Obtaining and Reviewing the Police Video
Two different types of videos may exist in your case, an “in-car” video and a jail video. Since this may be the most significant evidence in your case, it is imperative that we obtain and review your video at the earliest opportunity. However, in some counties, the video may not be available until after the ALR hearing, described below. For this reason, we cannot afford to delay the investigation of your case until after the video becomes available.
Every attorney may regale you with “war stories” of trials that (s)he has won in spite of a less-than-stellar video. Every honest attorney who has any experience will admit that (s)he has also lost at least one case that had a great video. The video does not have to be perfect. We try to rate the video based on our experience and give our clients an analysis of their chances of success based on the video that we express as a numerical score on a scale of from “zero” (“0”), being a very poor video, up to a maximum of “ten” (“10”), which is a perfect video. We have almost never seen a perfect video.
If we see a nearly-perfect video, we may suggest that your video merits a review by an expert toxicologist. This will result in an extra expense, but having this expert witness ready to testify that you do not appear to be intoxicated on your video may provide critical evidence for your case, depending upon the court to which your case may be assigned. In most counties, we may obtain the video by tendering a blank tape to the D.A.’s office and simply making an informal request to have the video copied. In other counties, we may have to make a written request. Sometimes we have to go through a more elongated process, particularly to obtain the “in-car” video, which some police agencies retain in their “evidence locker” until they are compelled to bring it to court.
As soon as possible after we obtain the video, we have one or more attorneys review it and take written notes about the video. We rate the video based upon your initial appearance in the police video room, your balance and whether you appear to be swaying or have “abnormal oscillation”, your performance on field sobriety tests, if any, or your stated reasons for refusing same, your response to the officer’s request to submit a specimen of your breath or blood for testing, and your answers, if any, to the police interview questions.
After we review your video, we will call you in order to schedule an appointment for you to view your video. We normally do not like to be too specific about our assessment of your video until after you see it because our opinion will undoubtedly affect your state of mind in viewing your video. We want you to be as objective as possible in assessing your performance.
We realize that most people are not accustomed to seeing themselves as others see them anyway, so most individuals have a problem with being objective about their performance. Assuming that you have a reasonably good video, you may want to schedule a time to have a close personal friend or relative view the video with a view to judging your performance on the video in light of their knowledge of your normal mental and physical faculties.