Search Site
IBC Centre, 130 East Travis Street, Suite #425 | San Antonio, TX 78205

Using Police Body Cam Footage in DWI Defense

Over the past decade, the nationwide push for law enforcement transparency has led police departments, including many in Texas, to adopt body camera technology to record the actions of officers in the field. Video evidence can be extremely valuable to defense counsel in analyzing the propriety of police conduct during investigations and arrests. This is especially so in DWI cases.

Texas law provides that anyone stopped or arrested on suspicion of DWI can obtain from the police department a copy of any video recorded by the officer who made the stop or arrest. This means that, prior to trial, defendants should receive access to video footage of:

  • The traffic stop
  • The arrest
  • Any interactions between the driver and the officer, including field sobriety tests
  • Any procedure used to take the driver’s blood or breath sample

Video footage is not limited to body cameras. People accused of DWI are also entitled to obtain a copy of police dashboard camera video.

However, your defense attorney must file a written request asking for access to the video, if one exists. In other words, don’t expect police departments to turn over video footage automatically.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is priceless. Depending on what the video shows, your lawyer could use it as part of your defense in different ways:

  • Revealing inaccuracies in the police report — Video can highlight discrepancies between a police officer’s written report and what really happened during the traffic stop. For example, an officer might report that you were hardly able to stand and were slurring your speech, but the video may show you were standing or walking easily and speaking clearly.
  • Preventing evidence from being used against you — The video might show that the officer failed to read you the Miranda warnings but asked you questions anyway. This would be a violation of your constitutional rights and your answers to the questions may not be used against you in court.
  • Showing lack of probably cause for the traffic stop — The police report might say that you were veering over the center line, so the officer stopped you. But the video may show that your car only touched the line once or not at all, and that you were the only car on the road so there was no danger to others. Your lawyer could argue that the video proves the officer lacked probably cause to stop you.

Video evidence is powerful. Sometimes it is great for defendants, but other times it can help the prosecution. That’s why it is important for your lawyer to review the footage well before trial.

If you are accused of DWI in southern Texas, call The Law Offices of Kevin Collins right away. Our San Antonio DWI lawyer can assess the situation and defend your rights. Call 210-598-8629 or contact us online today.

COVID-19 Notice
We are here to help and support you through these generally challenging times with your specific legal issues. You will be able to reach me or my staff through our main telephone numbers, and of course by email: [email protected] Phone conferences for existing and potential clients are available, as is the video conference feature through the Zoom app. Zoom may present some privacy challenges so phone conferences are preferred. Please take care of your health by following the measures recommended by the CDC, and by state and local authorities.
Firm Recognition
  • Super Lawyers
    Best Law Firms 2021
  • Three Best Rated
  • ThreeBest Rated
Client Reviews
  • google

    Mr. Collins was very responsive and handled a case involving my son quickly and followed up with my wife and I during every step of the process. I recommend giving him a call should you need legal assistance.

    Read more

    Clint Ratliff

  • google

    Kevin Collins got us out of a hopeless situation. He is very professional, experienced and had the right direction all the way. His staff was helpful and we were blessed to have his law firm on our side. We will be forever grateful.

    Read more

    Bonnie Hill

  • google

    I was pulled over for a DUI by the San Antonio Police Department. It was unfortunate, but immediately after my arrest, I braced myself for the fallout -- court dates, fees, missed time from work, and a host of other worries. I called Kevin and his f...

    Read more

    Mario Ochoa

  • google

    Mr. Collins recently assisted us in getting some issues resolved. He was confident in his approach since day one and put our minds at ease. Due to COVID, courts were at a stand still but that didn’t keep Mr. Collins’ office from providing us time...

    Read more

    Melissa Neri

  • lawyers

    Kevin Collins is the BEST Criminal Attorney in San Antonio , TX. He handle my case back in 1999 when the judge asked to help me and he did right there and then . Ever since then I have referred many , many clients to him . All of the clients I r...

    Read more


See all reviews
Case Results
State of Texas v. J.T. Furnishing Alcohol to a minor dismissed after start of trial despite death caused by accident
View All
Contact us

Quick Contact Form