Consider using Attorney Sandell to Edit your Booking/Cruiser/Body Cam videos prior to Trial or Motion Date.
Why trust Dan for your for your booking video editing?
Having your video edited by a Massachusetts Trial attorney with over fifteen years of experience as well as having completed approximately fifty trials can give you some assurance that your edited video will have the content you wish. An experienced attorney and editor can also avoid the content in the video that can be harmful to your client, and also could cause a mistrial. Having the experience of trying first, second, third, and fourth offense OUI cases in Massachusetts has allowed Dan and our staff to pinpoint what is helpful in a booking video to a trier of fact, and more importantly, what is not helpful and could cause a mistrial.
By creating clips in chronological order, our staff essentially creates a highlight reel of your client’s positive actions during the booking process to display to the judge or jury that your client was not as impaired as the Commonwealth is claiming. Similar videos can be created using cruiser cameras and body cam videos as well.
Edited booking videos that contain your client’s removing articles of clothing can demonstrate good hand eye coordination. A client answering a police officer’s booking questions coherently while accurately recalling information can also demonstrate that your client is not impaired. An edited booking video may make the difference as to whether your client is convicted or acquitted.
Avoid Mistakes that can harm your client and avoid a mistrial
Without the use of an edited booking video, defense attorneys either have to play one limited section of the booking video or attempt to manually skip to multiple sections in front of a judge or jury.
If an error is made during this process, it could be devastating to your client and to your reputation.
Sections of the unedited booking video may contain references to prior arrests, prior OUI convictions, and many more comments that will not benefit your client’s defense. If you make an error like this during trial, you may be fortunate enough to obtain a mistrial. If the judge denies your request for a mistrial, than your error may be one of the few reasons why your client was convicted and that result could likely lead to a damaging of your reputation and possibly a malpractice lawsuit.
Simply having your OUI booking video edited by a professional can eliminate these risks as you know exactly what portions of your video are going to be displayed to a judge or jury every single time you hit the play button on your edited video.
Hire Dan today and increase the chances for success at trial
As many experienced criminal defense attorneys know, many judges will not allow you to play an overly long video or tolerate long delays for you to deal with any major technical issues that can occur such as a computer crashing repeatedly or a video being unable to play on a certain video player.
Many attorneys choose what I call the best five minutes option, the attorney chooses a roughly five minute section of the booking video that generally includes either the client walking into a booking room and removing articles of clothing (showing hand/eye coordination and dexterity), or a section of the booking video that contains a number of questions regarding biographical and employment information (showing accurate memory recall and an ability to speak clearly).
Often a client may make a comment during the booking process that is generally not admissible and is harmful to your client’s case. If the police officer asks “Have you been arrested before?” and the client answers anything but “No” there is a huge risk that this answer would be used as character evidence against your client. Answers involving substance abuse, mental heath issues, and having been incarcerated before clearly fall into this category.
Under the best five minutes strategy, the attorney may not risk attempting to play a clip of the booking video containing harmful information to avoid the risk of a mistrial. Although this option is understandable, it also eliminates the introduction of evidence that could have benefited your client's case.
In the alternative, the attorney may choose to try and “skip over” or “click over” the statement or behavior that is harmful or inappropriate. Using this method, the attorney notes at what time the statement begins on the video and what time it ends. For example, three minutes into the video your client admits to having a horrific alcohol problem, four prior arrests for OUI, and is actively seeking help on video for their substance abuse issues. The statement ends four minutes into the video. The attorney using this method will stand next to the laptop or device like a dog on a leash watching the screen like hawk, waiting for two minutes, fifty-nine seconds, hit pause, and then skip to four minutes, one second. There are obvious problems with this approach.
First is the fact that not all files will play exactly the same on each and every media player. The timeline on a video that plays on a windows media player may have a slightly different timeline that the same video that is played on a realplayer program, an apple media player, or another third party player. Although the notes you took for the timing on the video clip for your player are correct on your home computer, there is no guarantee that the timing will be exactly the same on the court computer or the ADA’s computer.
Second is the possibility of human error. During trial, your client may have questions that they demand to have answered immediately, a judge may call you to sidebar to discuss jury instructions, or you may just space out. Any of these issues could cause you to miss skipping over the harmful section of the booking video and as a result you could be harming your client’s case and damaging your reputation in the process. Just imagine a client flipping out because you allowed a clip of them discussing prior arrests or substance abuse issues in front of a jury.
With an edited booking video done by a professional, you can eliminate all of the above referenced issues. The video you intend to play is one entire clip that highlights the positive aspects of your clients speech, behavior, and demeanor during the booking video process. Because the final product is one continuous file, it eliminates the risks of harmful information in your video being presented to a judge or jury. The final product also eliminates the need for the attorney to stand next to the computer, the attorney can instead sit next to their client, displaying confidence that the video is giving your client every chance they deserve in obtaining a favorable result.
What are the Costs and Can you perform these services in Court Appointed Cases?
If you have a Motion For Funds endorsed by a Judge than I can perform these services for you and submit the bill to the appropriate persons at the Committee For Public Counsel Services.
For other matters, the minimum cost is $250.00 and that will cover five hours of Video Editing services. For each additional hour their will be a charge of $50.00 per hour. $250.00 is due at the time the video is received for non-CPCS matters.
Please allow for a minimum of a two week turnaround time, one month is preferred.
In the event the format you submitted your video is un-editable or another IT problem prevents the work from being completed, all monies will be refunded.