Why Police Interviews Should be Recorded

Posted By Imhoff & Associates, PC || 5-May-2016

The police are human beings just like the rest of us. As such, they are prone to make mistakes or even cover up mistakes during interviews of suspects. Recordings of police incidents involving an arrest of a suspect often tell a different story than what the police say really happened. This room for error, whether intentional or otherwise, makes it necessary to have laws requiring the police to wear body cams, which should be recording non-stop from the moment an officer confronts a suspect until after the suspect is placed in jail or released.

Mind you, having this technology running also benefits the police. It is not uncommon for a suspect to make up information about the police (such as stating he or she was beaten by the police, that the police lied about their side of the story, etc.) when in fact the police officers were telling the truth.

Using Modern Technology to Enhance the Investigation Process

Video and audio recordings don't lie. As long as the evidence is not tampered with and the entire scene is allowed to be recorded, everyone gets a fair chance to view the evidence and justice is allowed to prevail. In our modern technology-driven society, there is no reason not to record interviews. California Penal Code section 859.5, for example, requires electronic recording of custodial interviews involving minors accused of committing murder.

As with any situation, mistakes sometimes happen. There may be faulty equipment, someone may have accidentally forgotten to turn on the equipment, or the equipment may have even been tampered with to prevent recording of the whole story.

Thanks to modern technology, many suspects who might have received prison sentences for crimes they were not guilty of have been found not guilty and allowed to go free. It is our job as a responsible society to take advantage of the modern technology we have to help ensure that the accused have a fair day in court and that justice prevails.

If you are going to be interviewed by the police regarding a criminal act or have been charged with a crime, always retain a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The difference between having an attorney defend you and representing yourself in a police interview or in court may be the difference between freedom and spending time behind bars.

Contact Imhoff & Associates, PC to speak with a criminal defense lawyer if you are facing charges. We accept cases nationwide.

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