What Kind Of Recordings Are Made Available For Discovery In A DWI Case?
Currently, the majority of recordings are made available for discovery. Due to all of the shootings, body cams are mandated. As a result, every officer has to wear a body cam. Every officer has to have a dashcam as well. Usually, in a DEA or FBI case, many officers arrive at the scene. So, when it comes to evidence and discovery, you get every officer’s dashcam and every officer’s body cam. You could also get the dashcam recording of the ride if the person is arrested and taken to the police station. Footage from a body cam, jail room, blood draw, and stun gun are available. You can also get video of whatever happens in the Intoxilyzer room. I think my record so far, in terms of number of videos, is around 74.
Depending on the number of officers, you can be viewing several recordings from the same body cam. When it comes to timeline, there is no specific timeframe of when you get the recordings. Usually, you will get it at court. And unless there’s something a little bit odd, you get a lot of different videos.
How Important Is The Video Recording Of A Police Stop In The Investigation Of A DWI Case?
The importance of the video recording of a police stop in the investigation of a DWI case will depend on the circumstances. If it’s a bad video where it clearly shows that a person is intoxicated, then a video recording will not be helpful for their defense. If it’s a good video, and the arresting officer testifies that the person looked intoxicated and had bloodshot eyes, you would want the video. In that case, it’s very important to view. In terms of whether there is evidence depends on what the video actually shows. In regard to whether recordings are admissible, the answer is yes. They’re always admissible in court unless they place someone under arrest and don’t read them their rights. But that rarely happens.
Can Discrepancies Between The Written Report And Video Footage Help Defend My DWI Case?
Discrepancies between the written report and video footage can help your DWI case defense. I tell clients this when we get the paper or the written discovery, not the video. Then we would give it to the ALR process, the license suspension portion, which is civil in nature. But it’s almost always going to be very different. An officer doesn’t make any arrest where it’s down the middle. They are not going to state that they weren’t sure what was going to happen or that they didn’t know if the person was intoxicated, but made an arrest anyway. It’s almost always skewed against the defendant, and whatever is written is almost never favorable. But it almost always differs from what you see on the video, and they’re not going to get in trouble for that.
But the point is, when they write down a report, they don’t write it like they’re a referee. They’re very much against the person they pull over, and what they write is skewed against the driver. They could actually get into more trouble if they write down the middle than if they wrote that the driver was extremely intoxicated, even if the video says something that’s completely different.
Can Certain Video Evidence Ever Be Suppressed In A DWI Case?
Certain evidence can be suppressed in a DWI case. For instance, some statements that they make, such as if they mention other arrests. If the defendant has other arrests and the officer talks about that, that should be suppressed because it could sway how the jury thinks about that incident. Another thing that could be suppressed is when an officer makes a statement during the field sobriety tests. This is a big one, and they usually do it to themselves. So, while they’re doing the test if they’re saying what the clues are to themselves, which you can always hear in the dashcam, that is something that should be suppressed. If they make an arrest and do not read the Miranda warnings at the appropriate time, whatever the defendant says after that point should be suppressed as well.
But the main thing that usually gets suppressed is prior criminal charges. Any prior criminal offenses or pending charges, even from a passenger, the driver, or anybody that was there, for that matter, would be suppressed. Statements from people on the video that aren’t available physically at trial should also be suppressed.
Are Recordings From The Vicinity Of A DWI Stop Admissible In Court?
Recordings from the vicinity of a DWI stop are admissible in court, but the defense rarely gets that type of video evidence. Admissible recordings would be footage from a parking lot that would show that the officer might not be telling the truth. You might be able to retrieve the footage from the parking lot in that regard, but also sometimes to record the police encounters. Also, a passerby or passenger might record the police encounter of a field sobriety test on their phone.
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