Loss of Video Recording Triggers Possible Suppression of Evidence

A Marion Co Circuit court ruled that all observations made by an officer, including the driving violations, contact by officer, and subsequent arrest, must be suppressed due to the fact that the officer’s video recording stopped during the arrest.

Gig Wyatt, a Salem, Oregon criminal defense attorney, argued that the observations recorded by the officer would have corroborated his testimony, that the recording offered an unbiased view for the jury, and that the loss of  the recording should result in suppression of the observations made by the officer. 

The State argued that the loss of the evidence was inadvertent, not willful, and that the defense failed to show that there would have been evidence favorable to the defense that was lost. Wyatt argued that the recording would have shown that defendant’s speech and balance were unimpaired. In other words, the recording would have shown evidence favorable to the defense.  

The court agreed with Wyatt, ruling that, though inadvertent, the loss of the recording means that the State cannot produce any evidence of the driving or other observations made by the officer.  This case is still pending before the court, but Wyatt said “ without the evidence of the driving or other observations necessary to arrest  defendant, I believe they cannot go forward.”  We will follow up to determine the outcome of this case. Given the focus on recording by police, both sides are watching this case to determine the outcome.

Gig Wyatt, Randall Snow, Byron Farley
Salem DUI Defense

Attorneys at Law Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE Salem Or 97306

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