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Using Video Evidence to Your Advantage in a DUI Case

Posted on in DUI

Using Video Evidence to Your Advantage in a DUI CaseWhen trying to prove whether or not a driver was intoxicated at the time of their arrest, video footage from the scene can be compelling evidence. Instead of relying on individual testimony, the court can see the circumstances leading up to the arrest and how the officer and arrestee behaved during the incident. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in California, you need to obtain available video recordings from your arrest to determine whether they would be helpful evidence during your case.

How to Obtain Video

Many police officers are required to have dashboard cameras on their vehicles and body cameras on themselves. Unfortunately, the state will not automatically provide this evidence to you for the purpose of your defense case. Your defense attorney must submit a discovery request with the court to obtain the video evidence. If the prosecution refuses to turn over the video, you will need to file a formal discovery motion to force them to comply.

There may be video evidence from a surveillance camera for a nearby property that recorded your DUI arrest. To obtain this video evidence, you will need to file a subpoena with the video’s owner.

Applying Video Evidence

You will not know whether the video will be beneficial to your defense until you get the chance to view it. Video evidence is helpful when it can support your testimony or contradict the arresting officer’s testimony. For example, the video may show that:

  • You did not commit a traffic violation or act suspiciously, which would mean that the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop you.
  • Your behavior after being stopped did not give the officer probable cause to believe that you were intoxicated.
  • The officer failed to read your Miranda rights or inform you of the consequences of refusing a sobriety test.

It is also possible that the video evidence will strengthen the prosecution’s case by corroborating the arresting officer’s testimony. It is still helpful to know this information before starting a criminal trial because it may change your defense strategy or whether you want to accept a plea deal.

Contact a Sonoma, California, DUI Defense Lawyer

The outcome of your DUI case will rely on your ability to gather evidence such as video recordings and to determine what will be useful for your defense. A San Francisco DUI defense attorney at Burglin Law Offices, P.C., can use the evidence from your case to build a strong defense. Schedule a free consultation by calling 415-729-7300.



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