State-by-State: A Compendium of Laws, Statutes and Activity on ERI

Over the last 10 years the number of states which have adopted laws requiring the use of electronic equipment have increased.
While not all 50 states record ERI at this point, at least one department in every state is utilizing digital video and recording equipment to capture interrogations.  Learn what the laws are in your state.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers provides an interactive map reflecting updated details on laws and statutes for each state with regards to Supreme Court decisions, requirements and current stance on the use of ERI for criminal cases.

Consider the states of Michigan, Arizona and Illinois to start. These states are at different places when it comes to state-wide statutes governing the use of ERI, but the overall message is that recorded interrogations are making a difference and that if anything, the number of laws require enforcement agencies to record interrogations will only grow.

Michigan: According to the NACDL site, the general ruling for Michigan is as follows:

General rule: Audiovisual recordings shall be made of the entire interrogations of arrested persons in custodial detention in a place of detention regarding involvement in the commission of ‘a felony punishable by imprisonment for life, for life or for any term of years, of for a statutory maximum of 20 years or more, or a violation of section 520d of the Michigan penal code’ relating to criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. §§7(d), 8(2).  Exception: The person objects to recording the interrogation. §8(3).”

Arizona: According to the NACDL site, Arizona currently has no statute or ruling regarding recordings.

That being said, in 2010, the Arizona Justice Project sent a survey to 40 Arizona law enforcement departments, which represents less than half the total number in the state, to learn about their practices of recording custodial interrogations. The results showed:

  • 38% reported they record all
  • 40% record more than 75% of the time
  • 18% record 50 to 75% of the time

Also in 2010 and 2011 bills were both introduced and failed to require electronic recording of custodial interrogations of juveniles and homicide suspects.

For a full list of departments which do record interrogations, click Custodial Interrogation Recording Compendium by State.

Illinois: Illinios has had an active “life” when it comes to the discussion and passage of laws related to recording interrogations. The latest expansion of the laws came in 2013 and expanded categories for types of felonies for whom suspects’ interviews will be recorded.

According to the NACDL site,  “The statute was amended to require recording of custodial interrogations of suspects of various serious felonies, to be phased in over a period of three years (705 ILCS 401.5(b-5) (juveniles), and 725 ILCS 103-2.1(b-5)(adults)).  The crimes added are:

  • 2014: Predatory criminal assault of a child, and aggravated arson.
  • 2015: Aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular kidnapping, and home invasion.
  • 2016: Aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, and aggravated battery based on use of a firearm.

General rule: Custodial interrogations relating to specified felonies conducted at a place of detention shall be electronically recorded by motion picture, audiotape, videotape, or digital recording. §5/103-2.1(a)(b).

Exceptions: Nothing precludes the admission of unrecorded statements taken when electronic recording was not feasible; that constitute a voluntary statement that has a bearing on the credibility of the accused as a witness; if the suspect requests, prior to making the statement, to respond only if an electronic recording is not made, and a recording is made of the request; if the interrogation is conducted outside Illinois; or if the officers were unaware of facts and circumstances that would create probable cause to believe that the accused committed an offense required to be recorded.  The state has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that one of the exceptions is applicable. §5/103-2.1(e).”

To learn more about your state and laws that apply to your office, you can click through the interactive map on the NACDL site or you can contact us today!

iRecord supplies digital audio and video recording systems around the country, so if we can help you with a quote, an assessment of your current systems or something else, let us know!

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