The officer stopped you for a broken tail light. When you rolled down your window, he smelled the odor of alcohol and asked you to get out of the car. You took the field sobriety tests and thought you did pretty well, but the officer arrested you anyway. If there is a video, you think it will prove you were OK.

Do you have a right to see the video? The answer is yes.

During your arrest, the officer likely wore a body camera or had a camera mounted on his or her squad car. If there is a recorded video, your attorney should be able to subpoena it along with any other evidence the state has against you. Your attorney may watch the video and evaluate the likelihood of winning your case at trial based on your driving, your performance on tests and the judge hearing your case.

Your attorney may allow you to watch the video, but note that the attorney is not permitted to turn the video over to you.

At trial, the judge or jury will likely see the video. When that happens, you have a constitutional right to view the video at that time.

In People v. Lucas, the court held that the defendant was denied due process where the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney retired to the judge’s chamber to view the video outside of the defendant’s presence. The record did not reflect whether the defendant was told she had a right to view the video. As a result, the court said she was denied her constitutional right to view the evidence against her and aid in her own defense. A defendant has a constitutional right to be present at any stage of the criminal proceeding that is critical to its outcome if her presence would contribute to the fairness of the procedure.

If you have been charged with a DUI or a similar crime, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review the evidence for weaknesses in the state’s case. Did police give you the proper warnings to motorists? Did you perform well enough on the tests? Even if police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(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.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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