Our state takes drunk driving very seriously. Drivers who have been convicted of a DWI will face harsh consequences under the Texas Penal Code. While protecting the safety of our highways is critically important, prosecutors do not always bring legitimate charges. Unfortunately, state and local law enforcement officers and prosecutors have been known to be overzealous when bringing DWI cases. The underlying facts of the case do not always support the charges that these officials are pursuing.
For those who have been unfairly charged with a DWI offense, there are many different types of evidence that can be used to help establish their innocence. A lesser-known but highly important form of evidence is the police station booking video. In the section of the guide, our experienced Austin drunk driving defense attorney explains the importance of booking videos in order to teach people how to beat a DUI/DWI.
A Booking Video Can Demonstrate Reasonable Doubt
There are booking videos in a large number of police stations around the state of Texas. Indeed, in the modern world, many precincts have booking video footage that is of surprisingly high quality. In Austin, TX DWI cases, booking videos can show a wide range of important details.
Most notably, booking videos do not always match the notes, statements, and testimony of the responding police officers. For example, imagine that a police officer’s report indicated that the arrested driver was stumbling and slurring their speech when they were booked. The police station booking video should back up that statement. Yet, unfortunately, that is not always what happens. Police officers do not always provide accurate accounts regarding the actions and condition of the defendant.
Seasoned Texas criminal defense lawyers have seen many cases in which the police station booking videos tell a different story than the one that is being told by the responding police officers. In some cases, small but important details are different. In other cases, the booking video shows an entirely different picture of the arrest. Indeed, in some Texas drunk driving cases, booking videos have raised questions regarding whether or not the defendant was even intoxicated at all.
Texas DWI Defense: Brady Motion
Of course, to review a booking video, you have to be able to get your hands on the tape. This important evidence is held by the prosecution. You might expect that the prosecution would not be eager to turn over evidence that undermines the key details of their case. You would be right. Prosecutors are rarely happy to turn over this information to defendants.
The good news is that your Austin DWI defense lawyer can take action to get access to this evidence. This done through filing a type of legal filing known as a Brady Motion or Brady Demand. Under the Brady Rule, prosecutors are legally required to disclose to the defendant any exculpatory evidence that is being held with the possession of the government. If you believe that there is something on your booking video that will help you prove your innocence, your Texas criminal defense attorney can help you get your hands on the video so that you can review the footage.