My lawyer try to obtain discovery of the video and told me there was none, but by law all chp cars are supposed to have video devices by 2011....what is going on here?
First, you should be talking to your lawyer about all the questions you have in your case, as they will or at least should be in a much better position to answer your questions. With that being said, it is not uncommon for the MVARS to not work and/or not show a clear view of whatever it is that transpired. Good luck.
I agree with my colleague and add that while the CHP policy is to have MVARS in all patrol vehicles, here in Sacramento, the Office of Capitol Protective Services specifically does not have any MVARS installed allegedly for security reasons. The problem in downtown Sacramento is that the patrol officers who make the most DUI arrests are with CHP Office of Capitol Protective Services and no video!
I fear that it is possible. My understanding is that it's not a law that requires CHP cars to have video, but rather a policy that the CHP enacted involving camera placement on 2000 cars. And since many DUI arrests are handled by motorcycle officers -- which won't have cameras.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, however. Your lawyer likely best knows how to try your case, and sometimes the absence of evidence is really helpful (a question posed at trial could be "isn't it true that most CHP vehicles have mounted cameras?" or "Where is the video here" -- ultimately suggesting that, absent a video, the officer's notes of performance on FSTs (Field Sobriety Tests) are unreliable.
Ideally, you have a lawyer who has tried cases and is one you can trust, and he might be able to use this to his advantage.
MVARS devices in the vehicle may or may not have been initiated. That alone will likely not make a case go away. You have to have your attorney discern why there is no MVARs. Get the best attorney to uncover these facts.
It is key that you hire the best locally experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you that you can afford. You should obtain a free consultation as soon as possible. Good luck.
Law Offices of Mark Deniz
1010 2nd Avenue, Suite 2307, San Diego, California 92101 (858) 751-4DUI
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