Is it possible for me to request a dash cam video from a police officer? 49 Answers as of July 10, 2013

I was pulled over by a county sheriff. He said I was swerving.Which was a lie as well as he lied in his report that could be proven if i had the dash cam video. I got a lawyer and he said he asked for it and the deputy said there was no video. Did the officer lie that there wasnt one or did my lawyer lie about asking for it. My lawyer didnt do a very good job at all,found out hes good friends with the judges and higher ups in the police force. I feel like I was sold out so he could get a better deal in another case.

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Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
It depends on several factors.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/4/2011
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
The answer to you question depends on the discovery rules in the state where the arrest to place. You should consult a lawyer who is skilled in criminal law in that jurisdiction concerning the question about whether you can get a copy of any dashboard video camera footage of your driving.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 7/26/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
It sounds like your case is over, and you may only be left with an appeal if there is still time to file. If time is up, then close this chapter and move on, because there is nothing to be done. There is a procedure to get a video from a police car. However, the time to request this video is shortly after the incident. The videos are recorded over, so anything after a week week or two will be lost forever. I am sorry you had the problem. I hope this was helpful.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/25/2011
Andersen Law PLLC
Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
Those are big issues. For one thing, if the officer said there was a dash cam, your attorney should have interviewed the officer and asked to see the patrol vehicle he drove the night of your arrest. I don't know if any of this would have changed the outcome of your case but you might want to talk to an appellate lawyer if you were sentenced within the last year.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/25/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, you can request the video. I have no way of knowing whether the police lied when they said there was no video and no way of knowing the truth or falsity of the allegations you make regarding your attorney. You could hire someone to investigate.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/25/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If you have already been convicted and the case is over there is not much you can do. An attorney can subpoena a dash video if there is one.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/24/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    You should check with the police officer's superior and request his daily activity log to see if a video exists and to request it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    First off, an attorney that is 'good friends with the judges and higher ups in the police force' is a good thing; probably not a bad thing. If you have trust issues with your attorney, it is important to talk to him about this. Many times the squad car cam videos are just not available. Not every county requires that squad cars have cameras.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You have raised many issues in your letter: 1. Yes, you can request a copy of the dash cam video. This is generally a part of discovery and is often produced as part of the initial request. However, not all police vehicles are equipped with dash cams. They have only recently become more common. There may not be such a video in your case. 2. As to the other facts of your case, as you have asserted, I cannot comment without reviewing the police reports and other relevant evidence. 3. As far as your attorney is concerned, the fact that he "is good friends with the judges and the higher ups in the police force", this is not uncommon. I have been practicing for 28 years, so yes, I am going to come to know the judges and the police officers. We, as attorneys deal with these people on a very regular basis, sometimes daily, so a certain professional rapour is going to develop. 4. Another issue that you have not addressed is your breath test level. If that test was .08 or above, how you performed on the field tests is secondary. If your test was .o8 or above and that test is found to be admissible, you are going to be convicted. 5. Without knowing about your case, I cannot comment as to whether or not you were "sold out"; however, I will say that DUI cases are very difficult, and the facts of one's case may make them even more difficult. As an attorney, I tell my clients what they NEED to know, NOT what they WANT to hear.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    No one can tell you if the officer lied to you or your lawyer lied to you about the tape on the police car. You lawyer could have a motion to have the video preserved and produced and done an investigation as to what normally happens to such videos, but he apparently did not do that. You think he might have "sold you out " as you say in your summary, but I cannot know that unless I investigated the matter. That would cost about $1,000 as it would require about 5 hours work or more. If you really want to know if you got a good deal you would have to retain an attorney to speak with everyone, read the file, check out what was done, and provide you with an opinion of whether you got a good deal or not.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC
    Furlong & Drewniak PLLC | Thaddeus Furlong, Esq.
    If the officer used a video camera it is supposed to be disclosed by the prosecutor in discovery. Your lawyer could also subpoena "any photos or videos" of you and "any statements" that you made that were recorded. Some cameras actually are not working,l some have picture but no sound, etc. You would need to research the unit (vehicle) number of the police car used by the officer that arrested you to be sure about whether it had a a working camera at the time of your arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/23/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Yes. Request the video under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. You should make sure to do so within 30 days or else it will be recorded over.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If the officer said there was no video, then the presumption is that there is none. If the government destroys evidence or withholds evidence, the case could be dismissed. I know of no specific way to prove the video does or does not exist. If you find otherwise, then I would contact your attorney to have him file a motion to suppress the video and to dismiss the case for inappropriate behavior.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    It is difficult to prove that a police officer lied. The two methods commonly used are to file a Discovery Motion and to request a Police Dispatch Tape. Neither is foolproof but they sometimes yield results. If the case is over with it may be that you have lost the right to do anymore unless you file a Motion to Withdraw your plea.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Sadly most departments in NH do not video recordings. Some states, I believe South Carolina mandate all police to have video in cruisers. I personally believe video should be mandated as it eliminates the vast majority of credibility issues. The case will likely come down to cops word and his saying you swerved over the line is likely enough to justify a stop. If you have a lawyer that you do not trust you may want to get another. It is also unclear if your case has already been completed. If so your ability to undo a conviction is very limited. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Not all police departments have dash-video devices in their vehicles. State police generally do have them. If your attorney made the request fr a video in open court, the deputy was ordered to produce one, if he had one to produce. Obviously his vehicle was not equipped with such a device. It sounds to me like you do not like police officers and feel everybody is out to get you, this is generally not the case. If you can PROVE that the sheriff department did have video equipment in their squads, you can hire another attorney to pursue your appeal, but I doubt that you will find the deputy had such a device in his vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    Your attorney should be able to obtain cruiser video, if it exists, as part of the discovery process. Unfortunately, not all cars are equipped with dash cam videos. It will depend on your jurisdiction whether or not there is any video.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Most officers do not have dash mounted cameras anymore.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Jardine Law Offices
    Jardine Law Offices | Joseph Jardine
    Yes, under the public records act, a person can request a dash cam video from a police stop. However, most of the police agencies in Utah do not equip their cruisers with dash cams, so they are often not available. There is also the occasional "malfunction", which may need to be investigated further. Certain cops are known to have "malfunctions" regularly.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    You can ask your attorney for the written response/reply to his request for the camera. Not all cars automatically have the system.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    It is very unlikely that people are outright lying about the existence of a cruiser video, since it is so easy to determine if such a thing exists. Either the cruiser does or does not have a video camera. If it does, and it was not produced, your lawyer may ask for sanctions from the judge for failure to produce evidence and if the evidence was somehow "lost" or the tape over written, or the camera is purported to be faulty, your lawyer should be able to introduce evidence of these assertions at trial and let the jury make of it what they will. he judge can also be asked to impart a jury instruction about missing evidence and how the jurors should deal with it. The main issues will be 1) was their ever such evidence that was subsequently lost or made somehow unavailable, and 2) did the evidence become "missing" due to accident or negligence or outright malice. Your lawyer should be able to investigate these issues. Regarding your lawyer's relationships with judges, District Attorneys and police officers, this is not unusual. I personally have very good relationships with many of the same positions in my local area. It arises from the daily interactions that we have with each other. Those relationships should NOT interfere with your attorney's motives in your representation. Often times, my good relationships with officers of the police, the court and the DAs and judges work to the benefit of my client, not against it. If those people respect my abilities and veracity, it is highly beneficial to my client's best interests. If you feel that your lawyer is not working in your best interests you should address this with him or her directly.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Oberman & Rice
    Oberman & Rice | Sara Compher-Rice
    Each law enforcement agency has their own policies and procedures relating to the request of videotapes and other reports. I would suggest that you contact the Records Department of the agency involved in your case and inquire about the steps you need to take to make such request. Typically, you will be required to submit your request in writing. You may also be required to submit payment, which also varies, at the time of the request. If you are concerned that your attorney did not make the request, you may consider asking him or her for a copy of your file, including copies of any requests submitted and responses received. Oftentimes, when no recording is available, the law enforcement agency will provide this response in writing. S
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Video may be available in the police reports or discovery. You're likely to find they only turn the camera on after the stop.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC
    Attorneys of Michigan, PLLC | Daniel Hajji
    You can do what's called a Freedom of Information Request and get the videos of your arrest, if available. Ordinarily, these videos are kept for a short period of time before they are destroyed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If it is a closed investigation, you may be able to request a copy through Michigan's Freedom of Information Act. If the criminal case is ongoing, your attorney should be able to obtain a copy if it in fact exists. If it did exist and was destroyed, that could raise other issues.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes, A dashboard camera may be requested as part of discovery in a criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    In order to get the dash cam, if the State does not provide it to the defense, then the defense would have to subpoena it. You would not be able to get it on your own. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer can ask the officer (if he has denied there being a dash cam) under oath about the video. (Depending on the county, most police do have dash cams. However, many of them do not video driving factors, waiting until the talk with the driver before turning on the camera.) The other possibility for your lawyer getting a video is that many jurisdictions have videos to demonstrate that they are acting in a race neutral manner in stopping people. You might be able to do some research to determine if that is true in your county.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    If the video is requested and it was unavailable it may be because the car is not equipped with a dash cam. You should have your attorney request from the sheriff information on whether there was a cam, whether there was a subsequent recording of your driving and if it did exist but doesn't anymore an affidavit of what happened to the tape.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If there was a dash cam video the state is obligated to provide it to your attorney. If you believe there was one you may do a public records disclosure request to the county sheriff requesting the video.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Barry Melton
    Law Office of Barry Melton | Barry Melton
    I don't know what county you're from; but, generally, the decision to use video equipment in law enforcement vehicles is an administrative policy matter. Either your county sheriff's vehicles are equippes with video cameras, or they're not. Unfortunately, just because vehicles are equipped to take videos doesn't mean that line officers always use the equipment they're provided with. I do, however, want to speak to your concern that your lawyer is good friends with the judges and "higher ups in the police force," and for that reason may not have done a good job for you. First, as to judges, the most experienced lawyers in virtually any county have relationships with judges that predate their judicial appointments or judicial elections; that's because the vast majority of judges in any county are chosen from the county's practicing lawyers. Even lawyers who are opponents necessarily work together to some degree, despite their differing adversarial obligations. Expect that a well-functioning criminal defense lawyer has friends on the bench. For a criminal defense lawyer, working collegially in an adversarial system does not mean surrendering the obligation to defend the client. If anything, a lawyer who is collegial is an asset to his or her client, not a liability. Likewise, it's not unusual for a criminal defense lawyer to garner a few friends in law enforcement, particularly in a relatively small county where the same group of people find themselves litigating cases over a long period of time. But again, people who work in the criminal justice system have different roles and different obligations. I would be more concerned if my lawyer had no friends. I don't know whether your lawyer did a good job or not, but I would suggest your appraisal of your lawyer's performance should not be based on your lawyer's friendships.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Assuming there was a dash cam (Seattle police have them and certain WSP Trooper's have them - a few other municipalities too) you can receive a copy following a proper request from the prosecuting attorney. If a video existed you would have got a copy but overall very few police have dash cams.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    In some cases the police do have a video of arrests or stops and in other cases they do not. The only want to know for sure is to subpoena the records from the officer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    It sounds like your lawyer already asked for the video and was told there wasn't one. You are entitled as a defendant to have access to any evidence that is in the possession of the police. Lawyers routinely get videos taken from police vehicles. I don't know if there is a video or if the deputy sheriff is lying about it. I think a good honest lawyer would be able to handle your concerns and I know from experience that most lawyers are honest. If you are not happy with your lawyer I would suggest getting with another lawyer. I hasten to add that as a defense attorney myself it has always helped my clients that I know or are friends with those in the court system.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Get a new lawyer. Cops lying about your driving pattern is common, but it is less common for a video to be available in DUI cases. If you suspect your lawyer didn't even ask for it, you need to consider hiring a new lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Most patrol cars do not have dash cams but some do + if so it is often mentioned in the police report.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC
    Law Office of John E. Gutbezahl LLC | John E Gutbezahl
    Generally, if there is a recording it would be mentioned in discovery. Some police agencies do not have dash cams. I can not answer your question about the truthfulness of your lawyer or the officer(or DA). Do you have a copy of the police report?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    The highway patrol in Missouri has policies that they are equipped with dash cams, and that they are automatically activated when the officer activates his lights and sirens. However, they have gone through a lot of problems with the cams. They have a hard time getting them to record, data gets lost, etc. As to your attorney being friends with people, I hear that theory all the time. Here's how I explain it: Imagine that you and your best friend go to school together for many years, and both of you play on the same basketball team. After school, you go to the Lakers, he goes to the Bulls. You remain friends off the court. But on the court you are adversaries. When you play each other, do you just roll over and let him win?
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/10/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    NOT all police cars have videos in the car. In fact more do not have them than the ones that do. It is a matter of limited budgets. Neither the cop nor your attorney may be lying. Also if there was a video, it may not have been working.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It's possible there was no dash cam. Not all police departments or police units have them. It should be easy enough to prove whether or not he requested it since there should be a record of such a discovery request. Ask him for verification of this. You can request one yourself via a FOIA request from the police agency. They will have to provide you with a copy if they have one for a nominal fee. You can also FOIA request their manuals to see if they install cams into the police cruisers or ask a police officer if they use them.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    Did you get a copy of the police report? If you did, it has the "unit number" on the reportthe car the Deputy drove that night. Go see the sheriff. Ask him if that unit has a dash cam, or if its parked in the lot, go look by the mirror for the dash cam. Most dash cams are gifts from Mothers Against Drunk Driving or federal grants. My understanding is that they do not buy them for every carjust one or 2 at a time. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Not all patrol cars are equipped with a dash cam. If the agency says no video is available, than you pretty much have to take them at their word. It is unfortunate, because situations like this do happen. But there isn't much that can be done about it, other than a game of "he said, she said". In most cases, it is good for an attorney to have a relationship with the DA and even the judge, sometimes an attorney can use that relationship to benefit their client. I've never seen, or heard, of an attorney doing so to get a "better" deal in another case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. I always request the dash cam. Some agencies, like CHP have them, some don't. It can really illuminate just how sketchy the reasons for pulling you over were. Weaving as reasonable suspicion is hard for them to prove. The cases, U.S. v. Collins in particular, are pretty good on what qualifies as weaving in California.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Hard to answer your question. Not all police cars have video cams.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    What made you think there was a camera? Cops do lie; attorneys do misrepresent and are sometimes more loyal to cops and judges than to their clients, but one has to be careful about loudly alleging such unless you know it to be true.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Any such evidence is obtained by proper discovery request in the court proceedings. A request to the prosecutor would result in them either providing a copy, or formally representing no video exists. Neither the police, the DA, nor your attorney had any reason to lie about the existence of video. Plus, it would be too easy to catch them in a lie. Unless you have actual evidence there was video, and it was running at the time, and it wasnt overrecorded in a loop, and it was saved, then you have no justification to claim a lie. BTW: many, if not most, attorneys have friendships and socialize with other attorneys, prosecutors, judges, police, court clerks, etc. That does not mean they are unethical. That means they have similar social circles, and most probably joke about the clients lack of understanding of the system. Throwing around allegations that you were sold out so he could get a better deal in another case only makes you look bad, not him. Attorneys and DAs would never ethically do so, and wouldnt need to. There are plenty of cases, and they each stand on their own merit. If you arent happy about your relationship with your attorney, that is a separate issue I cant comment on. Any client that loses is tempted to blame the attorney and claim he did a lousy job on this great case. You could always have gone to trial rather than take a bad deal you were unhappy with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    Yes. If they had it, often called MVARS. Your DUI attorney can demand during criminal court discovery proceeds or issue a subpoena duces tecum for the DMV hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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