Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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Newspaper allowed to view arrest video

New Jersey residents who have been arrested and charged with crimes know that they can sometimes face many hurdles in the course of the defense process. One of these hurdles can be public opinion. It seems that all too often the general public seems to forget the fact that simply being arrested does not make a person guilty. Many times reports published by the media provide only some of the details in a case and make it even easier for people to jump to conclusions that may or may not be correct.

For these reasons, it is understandable that defendants are wary of what is made public in their cases. This is true regardless of who the defendant is. Today, one defendant who is likely watching the future of her case is actually a police officer with the Scotch Plains Police Department. In the summer of 2016, she was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated as well as eluding officers. The incident occured only two-and-a-half months after she joined the police force.

While many details of her case, including her blood alcohol content at the time of her arrest, are not known, it has been ordered by a judge that the Trentonian newspaper should be allowed to view the video footage of the arrest. The footage would have come from the camera mounted on the arresting officer's dashboard, known as the dash cam.

When defendants must face the public release of data regarding their cases, talking with an attorney may be helpful in better understanding the laws that protect their rights.

 Source: NJ.com, "Judge rules N.J. town must release video of cop's DWI arrest," Dave Hutchinson, March 29, 2017

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