If you are being tried for a misdemeanor or felony charge in Texas, the outcome of your case will depend on the evidence presented by both the prosecutor and defense team.
If your arrest followed a traffic stop in Houston, any video recordings of the event can be powerful evidence in showing what actually happened during the stop.
Video Evidence Can Prove Guilt or Innocence
Video evidence can be an effective way to prove an individual’s guilt or innocence to a jury. It can condemn them by showing the defendant in the act of committing a crime or placing them at the scene of a crime, but it can also show that you did not commit the traffic violation you were stopped for, that your behavior during the stop did not indicate that you were impaired or intoxicated, there were inaccuracies in the police officer’s testimony or report of the stop, and that law enforcement did not follow proper procedures during the stop or arrest.
If you get pulled over by the police in Houston, or witness suspicious activities during a traffic stop, a good idea would be to record the stop using your cellphone’s video camera.
Is Videotaping Your Traffic Stop Legal in Texas?
Contrary to what a police officer may tell you, it is perfectly legal to record public officials, such as those in law enforcement, while they are performing their official duties. You do not require their consent, either. Texas state law allows recording with the consent of just one party to the conversation.
Although videotaping your traffic stop is your legal right, you can’t interfere with their investigation. If an officer asks you to move back or give them room, obey their wishes. Announce your intention to record the events to the officers. As always, remember to be polite and never physically resist a law enforcement officer. If an officer asks you to stop recording, remind them that you are exercising your rights under Texas state law and the U.S. Constitution.
Know Your Rights
Police cannot seize your phone, demand to see any footage or photos, or delete any photos or videos. Despite this, there continue to be cases of law enforcement officers in Texas ordering people to stop taking photographs or recording videos and harassing, detaining and arresting those who do not obey.
Police have dash-cams and body-cams that are supposed to record the stop. But these measures are more to protect them than to protect you. In some cases, especially those in which the civil rights of a suspect may have been violated, police departments and prosecutors choose not to share this evidence with the defendant’s lawyers; the footage somehow gets destroyed or goes missing; or the cameras weren’t turned on or working properly during this particular incident.
Speak with a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney about Your Rights
If you have been arrested on a misdemeanor or felony charge in Houston, a guilty or innocent verdict will be decided by the evidence the state has against you. Experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer Lisa Shapiro Strauss is here to protect your rights. She has the legal skills and expertise to thoroughly examine the evidence in your case and use it to your advantage.
If you’ve been charged with crime in Houston, please schedule a free consultation with Lisa Shapiro Strauss today.