Using Private Security Camera Footage of your DWI Arrest at Trial

Posted by Doug Murphy | Apr 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

In a previous blog post, we discussed the potentially exculpatory evidence that might be contained in police body camera footage. However, this is not the only type of video evidence that could be useful in your driving while intoxicated (DWI) case.

While many DWI stops take place on the side of a quiet road or residential street, many of these interactions occur in front of busy commercial businesses. In fact, it is not uncommon for drivers to pull over into the parking lot of a business during a traffic stop. When the stop or ensuing field sobriety tests occur at or near a private business, it is possible that security cameras recorded the entire incident.

While this footage could be important to your case, obtaining it is not as straightforward as asking the prosecutor for a copy. In many cases, the police may not even be aware the video exists. An experienced DWI defense attorney could not only help uncover this video but obtain it on your behalf.

Why Security Video Could be Useful to your Houston DWI Case

There are countless ways security video could help your DWI case. In many cases, the police will testify to your inability to walk or other visible evidence that suggests you were intoxicated. If the footage shows you appeared to be acting normally, the video could put the officer's testimony into question.

Video evidence can impact the officer's credibility in other ways. If the officer alleges you were driving with a busted tail light or that there were no other witnesses on the scene, video evidence could help you prove otherwise.

This evidence could also have a major impact on any field sobriety tests you submitted to. While field sobriety testing is already largely inaccurate, even the police will admit that these tests have little value if the officers fail to follow protocol. If the video evidence shows the officers conducted these tests incorrectly, it could be a turning point in your case.

Obtaining Private Security Footage

Unfortunately, obtaining private security camera footage is not always simple. First and foremost, a thorough investigation of the area surrounding the traffic stop may be necessary to determine if there were any cameras pointed in the right direction. Your attorney can assist in this process by contacting business owners on your behalf. It is vital to begin this process immediately, as most security footage is recorded over in short order.

Even if you determine video might be available, the owners of the footage are under no immediate obligation to help you. It cannot hurt to ask, however, as some business owners will allow your attorney to view or copy the video in some cases. When the owner is not compliant, only a court order will force their hand.

How a Houston Board Certified DWI Defense Attorney Could Assist You

Security camera footage of your DWI arrest could be valuable evidence at trial. A skilled Houston DWI defense lawyer & DWI specialist could assist you in every aspect of identifying and procuring this evidence if it exists for the best defense in a Houston DWI case.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today

If you are facing DWI or other criminal charges in Texas, contact our office today to discuss your case, so we can begin working on your defense. Please provide only your personal email and cell phone number so that we can immediately and confidentially communicate with you.