Video Evidence

Tempe Lawyers for DUI Stops

Video evidence may play a big role in a DUI stop and whether you are arrested as a consequence of being pulled over. Law enforcement agencies often equip vehicles with dash cam devices. Additionally, these days, many law enforcement officers wear cameras on their bodies. If you are charged with drunk driving, it may be necessary to raise defenses that rely on video evidence. Our experienced Tempe DUI stop attorney may be able to build a strong defense based on discrepancies between an officer’s account and video footage. However, there are also situations in which video evidence can harm a driver charged with DUI, and in those cases, it may be necessary to look for ways to attack the reliability or admissibility of the evidence. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who understands how the other side thinks. He strives for the best possible outcome in connection with DUI charges. Each case is different and requires the sound exercise of judgment when selecting and mounting a defense.

Video Evidence

In order to pull you over, a Tempe law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime or were in the process of committing one. The “reasonable suspicion” must be more than a hunch; if it is not, evidence from the stop may be suppressed. Video evidence in the form of dash cam footage could substantiate a police officer’s claim that he had reasonable suspicion of your criminal wrongdoing. For instance, if there is footage that shows you made a U-turn at an intersection where a sign was posted forbidding U-turns, this could give a police officer the reasonable suspicion that you had committed a crime.

To make an arrest for drunk driving, officers must have probable cause. This is a higher standard than “reasonable suspicion.” During the course of a stop, an officer may be wearing a camera on his or her person that records the encounter. In addition to recording information about whether you had bloodshot eyes or looked like you were going to pass out, a video recorder could capture your performance on field sobriety tests. The camera may verify that you seemed intoxicated while trying to walk in a line, for instance. However, our lawyers will look closely at the footage to determine whether there are differences between it and the officer’s account of what happened. For instance, if an officer claims you were slumped forward through the course of an encounter when a body-worn camera indicates you were behaving normally and leaning back, we may be able to show the officer’s testimony is not credible.

Discovery and Subpoenas

If the prosecution doesn’t turn over the evidence we request, we may need to file a formal discovery motion asking the court to order the video footage to be turned over. The court is also empowered to impose sanctions in the event that the video evidence is not turned over.

However, there are also situations in which video evidence is in the hands of a private business or person. When, for instance, a DUI stop occurs near a business, the business may have taped the interaction. It is crucial to act quickly to subpoena this type of footage since businesses tape over surveillance footage as a normal part of their business within a narrow window of time.

Motions to Suppress

Video evidence might support an officer’s account of what happened and assist the prosecutor in building a case against you. However, this doesn’t mean a conviction is assured. Our experienced attorneys may be able to show that video footage should be suppressed because it was illegally obtained. For instance, if the police officer did not have a reasonable suspicion that you had committed a crime, evidence obtained during the illegal stop, including any incriminating video evidence that gave the officer probable cause to arrest you for a DUI, could be suppressed.

There are also other grounds on which video evidence could be attacked, such as a lack of foundation to introduce the evidence. For instance, if the video shows signs of having been edited or tampered with, we may be able to use those signs to show the court it should not be admitted.

Hire an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer

When you hire a Tempe DUI defense attorney, you have the best possible chance of obtaining a good outcome. James E. Novak may be able to represent you and evaluate the video and other evidence. He represents people accused in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.