue and the tapes are being taken for an unrelated

reason by the police department. I’m afraid that I may be on the tape doing

what appears to be a key bump of cocaine. Can I get in trouble for this if I

have no cocaine and there is no way to prove that I was doing that?

Asked on February 27, 2017 under Criminal Law, Delaware


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be arrested for this. There is no specific requirement that drugs be found on you (or in you; i.e.  in your system) to arrest or even convict you for drug use, though clearly, the state's case is much stronger if they do find drugs, and you may be able to successfully defend if there is only a video tape, if based on nothing more than the tape, they cannot prove that you used or possessed drugs "beyond a reasonable doubt." The issue is, is there evidence, and, if so, how strong is it? No specific kind of evidence is required. So a videotape is less strong than finding drugs, but is still potentially (if the images on the tape are clear) compelling evidence.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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