Will a Stop by Law Enforcement Always Be Video Recorded?
Interviewer: Is the law enforcement stop always going to be video recorded?
Not All Law Enforcement Agencies Have Video Cameras
Aaron Bortel: Police agencies have video. CHP does, but I just had a case today where CHP did not have video on the car because not all cars have them. It doesn’t always work and they can turn them off. Most of the time in a CHP case there’ll be video of the driving.
The Officers May Intentionally Have the Driver Stand outside of the Camera’s Range during the Field Sobriety Tests
Then, what the officers tend to do more often than not is instead of having someone trying to stand in the front right or left of their car to do the field sobriety test so it’s recorded with their dash camera they’ll have them stand more off to the side out of camera range. I see that all the time.
It’s too bad because the officer should be video recorded. If they’re going to arrest you for a DUI and claim that you committed a crime you should have the right to see what they’re saying and be able to challenge it. It’s just too bad.
Some police agencies in the Bay Area do have video, some others than CHP, but not many. I would say most local counties still do not have them and hopefully they will get video for DUI cases in the future in all police cars.
The Video Can Be Beneficial to the Defense in 2 Ways
The video really help us in two ways. They help us decide what the case looks like and they also help us be able to relay that to our clients. The clients can see the video and they can see what they looked like on these tests and help them come to a decision. It may come down to how they actually did perform on the field sobriety tests. That may be the determining factor if they go to trial or not.
Seeing a video can be very helpful and sometimes it will convince a client that there’s no way they should be going to a jury trial because they were visibly impaired. The video also helps when it substantiates what they client told me the first day we met. If that is the case, we are muchmore likely to go to trial.
By Aaron Bortel
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