Abuse Using Technology

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Updated: 
November 17, 2017

Can recordings be used in court?

Generally, any evidence gathered in an illegal way cannot be entered into the record in a court proceeding.  If you have recordings that were legally obtained, then whether you can use that evidence in court will depend on your state’s rules of evidence.  Generally, you may have to prove the authenticity (validity/truthfulness) of a recording to the judge and prove whose voices or images are on the recording. Then the judge will also have to decide whether it is appropriate under the state’s rules of evidence to admit those specific pieces of recorded evidence. 

Another possible challenge with getting a recording admitted into evidence during a court hearing is that the judge may decide that your recording is considered hearsay (an inadmissible out-of-court statement).  There are several exceptions to the hearsay rule, which again will depend on your situation, your state’s laws, and the rules of evidence that control court proceedings in your state.  It may be helpful to speak with a lawyer in your state to get legal advice about how to deal with any recorded evidence that you think is important to your case (or how to object to recorded evidence that the abuser tries to admit into evidence).  It may also be helpful to consider other ways to document incidents of abuse to prepare for a court hearing or testimony, such as using a “stalking log.”