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Getting Police Bodycam Video in Ohio OVI Cases

Posted On: April 30th, 2021   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
Police officer writing ticket at window of pulled over car

If you were arrested in Ohio for operating a vehicle under the influence, there should be body camera footage from the officer, but there are no guarantees. Getting access to this video may help your defense. But depending on its contents, it could also tell you it’s time to find an alternate resolution.

With the help of an experienced OVI lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates, you can understand all your options and how to proceed. Let us protect your rights and ensure they are respected throughout the process.

Call one of our criminal defense attorneys in Columbus at (614) 500-3836 to learn more about how we can help after a Columbus OVI charge.

Get the Bodycam Video of Your OVI

Ohio law was amended in 2019 to make it easier to access police body camera footage, reports Police1. All police body-worn camera footage is subject to public disclosure, but there are several exceptions that the police can use to prevent release.

They mainly involve highly sensitive and personal privacy issues, which probably shouldn’t be a problem if an OVI arrest is involved. If a request to the police department doesn’t get the video, the prosecutor will have to turn over relevant evidence as part of the trial process.

Body camera video may not be the only type available. Others can include:

  • You or a passenger may have made a video
  • The police vehicle may have a dashboard cam recording of what’s happened outside your vehicle
  • There may be private and public security cameras covering the area

Body camera footage is not a Hollywood production:

  • It may miss something important
  • It can be challenging to hear what’s being said
  • The images may not be clear
  • The camera is in constant motion so that the images can be jumpy and unclear

What Does the Footage Show?

The officer’s bodycam or dashboard video’s content is what it is. It may:

  • Show images that support your arrest and clearly show you were intoxicated at the time
  • Reveal your rights were violated, or mistakes were made with OVI testing
  • Demonstrate your arrest wasn’t justified

Suppose there are mixed messages in the video, depending on what they are. In that case, it could result in your case’s dismissal, or it may be an excellent time to push for a favorable plea agreement – in exchange for some charges being dropped, you plead guilty to a lesser, or there’s an agreement on your sentence.

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed OVI. The video may make it challenging to accomplish that. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecution may withdraw the charges, or an agreement would resolve the case.

If the video is damaging and can be used by the prosecution to make its case, it’s time to get the best plea agreement you can. You could take the stand and claim you weren’t intoxicated, but if the video shows you’re slurring your words, there are empty beer cans on the passenger seat, and you nearly fall over while trying to walk a straight line, your words won’t mean much to a jury.

A video could be powerful evidence you shouldn’t have been arrested. It may show:

  • The facts didn’t justify pulling you over
  • The officer’s account in his or her report isn’t credible
  • You shouldn’t have been given sobriety tests due to a physical impairment, but if you were – you passed them, they were improperly given, or the results were misinterpreted
  • If you were given a breathalyzer test at the scene, it wasn’t properly done
  • You weren’t given your Miranda warnings, or they were given too late, and your answers to some questions shouldn’t be allowed as evidence

If the video provides this kind of evidence, we will strongly argue to the prosecutor going forward with charges is unfair to you and a waste of their time. This should result in charges being dropped, or you could plead guilty to a minor charge.

Get the Legal Help You Need After an OVI

If you’ve been arrested and charged for OVI in Columbus, you may think your situation is hopeless. But we may find defenses that could end your case, allowing you to get on with your life. Having the OVI lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates by your side gives you the best possible chance at resolving your case favorably.

Call LHA today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation.

I can FINALLY breathe easy now. I want to thank Mr. Bowen and all the attorneys that helped me with this case.

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