If police stop a car for any reason, the officer will turn on their dashcam if there’s one in their vehicle.
Why does this matter? The issue is that people don’t know what happens after an arrest or other routine traffic stop because police can keep dashcam video footage for up to seven years.
In Iowa, police keep dashcam video for two weeks before they have to notify the party that’s been arrested and ask them if they want a copy of it.
What law says about dashcam videos?
There is no federal rule or regulation on how long should be kept but some states do put restrictions on when an officer has to destroy their recording. For example, in Indiana officers must delete any recordings from their dashcam after 60 days unless there’s evidence related to a crime involving death or serious bodily injury; then those files are protected by federal court order and can’t be destroyed without permission from the judge overseeing the case.
In California, only certain types of criminal cases involving violence or sex are required to be preserved for use in future legal proceedings.
In Florida, recordings that contain audio of a homicide victim’s last words or the death scene must be kept forever. Other types of video files may only be kept for five years before they’re deleted unless it is part of an ongoing investigation and has an evidentiary value at trial.
Can you get access to the dashcam video from the police?
Some states require officers to delete any recording after 60 days there are instances where videos with evidence related to crimes involving death or serious bodily injury won’t be destroyed without permission from a judge.
If you do want a copy of your dashcam video for yourself then I recommend requesting one in writing from police or filing an open record request with them for any videos related to your incident which will give you time limits as well since requests are typically granted within 72 hours but there is no guarantee on how long this process will take so if you file early enough (before the recording is deleted) then you’ll be guaranteed access.
However, the law may differ depending on the jurisdiction you live in, so if you’re worried about waiting 72 hours and can’t come to a decision on your own then I recommend contacting the department that handles records requests for more information.
In conclusion, the dashcam video of your car can be accessed if you file open records request with the police department.
I hope this post was helpful to you and I’ll keep working on getting more information for future posts!
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