Appellate Division Rules Police Station Video is Discoverable

On May 2, 2016, the Appellate Division of New Jersey decided State v. Miraj Patel (Docket No. A-1683-14T3). In this case, the defendant was charged with DWI (39:4-50) and his attorney requested a copy of the video from the police station in discovery. However, the video had been deleted.

The Appellate Division ruled that the video is relevant discovery because of the twenty minute observation period requirement from State v. Chun (more on the twenty minute observation period here).

In other words, if the twenty minute observation period was not followed by the police it is possible that the police station video would reveal this. The defendant would then be able to use the video to dispute the administration of the breath test. This could lead to a breath sample being excluded from evidence in court.

The Appellate Division also ruled that speeding can be used as part of a totality of the circumstances analysis to determine probable cause to arrest for suspicion of drunk driving.