You were stopped for DUI. The officer asks you to get out of the car, and you agree to take the field sobriety tests. You thought you did pretty well holding your leg up and walking a straight line, but the officer’s report says you fell all over yourself.

Now you are afraid that if you go to trial, it will be your word against the officers, and who do you think a judge or jury is going to believe? That’s why the mobile video recording of your stop is so important. It is the one objective piece of evidence that can show what really took place.

The Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld your right to get a copy of the video recording from your arrest. Under certain circumstances, a judge may even sanction the prosecution if the video evidence is unavailable. For example, a judge could prevent the officer from testifying about anything that would have been shown on your video. So let’s say the officer would have testified that you couldn’t stand up straight. Without the video, the court might prevent the officer from talking about that. In some instances, this could even result in your case getting dismissed.

If you are stopped for DUI, the police recording should operate from about the time the sirens go on. Generally, a video should capture the officer speaking with you, your exiting the car and any field sobriety tests you might take. Some videos even show the police searching your car after the arrest.

Illinois first began requiring the state to equip its police cars with mobile video recording equipment in 2008. Taping traffic stops is good for both police and for DUI defendants. The video provides a truthful record. Police are protected from false allegations of lying and brutality. And you are protected from an officer who might lie about your actions.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com .

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)