Police Get Legally Admissible Confessions from In-Car Cameras


Police are legally bound to remind people of their right to remain silent during interrogations. They don’t have to give anyone a heads-up about staying quiet in the back seat of a police car. There, anything you say can and will be used against you — and it is often recorded, says the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Several people have found this out the hard way. A suspected burglar confessed to having drug paraphernalia, suspected burglars discussed where they hid evidence, and a drug suspect gave up where he hid his stash.

Some local law enforcement agencies use in-car cameras that switch on automatically, recording everything said in the back seat. That includes discussions that happen when an officer isn’t in the vehicle and the suspected lawbreakers apparently assume nobody’s listening. Those comments often can be disastrous to someone hoping to get away with it: The car cam conversations are admissible as evidence in court. “The more information we have, the better we can do our jobs,” said Philip Thorne, president of the Florida Police Chiefs Association.

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