Monday, March 18, 2013

The DMV Hearing: How To Get The MVARS Video

If you are pulled over and subjected to a DUI investigation, complete with field sobriety tests, and end up facing charges for a DUI in the Orange County courts, you may want to look at the video from the police car BEFORE you plead guilty. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and some other police agencies equip their patrol cars (and motorcycles) with forward facing cameras as well as audio recording from microphones on the officer and in the car. These recordings are extremely valuable evidence that can make or BREAK the case against you. In both the court proceedings and DMV proceedings (assuming that you or your Orange County DUI Attorney requested a DMV hearing), you are entitled to the video and audio recordings.

The CHP uses a system called Mobile Video Audio Recording System (MVARS) constantly records on its forward-facing camera. Once the patrol car activates it’s emergency lights (red or flashing lights), the system automatically saves the recording.
The footage on the camera will show EXACTLY how you drove prior to being pulled over. And often the field sobriety tests are performed on camera, with audio included. And in some cases this valuable footage shows that what the officer claimed in his report is absolutely wrong. In a recent case I handled the CHP officer said in his report that my client drove onto the shoulder of the roadway, driving one foot over the solid white line on the right. This was the officer’s justification for pulling my client over. The MVARS recording showed that my client did come close to the line but DID NOT DRIVE OVER THE LINE—completely discrediting the officer and utterly refuting his justification for the stop. That’s why this evidence can be so important and, depending on your case, it may be imperative that you, or your DUI Lawyer in Orange County, obtain this evidence from the arresting agency.

For tactical reasons, it is sometimes best to get this evidence from the DMV rather than from the court. If you or your drunk driving attorney have requested a hearing, then you have the right to issue subpoenas which are ORDERS, ordering a person or agency to give you specific evidence. In that case, you or your DUI lawyer will need to issue a DMV subpoena to the CHP or police agency in order to get the recording. Then, you and your defense lawyer can review the recording BEFORE you enter a plea in the court. This tactic can ensure that you get the best possible outcome in the Orange County court.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Orange County and would like to consult with an Orange County DUI lawyer, call the Law Offices of EJ Stopyro at (949) 559-5500 to today. The consultation is free and confidential. Or visit our website at
Law Offices of EJ Stopyro

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