Audio Evidence in DUI Cases in Los Angeles

  • May 26, 2017

    Audio recordings can be useful in a DUI case for both sides, depending on the circumstances of the charge. Video and audio recording is a tool that the state will want to use in some serious cases and they clearly serve a purpose when cases are being settled. Witnesses and suspects often record a DUI arrest as well, which means that the state is not the only party who may have audio evidence. In DUI collision cases, the 911 records can be very important as well when authorities are attempting to discern the truth about what actually happened in a crash, including drivers who were using cell phones at the time. Just as the camera never lies, audio too can provide undeniable actual evidence that can both make a case for the state or provide reasonable doubt for the defense on any DUI charge. This is just the type of evidence that a Los Angeles DUI attorney could use in defending their client.

    State Audio Recordings of DUI

    The police agencies routinely use cameras in the field that also have audio capacity. These recordings are also used along with 911 recordings in serious cases where both DUI and an accident are in progress. There may be competing versions of events following a DUI accident or altercation, and the audio recordings saved by the police become primary material evidence that largely cannot be contested. These recordings are also the property of the government and can be subpoenaed into court as both a prosecution or a defense tool regarding a material case issue that needs clarification. In some cases, the evidence that is needed to clear a DUI defendant is actually under the control of the state. Having an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney means the information can be accessed.

    Personal Audio Recordings

    Personal audio recordings can also be used in certain cases when the defense is attempting to counter a state claim, such as contesting a charge for refusing a breathalyzer, but they are the actual personal property of the individual who recorded the audio. Using personal audio recordings, a DUI defendant can prove that the arresting officer’s version of events regarding an arrest or a DUI accident are not accurate when the state has no recording match. It is important to never allow an officer to confiscate a cell phone without a warrant because the evidence on the phone could be the difference is a conviction or case dismissal for DUI.

    Availability of Audio Evidence

    One particular problem with state-controlled audio evidence is that it may not be included in the discovery information that is submitted when a charge is officially filed. The prosecutors may know they have audio backup evidence, but will use other evidence as a primary basis for the DUI charge, such as a BAC result. The novice DUI defendant would not stand a chance accessing the audio or video recordings, but a thorough Los Angeles DUI attorney can contact the particular agency holding the audio and request that it be included in the prosecution evidence. Prosecutors understand when audio recordings can impact a case they are charging on borderline evidence and officer testimony regarding a DUI arrest or accident report. Withholding evidence from the defense is a common tactic when it could provide reasonable doubt for the DUI defendant.

    Audio recordings can be very effective in settling a DUI case, but there are restrictions on whether the tapes can be used in a court proceeding or be accepted as material case evidence. These cases are always complicated, and it is vital to have an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer providing defense.

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