Can arrival/departure stamps on an expired passport be used in court to prove someone wasn't in the country and is therefore innocent?

Hypothetical question: For example, if someone commits an Internet crime using your Wi-Fi connection, such as sexting or nudes, and you were actually out of the country on a vacation, and this is discovered 3 years later. Can you use the arrival and departure stamps on an expired passport to prove that you were not even in the country when that happened?

  • 2
    Documents can be submitted as evidence. Whether they actually prove anything would depend upon the decision of the "Finder of fact", i.e., the judge or the jury.
    – Upnorth
    Sep 8, 2017 at 17:37
  • Also, neither sexting nor nudes are generally criminal offenses.
    – cpast
    Sep 8, 2017 at 17:39
  • @cpast: yes, but they can be considered as illegal actions in many jurisdictions as far as i know Sep 8, 2017 at 18:00
  • Are you asking whether the passport's having expired negates the evidentiary value of the stamps in the passport?
    – phoog
    Sep 8, 2017 at 19:54
  • Yes that is what i am asking about Sep 8, 2017 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Of course they can, provided that the "finder of fact" accepts that the document is credible (for example, the prosecution might allege that the stamps are forged).

Note that it could be possible to use a device on your Wi-Fi network remotely, so proof that you were out of the country might not necessarily result in acquittal.

The fact that the passport is expired is not particularly relevant; it means only that it's no longer valid for travel. As evidence, its value is unchanged: a stamp from a border officer is evidence that you crossed through that port of entry on the indicated date, whether that was one year ago or 50.

  • But isn't that reasonable doubt? A lawyer told me that even if the defence attorney proves that multiple people use the same Wi-Fi connection, or that the password was something like 12345 then that's reasonable doubt Sep 8, 2017 at 20:02
  • @AlexanderA whether it is reasonable doubt is also a question for the finder of fact. If they can show that you were in fact connected to your home computer remotely at the time the crime was committed, then the fact that you were out of the country is probably useless to the defense.
    – phoog
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:09
  • How can they prove who really was behind the screen if for example, there were 4 roommates living in the apartment using the same Wi-Fi connection owned by one of them, and if they all have travelled abroad and this was discovered 3 years later? No alibis would be possible as I imagine Sep 8, 2017 at 20:14
  • @AlexanderA remember, they only have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. If the crime could only have been committed by someone who had login access to a specific computer, and the roommates all testify that you were the only one with the password for that computer, then it comes down to the credibility of the roommates' testimony against yours. But this is getting beyond the original question, which is whether passport stamps in an expired passport can be used as evidence. If you have further questions you should post them separately.
    – phoog
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:19
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    @AlexanderA you can still offer it as evidence. You could also offer your credit card receipt from the duty-free shop in the airport as evidence, or even the souvenir t-shirt that you bought there. There's nothing that limits evidence to government-issued documents. Some countries might have a rule excluding documents issued by entities whose claim to statehood isn't recognized by that country, but I suppose that is relatively rare.
    – phoog
    Sep 8, 2017 at 20:39

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