What is the law regarding surreptitious audio/video recording for protection?

UPDATED: Mar 20, 2012

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What is the law regarding surreptitious audio/video recording for protection?

I am a security patrol officer for low income housing. If I were to have video, taken with a recording device on my person, of an individual using any level of force against me and I use force in order to stop the threat, would the recording be admissible in court as evidence to justify my use of force?

Asked on March 20, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Video evidence is generally admissable in court as evidence, however I would warn you that in most states, to utilize a theory of self defense, you must be threatened to a point that you feel your life is in danger, and even then you can only use "reasonable" force to defend yourself. If you plan on doing this, I would speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area first to determine the pro's and con's of using the video taped recording. 

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