Are Body Cameras Helping Defendants or the Prosecution?

Written by:Julian Stroleny PortraitJulian Stroleny

Miami Criminal Attorney News: Many U.S. law enforcement agencies now use body cameras as standard operational equipment. The technology enables police officers to record all of their engagements with the public while on duty. Body cam recordings have both benefits and drawbacks for both the public and police officers. If you are charged with a crime by the police, a Miami criminal defense attorney can recover the video evidence recorded by the body cam. The footage may prove your innocence or your guilt.

Who Benefits from Body Cameras?

Body camera evidence has an impact on verdicts in court proceedings all over the United States. Footage taken by arresting officers helps both prosecutors and defense attorneys in building and presenting their cases.

Video evidence can show officer misconduct during an arrest, thereby benefitting the defendant. Likewise, prosecutors can use the footage to prove their case.

Body Cameras and DUI Cases

Many police departments require traffic officers to carry body cams along with their standard dash-cams found in patrol cars. The camera records the police officer’s engagement with drivers and their passengers during a routine stop or roadblock.

DUI charges are an excellent example of how body camera technology can benefit either the defense or prosecution’s case. The technology ensures that the entire engagement between both parties is recorded and logged as evidence in the case of an arrest.

The cameras monitor the behavior of the driver and their passengers with law enforcement agents, noting any physical violence or verbal abuse. A criminal defense lawyer in Miami can request the body cam footage to determine the conduct and adherence to police procedure.

Unbiased Proof

During a trial, the prosecution presents evidence in front of a judge and jury. Defendants and arresting officers are usually summoned to testify about their involvement with the case. While on the stand, both law enforcement officers and defendants have been known to exaggerate, or lie, about the circumstances of events surrounding the arrest of the defendant.

Body cams provide an unbiased view of the arrest and all parties involved. Jurors are more likely to find a police officer or defendant trustworthy when jurors can see the parties behavior first hand. Therefore, the body cam evidence is critical in cases where the defendant wants to prove their innocence.

The New Gold Standard of Situational Evidence

Forensic science changed the way jurors assess evidence. Crime labs are able to use technology such as DNA testing, fingerprints, and autopsy results, as evidence for prosecutors to use in court. Forensics allowed both prosecutors and defense attorneys to prove innocence or guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If forensic evidence is not collected correctly or goes missing, this is considered highly suspicious by jurors.

In today’s information age, jurors expect to see body cam evidence taken during an arrest. If the police are unable to provide this data, jurors may view this behavior as suspicious. Jurors could consider a lack of video evidence as proof of possible police tampering or corruption.

An Eyewitness You Can Trust

Eyewitness line-ups and testimony are now viewed as less reliable when compared to bodycam footage. Eyewitness testimony can often be incorrect or misleading. In a stressful situation, people receive an adrenaline response from the endocrine system.

The “fight-or-flight” response can affect memory around traumatic events and their recall. Police line-ups are an excellent example of how eyewitnesses may not be able to recall the distinct features of a suspect, making their testimonial unreliable. Body cam footage can be used to corroborate eyewitness testimony or invalidate it.

Seek Legal Representation

Consult with a competent and professional Miami criminal attorney if you are arrested and charged with a crime. Your lawyer will access the body cam footage and assist you in building a case for your innocence.

Stroleny Law: Criminal Defense Attorney handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.

View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Attorney.

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