As of May 1, 2019, police departments in Austin had a backlog of 2,600 videos dating back to June 2018 that still need to be turned over to prosecutors to pursue drunk driving cases. It takes an estimated ten months before this exchange of crucial evidence occurs, which results in lengthy delays in the prosecution and resolutions of DWI cases. Although the county purchased the technology two years ago to effectuate the transfer of the video within three weeks, various factors are now leading to substantial delays.
First, a police team of five full-time employees is handling a much larger number of cases than it did two years ago, but with the same amount of employees. Officials now are looking at adding light-duty officers to the existing team to chip away at the backlog of videos.
Additionally, technological advances have necessitated the transmission of body camera video rather than dash camera video, which can double and triple the overall amount of video in a case. When combined with an increased number of cases, the cases are merely moving through the system more and more slowly.
Another problem is the Internet connection that the team is currently using to transmit the footage. The current connection does not permit the video footage to be sent quickly, which has law enforcement officials exploring a new location with better Internet speeds.
KVUE is now reporting that the Austin Police Department and other criminal justice officials have made some strides to address the backlog of DWI video footage. At present, the team dedicated to this task is keeping up with 1,500 pieces of new evidence and tackling the backlog of videos at a rate of about 200 cases per month. As anticipated, the police agency assigned officers currently on light-duty to assist with the project and moved employees to the District Attorney’s office for better connection rates.
Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to assisting individuals in resolving their criminal charges. We know that criminal proceedings can be intimidating and overwhelming for those who are facing potential penalties for criminal charges. We will work with you to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled criminal defense attorneys today.