What Types Of Recordings, Both Video Or Audio, Are Generally Available As Part Of Discovery Or Evidence In A DUI Case?
It is increasingly common for law enforcement agencies to be issued body-worn cameras and/or patrol car videos. Even if the officer does not have a body-worn camera, sometimes they film portions of the incident on their cellphones or a handheld audio device. There are always surveillance videos of nearby business or homes, and if you believe they are relevant, you should hire an investigator to attempt to obtain such videos.
Is The Video Admissible As Evidence In The Court?
Video is typically admissible. The proponent of the video evidence needs to lay the foundation for it to be admitted, including what it purports to be, it’s authentic, and to attest to the chain of custody.
How Important Is Video Recording Of A Police Stop To The Defense In A DUI Case?
Video recordings are very important. On one hand, there can be very helpful information on a video that you never would have known about, had you only been provided the incident report, such as: the patrol car’s colored lights flashing into your client’s eyes during field sobriety tests, problems with the administration of the hand held, portable breath tests, or statements made by the officer’s which made your client’s following actions deemed “involuntary”. On the other hand, the video evidence may be incriminating against your client due to their obvious physical intoxication.
When you are able to see video evidence of the event with your own eyes, you can advise your client more effectively about whether to go to trial or attempt to negotiate a plea bargain.
Can Certain Video Evidence Be Suppressed By The Prosecution Or Defense In A DUI Case? If So, For What Reasons?
Suppressed has a certain legal definition meaning that the government is prohibited from introducing it due to a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Certain video evidence could be suppressed if the defense can show that there is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, meaning there was an illegal search or seizure. Above and beyond the Fourth Amendment grounds, if you wanted to keep certain video from being introduced against your client, you would need to be up on evidence code and know how and when to make proper objections to attempt to get any video out of evidence.
Will Or Can A DUI Defense Attorney Use Maintenance Records For Breathalyzer Machines And Training Records Of The Police On The Machine In My DUI Defense?
In all breath cases DUI’s, the maintenance and training records should be obtained, reviewed, and considered. As defense attorneys, we are always looking for error messages, lack of maintenance, improper maintenance, maintenance performed by improper or untrained personnel, or the maintenance performed to identify any issues with the breath testing device. Oftentimes, we see the machines going out for repair and there is not a lot of documentation as to why or what got fixed. The defense will hope to reconstruct the paper trail by knowing what to request and who to request it from. Also, it is possible that the administrating officer did not have training or certification on the breath test device that was administered in your case.
What Personal Medical History Is Important To Share With My DUI Attorney As You Prepare My Defense?
There are certain physical conditions that can affect your field sobriety test performance, objective symptoms exhibitions, and even your breath or blood test results. Some conditions to let your attorney know about include knee surgeries, inner ear issues, eye conditions, diabetes, bleeding disorders, recent surgeries, GERD, and other digestive issues.
Can It Ever Be Helpful To My DUI Defense If My Attorney Researches The Arresting Officer’s Professional Background And Conduct? How Might This Help?
The more you can find out about any witness in the case, the better. You can attempt to get personnel files and prior complaints by other arrestees against your arresting officer. Internet searches can turn up material or information. Recently, we found out online that one of the investigating officers in a client’s case had since been federally indicted for child pornography. Had we not done our research; we would not have known that he had become unavailable to testify.
For more information on DUI, an immediate case consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 484-0906 today.