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Will Surveillance Technology Lead to More CT Burglary Charges in 2020?

Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph
Disabling security with a phone

Technology continues to march forward in every industry, and that includes surveillance. 2020 will see new and interesting developments in how technology is used to keep people and their belongings safe.

New kinds of surveillance should help the police curtail burglary, or at least be a catalyst to more burglary charges in Connecticut.

These new technologies make use of cloud computing and crowdsourcing. In general, the current surveillance trend is to increase the number of cameras and increase connectivity. The more cameras present, the more likely a burglary is to be caught on video, after all.

Doorbell Cameras Store Evidence in the Cloud

The first new technology to help keep track of crime is the doorbell camera. These cameras are made by a variety of companies, but they generally work the same way. They live on the doorframe of the entrance they’re guarding and use motion sensors to watch for people.

When the camera detects movement, it automatically turns on and either takes a picture or records video. The footage is then uploaded to the owner’s account via the internet. Even if the camera is destroyed or turned off, the data should be safe, and whoever tampered with it will be on film.

These doorbell cameras have already helped identify criminals. They can also let absent homeowners call the police on potential burglars by alerting the owners to someone’s presence. It’s not particularly expensive to install these, either, so many homeowners are getting them.

Connecticut residents have found it much easier to press charges when there is visual evidence. This is why we believe these doorbell cameras can and likely will lead to more burglary charges. The evidence they provide can be invaluable to a case by connecting a face to a crime.

Home Security Systems Can Now Be Controlled by App

Good home security systems are getting cheaper every day. Some use doorbell cameras, while others have a whole suite of cameras and sensors. Most store images and videos online for homeowners to review at their leisure.

The big technological advance with home security systems is the ability to integrate everything into an app. A homeowner can control their cameras, their locks, and their alarms from their phone.

This makes it much more difficult for potential burglars to disconnect any surveillance. In turn, that makes it more likely for the owner to be able to press charges.

Drone Surveillance is a New Law Enforcement Patrol Strategy

Drone

On a more official level, drones will likely become a part of police surveillance around the country. Boston, in particular, is already considering adding a fleet of 50 drones to their police surveillance strategy.

These drones are intended to follow suspects of drug crimes. Should these efforts prove successful, we believe it’s only a matter of time before the strategy is expanded.

Drones can follow people from an altitude high enough that they aren’t intrusive. They no longer need pilots, but can generally take care of their own flight.

If this drone idea becomes more common, drones could be assigned with a warrant to follow suspects for serial burglary cases, stalking, and more. This could lead to burglary charges if a suspect was accused and the footage of the crime reviewed.

Facial Recognition Software

Beyond hardware, facial recognition software is what makes modern surveillance so effective. Drones use facial recognition to follow the right person. Police can use facial recognition to compare doorbell camera footage with mugshots.

Even public Facebook profile pictures can be run through this software, connecting faces from surveillance with suspects.

Of course, facial recognition software isn’t flawless. Many doorbell camera manufacturers are still working on increasing their resolution. Drones view suspects from hundreds of feet away. The chances of a false positive are still present in 2020. That means that innocent people may get charged with burglary due to faulty software.

Connecticut Burglary Laws and How New Surveillance Tech Fits In

Hands with handcuffs

In Connecticut, burglary is a felony. Burglary is defined as entering or staying in a property unlawfully, with the intent to commit a crime. That property doesn’t have to be a building. Step up to someone’s front stoop and steal their Amazon delivery – that counts as burglary.

This crime can be anything from a class D felony to a class B felony, depending on whether a weapon was involved and if anyone was hurt.

  • Any burglary found to include a deadly weapon carries a one-year mandatory minimum sentence.
  • A burglary that resulted in bodily injury has a five-year mandatory minimum jail term.
  • A first-degree burglary conviction can lead to up to 25 years in prison and potential fines of $15,000.

New technology leads to new solutions and new problems. The technological advances in surveillance will catch more burglars, but the tech isn’t perfect.

More charges will be pressed for burglary, but there will be false positives. That means more people will need good representation to help them fight false burglary charges in 2020.

About the Author

Douglas D. Rudolph practices criminal defense law with two guiding principles in mind: that you are someone who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that you are innocent until proven guilty. Those are beliefs that have served him well so far in New Haven and across Connecticut, where he has built a reputation as someone who truly cares about his clients and will fight aggressively for them. His work has earned him a number of prestigious awards, including landing on The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list two years in a row and being named to the Top 10 Under 40 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys in 2018.

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