Video Forensics expert

Suppose you have a case that has quite a bit of video evidence or still image evidence. You know it needs to be looked through. Or you know that an image or two will be pivotal depending on what you find out from them. The prudent thing to do would be to decide that you need a video forensics expert. But you’ve never hired one. What should an attorney be looking for in a video forensics expert?

According to the Scientific Working Group: Imaging Technology’s (SWGIT) “Best Practices for Forensic Video Analysis,” a video forensics expert should do the following:

Understand what the work entails within the forensic environment

Basically, your video forensics expert needs to know his job. He can’t just be some programmer who knows a bit about file structure. Or a video editor doing forensics on the side. He should know what needs to be done in the context of a forensic environment.

Know the subject

If you’re going to hire someone, make sure he has knowledge about your particular problem. Has he worked cases with surveillance videos before? Does he understand about violent crime? Make sure he understands the case you’re handling. Make sure your forensics expert also understands the defense or prosecution strategy you’re going to use to prove your case (or disprove the other side’s case) so that he knows the aspects of evidence to look for as he works on the video enhancement.

Know the right video and image forensic techniques

Of course, the expert may need programming, software, and video expertise as well. They shouldn’t just be a glorified private eye using internet tutorials.

Know Forensic GVideo Forensics expert best practicesuidelines (SWGDE)

There are several organizations that recommend various forensic guidelines that may be followed when evaluating or enhancing evidence. The Scientific Working Group on Digital Evidence (SWGDE) is one such group. SWGDE publishes forensic guidelines that are studied and observed by many forensic experts. SWGDE is one of many organizations that contribute to a variety of standards in acceptable forensics techniques and practices for video forensics.

Understand the “legal precedent for the use of specific image and/or video processing techniques”

Your video forensics person should know the lay of the legal land; otherwise, they might make mistakes that would keep crucial evidence out of court.

Understand and use “appropriate casework documentation”

For a similar reason, your forensics person should know how to keep correct documentation. These are just several of the guidelines given. You want to make sure that the forensic experts you hire are careful, precise, and are truly experts.