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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default How to Obtain Police Dash Camera Audio/Video

    My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: Virginia

    This morning I was pulled over for a speeding ticket. There are a number of things about the experience that I find questionable, and as such, I was hoping I might obtain the audio and video of the stop and the associated periods prior and post.

    I learned that I must file a Subpoena Duces Tecum, and I've gotten three copies of the form, but the circuit court clerk was acting adversarial when I started asking about the form (like whether I need to include specifics about which car it was or just the officers names, etc.). I understand that they cannot provide legal counsel, but shouldn't there be form instructions or something?

    I believe I MAY have grounds to file a formal complaint, but without the audio/video I would have no tangible evidence, just my word against theirs.

    Essentially, the police officer told me that they followed me and had me 10 mph over in one zone, and 13 mph over in a school zone, which is where they turned on their lights and pulled me over. The officer offered me a choice of which violation I wanted him to write! As I believe I have a malfunction with my speedometer, I told him to write whatever he wished, that I am likely to take it to court anyway because I believed that I had a speedometer malfunction.

    After giving me the ticket, he asked me if I gave him permission to search my vehicle for drugs. I was certainly dressed in an odd style, but I know my rights, so I asked him if he had any probable cause. He repeated his question, and I remained silent. He repeated the question, I remained silent. He repeated the question, and I responded, "I'm obviously exercising my right to remain silent. Please feel free to make a decision."

    At this point he dismissed me (thanked me).

    I drove off, but then was pulled over again. The officer in training had forgotten to fill out the location information! I let him fill it in (I suppose I shouldn't have).

    MAJOR question about being offered a choice of offenses, and why didn't they pull me over initially?

    Seems very much like racketeering, so I would like to see if there is tangible evidence to support my complaint.

    Can anyone instruct me as to how I should fill out the Subpoena Duces Tecum? Is there specific information that I need to include to get the dash camera audio and video related to my incident?

    Very truly yours in the Spirit of Gifting,
    Kringle, A Corporation Sole

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: How to Obtain Police Dash Camera Audio/Video

    Have you checked with the police department? Not all departments make it easy, but in some it's a matter of filling out a request form, waiting a few days, then paying a copying fee.

    I haven't seen the subpoena form for your state, but usually they're "fill in the blanks" forms and are pretty easy to figure out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Key West, FL

    Default Re: How to Obtain Police Dash Camera Audio/Video

    Depending on the law of your state...

    Generally though, minor traffic tickets are handled by the officer. There is no district attorney or state attorney involved. If the ticket is a criminal offense then they are involved. Thus in minor ticket cases you do not subpoena the prosecutors office.

    There are plenty of examples of that form online and in legal books. Go to the library. There are also law libraries with public access.

    The other way to get the recording is to give the police department a FOIA Freedom of Information Act request. All states have a state FOIA, in addition to the federal one.

    Did you see the camera? I have been surprised to find a number of police units that do not have a camera system. I have wondered if that is deliberate.

    You will NEVER win fighting the ticket arguing defective speedometer unless you have sworn testimony from an expert witness that your unit is defective.

    Obviously if they were following you, they didn't use radar. They paced you and that kind of a ticket has some weakness if you know what you are doing.

    You can get traffic attorneys pretty cheap. They do thousands of these cases and know all the ins and outs. Here in FL they do a traffic ticket for $69 flat rate.

    If you do this yourself, you will be wasting your money. You will pay the ticket and court costs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: How to Obtain Police Dash Camera Audio/Video

    I think you can/should ask the prosecutor for that audio/video in a discovery request. the "choice of tickets" sounds odd for sure, I can't guess his motives. And I love your practicing your right to remain silent. I can't imagine trying that with a cop. once they stop you for any "good faith" belief, they can usually find a host of things for which to write tickets (air freshener impairing your vision through windshield, improper maintainance...).

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