What Happens If The Police Destroy The Video?

If you’ve been arrested and charged with OVI/DUI in Columbus, one of the most crucial pieces of evidence in your case is the video from the cruiser.  A DUI video, unlike an officer’s statement, is objective.  A video can offer an experienced OVI/DUI attorney an opportunity to exploit any evidence of innocence that it contains, including attacking the officer’s actions during the stop, and his administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

Most law enforcement agencies have OVI video recording systems in at least some of their vehicles, and some, such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol, have such systems in every cruiser.  When an officer turns on the emergency overhead lights, the video recording system is automatically activated and continues recording until the officer turns it off.

What happens when the drunk driving video is unavailable?  If the entire video is lost or destroyed and it could have been used to challenge the substance of the OVI/DUI charge, then it may be a violation of your Due Process right to exculpatory evidence.  Ohio courts distinguish between videos that may be potentially useful and those that are material.  If the video contained recordings of the defendant’s actions, demeanor, performance during roadside sobriety tests, etc., it is probably material to the defense.  A motion to dismiss the OVI charges may be an appropriate remedy if a video containing material evidence is lost or destroyed.

If you or a family member has been arrested for OVI in the Columbus area, contact a Skilled OVI Attorney by calling (614) 454-5010.  We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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