While not many of us are familiar with the term “MVARS,” we are all familiar with dashcams. MVARS is an acronym for “Mobile Video Audio Recording Systems,” the technical term for dashcams. Prosecutors may use MVARS footage as evidence in criminal cases. But there are times when this footage may help you if wrongly accused of a crime. Dashcams have been legal in California since 2011. However, while their use by law enforcement is not mandated by California law, the California Highway Patrol makes extensive use of MVARS devices.
In most cases, dashcam data is admissible in proceedings where a person is charged with a criminal offense or sued for a civil matter. If MVARS footage is available in a criminal matter, you have the legal right to view it. Your attorney may request any MVARS footage from the CHP or the agency that made the arrest.
In DUI cases, MVARS has the potential to record field sobriety tests and conversations between suspects and police, before, during, and after an arrest. MVARS may also record the suspect driving carelessly (negligently) or recklessly before a traffic stop.
Dashcams are mounted on the dashboards of police cars. They are never turned off and face forward. If a motorist receives improper treatment after an arrest, a dashcam recording may provide evidence that the police deprived the individual of important individual rights. If a field sobriety test is administered and dashcam footage shows no evidence of any intoxication, the prosecution may choose not to proceed and drop the charges.
Thus, footage from an MVARS may have positive or negative effects depending on the circumstances. If the dashcam footage does not show the events as they are described on the police report, the prosecution may drop the charges. Thus, dashcam footage may vindicate a party’s innocence or affirm a party’s culpability in a criminal matter. It may also help establish whether a defendant is legally responsible in a civil matter.
While MVARS footage may benefit a party that committed no wrongdoing or had his or her constitutional rights violated, the rules related to the admissibility of dashcam evidence are complicated. In this situation, the assistance of experienced criminal defense counsel may help achieve the best possible outcome.
The Law Offices of John Patrick Dolan have helped California residents charged with criminal offenses for more than three decades. John Patrick Dolan will give your case the personal attention it deserves while analyzing each detail and carefully determining its significance to your matter. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.