Judge denies Randy Travis’ request to keep DUI footage private –
That’s Right, Police Records Are Public Records
Popular country singer Randy Travis saw a request that video of him running naked and ranting while being arrested for DUI in 2012 be kept under wraps denied by a federal judge on December 6th. The decision allowed the Texas Department of Public Safety to release the footage.
Travis tried to stop the video from being released by filing a federal lawsuit last September in Texas. He said that health privacy stipulations rendered the footage as private, but the judge disagreed in December.
Travis’ layer Marty Cirkiel characterized the case as one about ensuring that personal moments which happen to be caught on video during some sort of injury or breakdown stay private.
Travis has suffered from a number of health problems in the years after the DUI, most notably a 2013 stroke that has left him limited speech capabilities. Part of the lawsuit argued that the video should stay private because Travis is not able to properly speak well enough after his stroke to defend or even discuss the DUI.
Cirkiel plans to appeal to the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, but the case has opened up a lot of interesting discussion about what police records are also public records.
What Types of Records Can Be Made Public?
It is a public event when someone is convicted of a crime in a US courtroom. As a result, someone can go search for someone’s conviction records unless they are sealed. Records are sometimes sealed when it is someone’s first offense, if it was somewhat minor, or if they finished a probationary period and did not have another offense.
Specific police reports and violations can be accessed by the general public after submitting a request form, provided one shows a valid ID. The footage from the Randy Travis DUI was requested by open record requests. Police records usually contain the names of people involved, the date and location of an incident, and can also include other identifying information like vehicle type and specific details of an incident.
How Can I Get Police Records?
The process of actually getting police records can vary widely across different jurisdictions. Some areas have a lot of information available, while others might limit details to just a lawyer or those actually involved in an incident.
Some entities are able to process information requests online through email or a website request button, while others might ask that interested persons come apply to get information in person. Some cities and police departments have forms posted online that have to be printed out and submitted. Anyone looking for records will usually have to pay some type of fee.
Some areas have put information on crime and sex offenders in the area on databases that can be easily accessed by the public. These platforms let citizens get an idea about crime rates in their area and search for arrest warrants.
If you have been charged with a DUI and are concerned about the effects it may have on your job and housing, call us today to arrange a free legal consultation.