Can Dash Cam Footage Be Used In A Court Of Law? Find Out Here!
Written by Nick
Updated On 
Jan 31, 2022 @ 1:21 pm

How Can My Dashcam Footage Be Used In Court?

Most of us buy dashcams to protect ourselves in case of an accident or dangerous driving, but just how useful is the footage taken with your dash cam? Can it be used for evidence in court?

Dashcam footage can indeed be used in court and sent to the police, it can provide useful evidence against dangerous driving in court and help to gather witnesses for incidents when posted online by the police.

To find out more about what kind of dashcam footage can be used in court, what happens to dashcam footage when taken by the police and how to have one legally, we've put together a short guide with everything you need to know below. 

Can Dashcam Footage Be Used To Prosecute?

Even though the dashcam footage can be used in court to prosecute, there are some requirements to make it useful for the police. 

We've listed out what makes dash-cam footage useable in the court below. 

  • It should be the original footage - Never tamper with the video from your dash-cam footage, do not edit clips or put audio over the top, all of this can make the evidence unusable for the police even if it shows bad driving. 
  • It should show accurate footage - Nearly all dash-cam footage for review should show a number plate, this is the most important detail to allow the court to prosecute bad drivers.
  • The correct time matters - To show alleged incident police prefer it if you have some minutes before the incident in question to show what happens, this proved that there was no other reckless driving before.
  • No sharing on social media - Incident moments from dash-cam footage should never be shared on social media, as soon as this happens it makes the footage unusable. 
  • It should be clear - You don't need 4K footage for your dashcam or high definition, but your footage needs to be clear enough to see details such as faces or number plates.

What Happens To Dashcam Footage When Took By The Police? 

When you have your dash-cam footage ready, you might be wondering what happens to the dash-cam footage for it to be used in court. 

Well, most of the time, police ask for dash-cam footage to be submitted through the national dash cam portal, this dash-cam footage is then uploaded online and accompanied with a statement as the cam footage upload scheme. 

This should be within 14 days of prosecution and you have 6 months to send any footage, the driver can then either be prosecuted, fined or made to do an educational course as an option instead of prosecution.

Now we know that dash-cam footage can be used in court, this doesn't mean that you couldn't get in trouble for your dash-cam footage either, for example, if the footage shows you doing something illegal in the crime you could also face charges. 

We've listed some key points to make sure your dash cam is legal. 

  • Your footage might be incriminating you - As we touched on above, incriminating dash cam footage can also be used against your if you were doing something wrong while driving, for example, some dashcams show whether or not you were overspeeding.
  • Check if anyone else is in the vehicle - You do also have to make it known to your passengers if there is a dash cam in the car, footage from drivers can only be used if consent has been given from the passengers that the dash cam was recording either audio or footage.
  • Make sure it's okay in the country - Incriminating dashcam footage might not be legal to record or share if the country you are in has laws against having dashcams inside of the car, always check the countries laws first.
  • Ensure your dashcam is in the right location - It is illegal to have your dashcam in the wrong location in your car, for example, your dash cam should not be blocking your vision while driving as this is illegal.

What Is The National Dash Cam Safety Portal?

If you are looking at sending your dash cam footage to the police you might have heard about the national dash cam safety portal. 

This is an online organisation which briefly spoke about earlier, it allows you to upload the original footage where you caught the bad driving incident along with a police report rather than going to a station. 

You simply have to click on the map and report where the incident happened, you will then get a response saying whether or not your footage is being investigated, along with your footage you should always be willing to go to court.

How Likely Is Prosecution From Dash Cam Footage? 

The police receive millions of footage for prosecution each year capturing dangerous drivers, prosecution can happen if the driving offence was serious enough, for example, a hit and run. 

The prosecution is more likely if you have all the requirements needed for your footage as we mentioned above, such as date and time, a good amount of footage, details such as the number plate and clear video footage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dash Cam Footage & Court Use

Does helmet cam footage help with the prosecution? 

Helmet cam footage nowadays is encouraged by police as a way to capture dangerous motorcyclists on the road, the police also have the authority to seize helmet dash cam footage for evidence.

Does the time of submission matter for dashcam footage? 

Yes, your dashcam footage should be submitted within five and half months of the incident, but it's best to send it in as soon as possible if you are trying to catch a bad driver.

Do police care about speed enforcement from dashcam footage? 

Police can take the speed from dashcam footage into account to identify dangerous driving, if you have a GPS in your dash cam then speed can be easily calculated.

How do I report someone's poor driving behaviour?

If you have dash-cam footage you can submit online as a report or call in a non-emergency police number online, make sure you take note of the number plate in this case.

Is there a time limit on dash-cam footage which is submitted?

No, however, most incidents on average last between 3-8 minutes, you should submit the whole dashcam footage of the incident as well as a couple of minutes beforehand to prove there was not an incident before. 

Final Words 

Overall, dash-cam footage can indeed be used in court as long as the footage is clear and shows the number plate of the car in the incident, if the driving offence is harsh enough it can lead to prosecution so you should be willing to appear in court. Always ensure that your dashcam is mounted correctly and does not obstruct your vision as this is also illegal.

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About the author
Nick
My name is Nick and I am a self-diagnosed tech-geek! I am the owner of DashCamExperts.UK where we review various dash cams. Having owned a dash cam store where we sold and installed them, starting a website around the subject seemed to be a no-brainer, so here we are! Hope you guys enjoy my reviews!
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