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Can dashcam footage help your DUI case?

The availability of dashcams is universal these days. Some civilian automobiles have one and most police vehicles have them. These devices show what happens when a person is pulled over, which takes away a lot of the guessing. In the past, people tended to defer to what the police officer claimed happened, but they can see it for themselves now.

For a person facing a drunk driving charge, the information in the dashcam video is sometimes a valuable defense tool. Before you decide whether you are going to include it in your defense strategy, review the footage to determine what it shows.

What might the footage prove?

One thing that you may see in the footage is why the officer initiated the traffic stop. To pull a person over for suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer must have reasonable suspicion to think that you are breaking the law.

Some of the more common signs of drunk driving include swerving all over the road, stopping for no reason or nearly hitting objects on the side of the thoroughfare. If there isn't anything on dashcam footage that suggests the officer had reasonable suspicion, your defense might benefit from using the recording.

The footage may show that there was reasonable suspicion so you must be careful when you decide to use it. The key here is that you need to show the truth about what happened, but you have to do this carefully when you are the defendant.

How else can you use dashcam footage?

If you claim the officer did something that violated your rights, such as failing to read you your rights before questioning you after placing you under arrest, dashcam or bodycam footage may show it. Just as is the case with trying to prove that there wasn't a valid reason to pull you over, you have to be careful about how people might perceive what they see. If there is a chance that the video puts you in an unfavorable light, it is probably best to bypass it.

Your entire defense strategy should be customized to fit the circumstances. Using the dashcam footage is likely only one facet of it. Consider your goals for the case and vet your options so you can make decisions that are best for you.

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