Can Video Evidence be Used in Court in DUI Cases?
Increasingly, video evidence is being presented in court by prosecuting counsel. An in-car camera presents an audio and visual record of the driving behavior of an individual before being stopped by police, as well as any statements made by the subject while taking DUI tests.
In most cases, the arresting police officer will have a dashboard camera in the car. Video evidence obtained from a dashboard camera represents an objective depiction of the incidents without any embellishments. This record shows what happened in real time a few minutes before the arrest was made as well as after the stop, including the performing of DUI tests, and detention of the individual.
DUI convicts need to understand the importance of such video evidence, which may be presented in court.
Video Evidence in a DUI Case
Keep in mind that video evidence cannot be presented in court unless it is relevant to the case. The video presented in court must also be authenticated. It must be verified in court that whatever is shown in the video represents and accurate and fair portrayal of driving under the influence.
One problem with dash-cam videos is that the police cameras do not always serve as an effective source of evidence. The recording quality and function of video cameras varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. Some of the cameras feature manual engagement while others have automatic engagement. In both cases, the cameras should show the scene just before the arrest, as well as the ensuing conversation between the officer and the suspect.
In addition to being presented by the prosecuting attorney, video evidence can also be used by the attorney of the DUI suspect to show a wrongful arrest. It can show the court any misstatements in the police report, or if the officer’s testimony differs from the video record.
The videotape evidence can act as a double sword for the suspect charged with a DUI offense as it can be used by both the prosecuting and the defending attorneys. The videotape can provide confirmatory evidence that can lead to a charge of the DUI. However, it can also show evidence of wrongful arrest by the police officer, for example, if you were not informed of your Miranda rights before being questioned about initial stop.
Hiring a professional DUI attorney can help prove invaluable for the person charged with driving while intoxicated. The attorney can solicit the video record from the police department and carefully examine it to look for evidence that can have a favorable impact on the DUI case. Apart from that, a DUI lawyer can look at many other aspects of the case to ensure the best possible outcome of the case for the suspect.