When you get a traffic ticket in New Jersey, it often comes down to a you say-cop says situation as to what happened. However, a new law could provide a more objective witness to the incident that could give a judge and prosecutor more insight into guilt or innocence.
Gov. Christie signed a bill on September 10, 2014, that requires police vehicles - or officers - to be fitted with video recording systems. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty (D., Gloucester Township).
Many patrol vehicles already have front facing video cameras, but this would make them mandatory for all patrol cars purchased in future. How will all of this be funded? Well, the bill requires those convicted of a DUI to pay a $25 surcharge.
In addition to patrol cars, police departments can purchase “body cams” that attach to an officer’s chest. It sees what the officer sees. This can be a huge improvement, both for the state and the defense, as oftentimes events like sobriety tests do not take place in front of the patrol car (and thus its camera).
How Could These Cameras Help Your Case?
Video like this can be used to establish (or show the lack of) probable cause to stop you for an offense. For example, the officer says you were weaving in the road (a common cause for DUI stops), but were you really?
You are charged with driving recklessly, but were you? It would also record conversations at the scene that could help establish a defense.
Therefore, it is very important to the defense of your case to pull and review the video. It will either help you, or hurt you, but it is better to know the objective facts, not just what the cop said in his report, before going into court and talking to the prosecutor.
So What Do You Do?
If you have received a ticket in southern New Jersey, or have been charged with drunk driving, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office. If you are out of state or out of the area, this can be done by phone
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's drunk driving law, then download my free book, How Much Trouble Am I In? A Guide to New Jersey Drunk Driving Law.