Video Evidence and Your Texas DWI Case


Recently, KHOU Houston reported that a video had been released to the public showing a Travis County District Attorney prior to her drunk driving arrest. Police have cameras on the dashboards of their patrol cars and the video footage from these cameras is routinely used as evidence in drunk driving cases. The video released to the public featuring the District Attorney was taken before her arrest for drunk driving and showed that she was disoriented and that she stumbled during her sobriety tests. 

Our Texas DWI attorneys know that videos exist in pretty much every situation where you are arrested for drunk driving. Depending on the contents of these videos, the video in your case could either help you or hurt you. Either way, it is important to know what is on the video and to deal with it in a proactive way when you are facing DWI charges.

Video Evidence and Your DWI Case

Video evidence can be damaging to your DWI case if it appears clearly in the video that you were intoxicated. The video released of the District Attorney, for example, seems to provide a clear picture of someone who had consumed too much alcohol. The video revealed slurred speech; swaying; watery and bloodshot eyes; disorientation; uncontrolled emotions and mood changes; and failed sobriety tests.

While the District Attorney pled guilty to the DWI and is already serving 45-days in jail, this type of video is routinely used in the event that a case goes to trial. The judge or jury can see your actions and if those actions make it appear as if you were drunk, this bolsters the prosecution’s case against you.

Because the video can hurt you in court if you fail your sobriety test or look drunk, many people will advise you to decline a field sobriety test. Declining such a test can be wise, especially since there are lots of reasons that people might look disoriented in the video or while performing field sobriety tests. For example, if you are stressed, tired or have a physical impairment, it is possible you could fail your field sobriety test and the video might only show the failure and not the reason why.

On the other hand, a video from a patrol car or police car can also help you as well. The video can be used to raise questions about whether it was appropriate for law enforcement to stop you. Police must have probable cause before they can pull you over and if the video shows that you were driving safely and not breaking any rules, then the traffic stop may have been improper and evidence collected against you would be kept out of court.  If you did well and passed your field sobriety test, the video could also be proof of this that you can show to the courts.

Typically, you won’t know exactly what your video shows until you review it after you’ve been charged with drunk driving. Your DWI lawyer will obtain a copy of the video and help you to use its contents to strengthen  your defense or at least work to negate any potential damage to your case.

If you need an experienced, aggressive Texas DWI lawyer.  Call 1-800-395-5951  today for your free consultation. More than 20 years experience.

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