I recently ran across video posted on a New Jersey law firm’s blog of a man singing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody at full volume after he had been arrested for DUI. Apparently this gentleman did not realize that most police cars are equipped with video facing forwards (to record a stop and arrest) and backwards towards the back seat – to record everything done or said by an arrested person.
The police have the right to record you when you are in custody. At the same time, you have the right to remain silent and you should exercise that right. If you say anything, it should be that you want to speak to your lawyer.
Singing or doing anything that could be used as evidence of your intoxication is definitely not a good idea. Should your case go to trial, you can be sure that the prosecutor will play the video of you singing or otherwise carrying on, for the jury.
If you were arrested and did engage in the type of behavior as the gentleman in this video, please tell your lawyer. In some instances we can move to suppress this evidence and keep it away from the jury. Even if you do not intend to go to trial, getting prejudicial evidence like this ruled as inadmissible will result in more favorable please negotiations.
Thanks to our colleagues at Console & Hollawell for the inspiration.