Video Evidence and DWI

We all live in a different world than we did 25 years ago. Today, millions of us walk around each day with a powerful video camera in our pocket. The technology has advanced so far that we are subject to video surveillance today more than ever before. This technological revolution in recording each detail of life has also led to a revolution in the world of criminal prosecutions, particularly DWIs.

An illustration of this phenomenon recently played itself out on the big stage of the National Football League. It was widely reported that a talented and famous football player was cut from a pro football team after he was arrested for DWI. Needless to say, losing a job as a professional football player is worse than any fine a court will apply for DWI, but as it turned out, it was not his last chance to play in the league.

Once the player was cut from his team, another team took interest in him and signed him to a contract. This move by the new team raised eyebrows, but it was generally understood as smart and the right fit for him. Once the video evidence of what happened during the DWI investigation and arrest came to light, it completely changed the conversation, and the idea of anyone employing him as a football player was criticized.

The video and the evidence it portrayed was the source of the outrage. It depicted him asleep at the wheel, and clearly under the influence of alcohol or some other substance, but of course those details were already part of the official report of the DWI. The issue here, and for anyone accused of DWI, is the impact that video evidence can have on a DWI case.

If video evidence exists in a DWI case, it can work as a double-edged sword for the defendant. On the positive side, if the police misrepresent themselves in their report or abuse a suspect, then video evidence can help a defendant. If the footage shows clear signs of inebriation while parked after driving, or other signs of drunkenness, it can end badly for the defendant.

One of the issues is that a jury, if allowed, will react differently to video evidence than it would to scientific evidence or police officer testimony. Just as was the case for the football player, video evidence creates a different, harsher, and more judgmental reaction than cold facts told or read aloud in court. As a result, knowing how to best deal with video evidence is an important role for any DWI defense attorney.

There are several approaches that must be taken with any video evidence in a DWI case. Your defense attorney needs to know how to either prevent it from being shown, explain what it means to a jury, or use it to exploit inaccuracies from police reports. These and other steps are necessary to an effective and aggressive defense of a DWI. This is the kind of defense you can expect from the Wilder DWI Defense Firm. If you are facing a DWI, contact us today.

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