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Video Evidence: A Primer for Prosecutors

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2016
12 pages

This document provides guidance for managing video evidence in a prosecutor’s office and suggests steps to ensure that the evidence is admissible in court.


This primer discusses the challenges of dealing with video evidence from many different sources including social media accounts and traffic or security cameras, instructing on how to deal with the wide variety of formats and how to handle the large file sizes of video evidence. The document discusses the transfer, storage, redaction, disclosure, and preparation of video evidence for evidentiary purposes; it aims to provide prosecutors with educational material, introduce helpful resources regarding video evidence, outline the benefits of its use in court, and acknowledge the challenges faced by prosecutors’ offices in handling video evidence. The primer also includes a sample process flow as step-by-step guidance on the general procedures and processes that prosecutors may follow when preparing and handling video evidence, which was designed to correspond to the typical flow of a case from receipt of evidence through the trial process. It also includes a glossary of terms used in this document, as well as a list of recommended resources for further reading.