Courts are usually willing to tolerate some inaccuracies in a photograph
so long as these are explained to the trier of fact so that they may be
taken into account. However, where a photograph is used as a basis
for establishing critical ultimate facts or as the basis for expert
testimony, courts are less willing to overlook major gaps.
In cases where there is sufficient countervailing testimony, the
admission of photographs with a shaky time frame may be harmless error.
For example, the Alaska Supreme Court refused to reverse a verdict
despite the trial courts admission into evidence of the defendant
highway departments arguably inaccurate photographs that purported to
show that an accident site was well-sanded despite the Plaintiffs
contrary contentions. The time frame when these photographs were
taken, relative to the time of the accident, was never precisely
established but was sufficient contrary testimonial evidence by the
investigating State Troopers actually at the accident establishing that
photographs were inaccurate and that the road was poorly sanded. Hence,
admitting these allegedly misleading photographs with an imprecise time
frame was harmless error.
Best of Luck
Jun 13th, 2015
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