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Are police required to record in car dashcam video for traffic tickets in NJ, USA? A town in NJ said not all of their police cars record video.

Is there any way to find out if they aren’t telling the truth? Can I contact the police chief, mayor, or municipal judge?

How can I defend myself in court trial if the judge always believes highly credible police officers over defendants if I don’t have video?

Edit:

C.40A:14-118.1 Municipal police vehicles to be equipped with mobile video recording system. 1. Every new or used municipal police vehicle purchased, leased, or otherwise acquired on or after the effective date of P.L.2014, c.54 (C.40A:14-118.1 et al.) which is primarily used for traffic stops shall be equipped with a mobile video recording system.

https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/courts/assets/municipal/legis/pl2014_c54.pdf

  • There's almost nothing to stop you having video yourself. Why is your own dashcam not recording? – Nij Jul 7 '18 at 6:08
  • And that's clearly not reasonable when not all vehicles have cameras. – Nij Jul 7 '18 at 20:49
  • Because as you've already stated in the question, not every police vehicle has a camera at all, and not making a traffic stop simply because there isn't a camera makes no sense. – Nij Jul 8 '18 at 2:50
  • Traffic police cars aren't the only kind of police car, so I don't see any relevance to that. – Nij Jul 8 '18 at 9:21
  • Any one know what C.40A or P.L.2014 is? "C.40A:14-118.1 Municipal police vehicles to be equipped with mobile video recording system. 1. Every new or used municipal police vehicle purchased, leased, or otherwise acquired on or after the effective date of P.L.2014, c.54 (C.40A:14-118.1 et al.) which is primarily used for traffic stops shall be equipped with a mobile video recording system." judiciary.state.nj.us/courts/assets/municipal/legis/… – Traffic Jul 8 '18 at 10:46
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A related post is here.

Are police required to record in car dashcam video for traffic tickets in NJ, USA?

Probably not.

Is there any way to find out if they aren’t telling the truth?

Ask and hope you are not lied to.

Can I contact the police chief, mayor, or municipal judge?

You can contact the police chief or mayor if you can get through to them. They are not required to answer you unless you make a formal discovery request or public records request.

You cannot make ex parte contact with a judge when the other side's lawyer (in this case, the city's lawyer) is not present.

How can I defend myself in court trial if the judge always believes highly credible police officers over defendants if I don’t have video?

You can tell your side of the story under oath with any details that makes your story believable. You are correct that the judge will usually believe the police officer and not you. So, usually you will lose.

This is one reason that most people try to plea bargain their traffic tickets, rather than going to trial.

Due process rights give you an opportunity to tell your side of the story when contesting a ticket, but it doesn't give you a right to win (even if you are actually in the right) if the judge or other trier of fact doesn't believe what you have to say.

It does not appear that you have a right to a jury trial in a traffic case in New Jersey, although this depends to some extent on the kind of violation being charged, so you are probably stuck with the beliefs of the municipal court judge about who is the more credible witness.

  • Can I make a motion to tell the judge the police did not fulfill my discovery request? – Traffic Jul 7 '18 at 16:06
  • Yes, you can do that. But, if they say that there is nothing to get because it doesn't exist, the judge might deny it. – ohwilleke Jul 7 '18 at 20:14

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