Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) October 20, 2014 – A recent federal court ruling in Texas stated that a man arrested numerous times for taking video footage of the police has both the right to file a lawsuit against the force and the right to photograph or film them in the first place.
“The ruling could impact drivers arrested for DUI,” said Austin personal injury attorney Brooks Schuelke, who is not involved with the case. “Filming police in public has been a touchy issue for years. This particular case may change how the police handle DUIs.”
Law enforcement prefers not to be photographed for a number of reasons, but some Texas criminal defense attorneys suggest that their resistance is mostly grounded in fear. Officers have been known to violate a client’s constitutional rights during illegal DUI/DWI arrests across the state. Historically, police have stopped suspected drunk drivers not because of reasonable suspicion that a driver may be inebriated, but because of a hunch or quotas to fill.
The police have also made documented mistakes in administering DWI/DUI tests. In some cases, the equipment was not properly calibrated to take a breath sample, the test not administered correctly or the officer not properly trained. In other cases, samples were not properly stored or preserved.
Currently, when a suspected drunk driver is stopped, he or she is filmed. However, the police do not like to be filmed in return.
This ruling may turn the tables on the police and allow alleged drunk drivers to film or take photos of police as they are being arrested. As a result of this decision, 37-year-old Antonio Buehler will proceed with his lawsuit.
“Filming the police as they are arresting a driver may ensure that the police follow the law and that the citizen’s constitutional rights are being followed to the letter,” added Schuelke.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC
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Austin, TX 78701
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