I am doing an investigation on people who broke into my house. I am going to video tape them using my cell phone's spy app by essentially, asking them questions as to whether or not they did. I will also be asking other people, who i have reason to believe that the people who broke into my home told them. Is it illegal to use the video tape app and ask the questions. I am attempting to get a confession. Also, this was a group of people. In addition , if someone admits that yes they did break in, and state they did it with other people. Can I use this as evidence in a court room?
Essentially, i am alleging that multiple people broke into to my home and told several others of the crime that they did. People talk and once they tell someone else what they did, it spreads like wildfire. This is how I found about it.
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New York is a one party consent state so you can secretly record a conversation with them if you are part of the conversation.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Depends on where you are when you make the recordings, where the other people are when you make the recordings, and whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy. In addition, if it ever got to a trial setting it's very likely the defendants lawyers would move to prevent the evidence from being introduced, if you were handling the case Pro se it's more likely than not you would bungle the procedures and your evidence would never be introduced.
Is there some particular reason you haven't reported this to the police, let them do the investigation?
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Good luck. One party consent state or not, the police and DA do not usually accept self help detective work, because it gives defendants numerous defenses. The chances you bring this video to the police and they take it to the DA and it results in prosecution are slim to none.
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