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As technology is advancing more and more Los Angeles police officers are being equipped with body cams. These cameras are secured to the chest and typically turned on when the officer is handling any sort of interaction with the public during their investigation process. This includes recording their interaction with a suspected drunk driver.
Obtaining The Body Cam Footage
When an individual is pulled over and arrested for drunk driving they can be given footage of the officer’s body cam for the court hearing. This footage, along with the incident report and other documents, may be part of the DUI discovery package that is given to the defendant in a court case. In the event the footage is not presented in the discovery process, the defendant can request a copy of the footage.
Body Camera Footage Is Better Then Dash Cam Footage
Most police cars across the state of California are equipped with dash cameras. These were to help record traffic and other incidents that officers responded to. The problem is the footage from these cameras aren’t that easy to see. Many show the suspected driver and officer too far away to see exactly what is going on.
With body camera footage the viewer can clearly see what is going on with the officer and the suspected driver. This will allow for a close-up view of the driver and an ideal view of seeing how they performed on the field sobriety tests. This brings to light new evidence that was typically unavailable from the old dash cam systems.
Why Body Cam Footage Is Important For Your Case?
This footage could possibly prove valuable to the defendant. Since video evidence cannot be disputed for inaccuracy, this will allow your team of Los Angeles DUI lawyers the ability to watch the arrest. Anything that was not done by the book or any inaccuracies between the video footage and an officer’s report or testimony can prove errors that can make your case inadmissible.
Without having the body cam footage, it’s likely the jury will believe the testimony and report of the arresting officer. Your case may not look so great when it is your word against an officer’s. Body cam footage helps to even the playing field and ensure that what the officer is stating is indeed correct by verifying it against the video footage.
In the DUI incident report that you are given during the court discovery process, you will find a list of the symptoms of intoxication that the officer used as probable cause. These symptoms can include languages such as slurred speech or bloodshot watery eyes. The body cam footage can verify if the suspected driver did indeed have these symptoms or not.
The Benefits And Disadvantages Of DUI Body Cams
There are two sides of the coin when it comes to utilizing the DUI body cams by the officers of the city of Los Angeles. Some law enforcement representatives are stating that the cameras shouldn’t be used because they hinder an officer’s ability to do their job appropriately. Civil rights groups are stating that these cameras violate privacy for individuals being filmed.
While these may prove as valid disadvantages to the use of these body cameras, they can also be seen as a major advantage. Body cameras show evidence from the scene of a DUI arrest that can help a judge and/or jury see what really happen. Before, these cases were typically the arresting officer’s word and evidence against the suspected driver’s word and evidence. Now, their testimonies can be compared to the video footage to ensure who is indeed truthful.