While I was handling a DUI case recently in Cheatham County, Tennessee, I discovered some new wrinkles in defending a DUI case. I went down to the Sherrif's office to request a video. First, I must applaud Sherrif Breedlove's progressive thoughts on providing information in a criminal case. Videos are provided at no charge and there are no hoops to jump through unlike many law enforcement agencies in Middle Tennessee, especially the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
As I was waiting for the copy of the traffic stop, I was asked if I wanted the body cam video. Of course, I said yes. The body cam even captured the blood draw from the hospital which can be very important in a case. Every aspect of the DUI arrest, field sobriety tests, and the blood draw were videotaped. Evidence you can see in deciding whether to fight the DUI charges.
It made me ask myself two questions: (1) If Cheatham County can afford body cams and dash cams, why can't Nashville Metro Police Department? Then, (2) why does the Tennessee Highway Patrol not provide video footage upon request?
What do they have to conceal? A better question is whether they are hoping people just plead guilty without being able to see the evidence the government has or doesn't have against them. Which, is the case in General Sessions Court.