police video cameras during DWI

Video Recordings and DWI Investigations

Municipal Court Practice CLE Seminar
“How to Resolve a DWI Case”

by Peter Lederman, Esq.

For the eleventh time in the last eleven years, we presented a seminar on DWI issues to the Middlesex County Bar Association in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

This was one of the most interesting presentations as it involved a review of recent important DWI decisions, prospective laws that were being considered by the Legislature, tactics and strategy behind DWI defense and other issues involving DWI defense in New Jersey.

One of the issues discussed throughout the seminar was the use of video recordings made by officers and troopers in the course of DWI investigations. Obviously, these recordings are crucial in determining what actually happened at the time of the events leading to the DWI arrest.

An important decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court held this year that Prosecutors have an obligation to produce these videos when demanded by defense counsel.

Many Prosecutors and police departments resist in producing videos. This case should make production of video more accessible. It’s interesting to note that the Supreme Court held that demand must be made to police departments and the State Police  before an obligation to produce video recordings arises.

Unfortunately, many lawyers fail to make this demand so that the ability to produce potentially game changing discovery is lost. This also occurs when the attorney fails to demand production of the video early in the case. This is because many departments have policies not to retain video after a short period of time. We look forward to participating in this presentation again next year.

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