Illinois law requires police to use body cams at all times when the officer is in uniform, responding to calls or engaged in any law enforcement-related activity while on duty. If exigent circumstances prevent the officer from turning on the camera, he or she must do so as soon as practicable. The officer may turn the camera off under certain circumstances such as when a victim requests it.

But what happens if the officer forgets?  Under Illinois law, a judge or jury may consider an intentional violation of the body cam law when weighing the evidence against you where the recording is not captured or is destroyed, altered or intermittently captured. However, the violation is not considered when the state provides reasonable justification for what happened.

Note that some villages have been slow to implement body cam technology. Thus, the lack of a video may not be an automatic violation of the body cam law.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately.  An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense.  Did the police have probable cause to stop you?  Is there a recording from the arrest?  Can the state prove all the elements of the offense?  Even if the police acted legally 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

See Illinois Body Cam Law.

(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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