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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I have just come accross a sale on ebay selling a pdf that has information on:

Speed detection devices.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

? Avoiding fines and get fixed penalty tickets overturned.<o:p></o:p>

? What to say when stopped, and, more importantly, what NOT to say.<o:p></o:p>

? Why you should never produce your licence when stopped at the roadside (even if you have it with you).<o:p></o:p>

? Sample letters you can send to police and the courts which will terminate most penalties at source.<o:p></o:p>

? Why defending yourself in court may be easier (and more profitable) than you think.<o:p></o:p>

? How you can make a claim against an uninsured driver.

? The amazing law most wheel clampers don't know about but every motorist should!<o:p></o:p>

? Get a pay-and-display parking ticket cancelled - a simple but devastatingly effective ploy<o:p></o:p>

? How you may be able to avoid a parking ticket simply by driving off!<o:p></o:p>

? Three 'loopholes' in the law which may get you off a drink-driving charge.<o:p></o:p>

? How to avoid being disqualified, or if you have already been disqualified get the duration cut by half.<o:p></o:p>

? Four ways to undermine the prosecution's evidence against you in court.<o:p></o:p>

? How to legally get a Blue Badge and park (almost) anywhere, even if you're not disabled.<o:p></o:p>

? How far over the speed limit you can go without risking detection. The answer may surprise you.

I purchased one and had a good read!! some of the things in there are crazy and all legit!. Its well worth a good read. I put a link to it in the 'items for sale on ebay'.

Has any1 else read one of these??
 

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There is too much of it.
Upload it to somewhere.... Or you're not the one selling it are you?

Is it like the quality ebay items such as the famous "Service indicator reset" or "unlock your true speed" [;)]
 

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Maybe post up some of the highlights then?

How about what not to say when you get stopped.

"sorry i was speeding officer, but your wife called and told me to get over quick she cant wait to see me again"
 

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Old School UkMkivs Member
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Its not called 'drivers survival handbook' by any chance is it?

Written by a retired traffic copper?

I bought a A5 green paperback book called that a few years ago and it contained that sort of info

Very helpful and sly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
na its not the drivers handbook. what I can do is post a section once every week. it will be Deanos story time.........
 

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Not read it in detail, but all the ebooks are near enough identical..

.. Didn't realise you could upload files other than pic's[:$]

EDIT: won't upload its to big if its ok with the mod's I'll copy and paste, it's not that good though. There's alot of ref's to USA type details
 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION 3

JAMMERS AND DETECTORS 4

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I?M STOPPED? 6

FIGHTING, PLEA BARGAINING, OR PAYING THE FINE 8

PLAN AHEAD 10

YOUR BASIC RIGHTS 12

YOUR TIME IN COURT 16

RADAR UNITS 24

TYPICAL CROSS EXAMINATION QUESTIONS 26

LASER 35

PHOTO RADAR 36

VISUAL ESTIMATE, AIRPLANE RADAR, AND VASCAR 37

PACING WITH ANOTHER VEHICLE 39

BONUS SECTION 39

APPENDIX A 41

APPENDIX B 42

APPENDIX C 44

INTRODUCTION

The most important aspect to consider in avoiding a traffic ticket is to be aware of where you are

in the current traffic pattern. Many people will tend to slow down for the first two days after

receiving a ticket. But a lot of people don?t. This chapter is designed to assist you in keeping out

of trouble in the future.

Make sure that you are driving the proper type of car. If you?ve got a really brightly colored car

such as a red sports car, it looks like it?s doing a hundred miles an hour even when it is standing

still. There are a great number of quality fast vehicles that don?t draw as much attention. In order

to be safe in any case, make sure that you have the proper electronic equipment to protect you

from any further ticketing. Make sure that you are aware of your situation on the road. Be alert

at all times. Keep your eyes on the on ramps on the major highways, because they are a favorite

spot for the Police. Try not to come up on a hill at 80 to 90 miles an hour because you have no

way of seeing what?s over the hill and if there is a patrol car there with a radar unit, you?re going

to be nailed before you even see him. Be on the alert for any hiding places that a patrol car may

be, behind trees, around bends, or even in front of a large truck that?s driving in the right hand

lane. That truck is going the speed limit because there?s usually a patrol car right in front of him,

waiting for you to pass.

Try to keep your driving in the right hand lane as often as possible. The police know that

speeders are in the left hand lane, so make your pass in the left and get back into the right hand

lane as soon as possible. Try not to weave through traffic because you will draw attention to

yourself. The patrol people will stop you for reckless driving as well as speeding. That could be

double the problem. Keep your eye on your rearview mirror, especially at night, for any car that

may be approaching from the rear very quickly. If you?re cruising at 75 or 80 miles an hour down

the highway and a car is creeping up on you, it?s entirely possible that it?s a patrol car doing a

"Paced Speeding Ticket," or it?s another speeder who can act as a "Rabbit." A "Rabbit" will be

explained shortly.

Occasionally as you?re driving down the highway, you will be passed by someone that we will

refer to as a "Rabbit". You should have no problem following this rabbit at a reasonable

distance, a quarter mile or so, because they will act as a target for the radar trap and will get

stopped prior to you even arriving at the scene. Just don?t forget about your rearview mirror

because the patrol car may have spotted him from the distance and is going to follow behind you

to try and overtake him. And he could get to you first.

Make sure that you keep an eye on what cars are parked on the side of the road, regardless of

their make, model, or color. If it?s not a police car, or an unmarked car, it could be another

motorist in trouble, or it could be somebody who?s just about to pull onto the highway. Be ready

to move out of their way.

Know where you are at all times. It can be your best defense in avoiding a speeding ticket.

JAMMERS AND DETECTORS

A radar detector is a very important piece of equipment which will allow you to stay one step

ahead of the traffic officer. First off, you need to know that radar detectors are illegal in Virginia

and the District of Columbia. In those two areas of the countries, anyone who has a radar

detector accessible to the driver or the passenger with available power is facing a $300 fine in the

District of Columbia, and between $25 and $100 in Virginia.

You may have the other consideration that police in those areas will probably confiscate the

evidence until your trial. Radar and laser detectors are not legal ANYWHERE in this country for

commercial vehicle drivers. Remember that a radar detector does not make you invincible. You

are still subject to the laws of this country, and a patrol officer usually will not give a warning to

someone if they have a radar detector. The detector however, is your best defense against getting

a ticket.

Radar detectors are changing on a weekly to monthly basis nowadays, and being upgraded

periodically. They are getting better. When shopping for a radar detector, there are several

factors that you should consider. First, get the widest range of detection that you possibly can,

and try to include XK and Ka bands. Have different indicators for each one of these bands. A

separate light or sound for each. Make sure that the unit has a good visual display and either a

mute or volume button so that you can adjust it according to the ambient sounds in your vehicle.

Try to find a unit that has at least a hundred and ten decibels (dB) sensitivity. And remember that

the most expensive unit is not always the best. Your unit should be mounted on your windshield

in a high position, near the vicinity of your rearview mirror. This gives you the widest possible

detection range. Use your detector at all times. It?s not just for that long trip, or for highway

driving. A speed trap can be set up in the city just a block or two from your home, so be prepared

for any eventuality.

One nice thing about keeping your radar detector on in the city is that the more traffic there is, the

more often the police officer has to activate his unit. Every time he activates his unit you should

be able to know that he is around. Police officers nowadays are moving more and more to the

instant on type of radar detector. Using this piece of equipment, the officer just has to pull this

trigger when you?re in sight and he gets an instant reading on what your speed is. He feels that

this is accurate, but we?ll show you later as you read on in this manual that there are some pitfalls

with this method.

If you do get caught in an instant on situation, don?t slam on the brakes. You can take your foot

off the accelerator and decelerate slowly. If the officer notices that you are screeching to a halt

he?ll know that you?ve been speeding. And he?s got you! He?ll also know that you have a

detector and if you?re in one of these areas of the country where it is not permitted, he?s got you

for that ticket also.

The most important consideration is the fact that you should get a good radar detector, place it

high up on your windshield, and use it at all times. The benefits of the utilization of your radar

detector will be far greater than any of the subsequent pitfalls that may occur.

JAMMERS

There are two types of jammers available on the market today. Passive and Active. There are

two main areas of differences in these two types. Passive jammers are legal because they do not

transmit any radio frequencies, and active jammers do transmit and are quite illegal.

Lets look at these two types a little bit more. The bottom line on passive jammers is, don?t waste

your time or your money with them. They are not going to be as effective as an active jammers.

Take money that you would have spent and get a good detector. Get one that you feel will work

as advertised.

Active jammers transmit, they work, and they are illegal. If you are transmitting a radio beam

you must have an FCC license. Your police departments and your local townships are licensed,

but the officers don?t actually need to be individually licensed. The radar units that police are

using can tell when they are being jammed. Imagine racing down a highway and you?re doing 85

to 90 and your jammer is showing a steady 35 to 40 to the officer in his unit. The officer knows

that you?re speeding. He knows that you?re jamming him. You are obstructing justice and

breaking the law at the same time. Are you getting the feeling that perhaps your speeding ticket

will be a lot less important to him than all the other laws you?re breaking at the same time?

Laser detectors are legal. Since laser is a form of a light beam and not a radio frequency. One

good investment for your car would be a laser license plate cover. The police generally aim for

your license plate since that is an excellent reflector for their radar unit. Usually your license plate

is white and it is highly reflective, giving them a good readout. You can typically buy one of

these laser plate covers for about $30.

WHAT DO I DO WHEN I?M STOPPED?

Regardless of how good your efforts are in trying to avoid a ticket, one of these days the boys in

blue are going to get you. You?re going to look in your rearview mirror, you?re going to see the

flashing lights, and what you do in the next very few minutes may be a tremendous determining

factor in whether or not you beat the ticket. Pull off to the side of the road as far as is possible to

allow the officer to approach your vehicle after he pulls up behind you. Try not to do anything

that might be out of the ordinary, or to make your appearance before the officer, memorable. You

don?t want him to remember you. That way, if any specific details are asked in court later, he?ll

have no idea and it may blow his credibility in front of the Judge. Once your car is safely pulled

off the side of the road shut the engine off, roll your window down, and keep both hands on the

wheel. DO NOT remove your seat belt at this time. If you?re not wearing your belt, it?s too late

to put it on. Don?t bother.

If it?s during the evening or darkness hours, make sure that you have your flashing lights on.

Relax, calm yourself, and wait for the officer to approach your vehicle. If you get upset now,

you?ll cause undue attention to yourself, and you certainly do not want to do that. Generally, an

officer will ask you one of two questions. It?s either, "Do you know how fast you were going?",

and your response should be, "No, I?m not really sure." Or, "I think I was doing the speed limit."

Or, "I know I wasn?t speeding, I looked at my speedometer right before you stopped me." The

other question that you may be asked is, "Do you know why you were stopped?" Your response

is, "No Officer, I don?t." The most important factor to consider at this point is, DO NOT

ADMIT ANYTHING. Your Constitutional rights allow you to remain silent, but the officer

doesn?t have to let you know that. If you tell the officer you were doing about 62 or 63 and you

know that you?re in a 50 mile speed limit, you?ve admitted your guilt.

When the officer requests your credentials such as driver license, insurance, and registration, tell

him where they are located in the car and ask for permission to retrieve them before going for

them. This will relieve the officer?s suspicion that there may be a concealed weapon in the car. If

the officer decides that he wants to search your vehicle do not agree to this search under any

circumstances. If he says that he?ll get a search warrant, tell him to go and get one. He cannot

search your vehicle without one. He must have probable cause to search your vehicle. If he can

smell smoke from Marijuana or alcohol, he has probable cause. And those are things that are

more important right now to you than the speeding ticket you?re about to get. This is not the

time to try to argue with the officer, or see if you can beat the ticket. Give him as little as possible

to remember you by because he?s heard of all of the excuses hundreds of times before. Once he

starts writing that ticket, you?re going to get it, period. There?s no turning back for the officer or

for you. He can?t void it and say he made a mistake. He?s got to write it. And it?s yours.

While the officer is writing your ticket back at his vehicle, look over your surroundings and make

notes of as much data as you possibly can. Small details can be very important. Some of the

information that you should be on the lookout for is the type of vehicle, the license plate, and the

unit number of the police officer?s car that stopped you. Know the exact location of where you

were stopped, and the distance between where you were stopped and where the violation

occurred.

Write down the weather conditions. Cloud cover, rain, no rain, sunny, overcast, snow, whatever

it may be. Write down a list of anyone who?s traveling with you in your vehicle and please ask

them to remain quiet during the entire time that you are with the officer, unless they are asked a

question by the officer. Write down the color and the type of clothing that you are wearing.

Make note of any noticeable characteristics of your vehicle. Different colors of paint, dents,

aluminum wheels, hubcaps, anything that are small details which would be difficult for the officer

to remember later. Make sure you try to remember everything the officer says during the traffic

stop. If he has to talk on his radio, or direct another driver during the stop, make a note of that.

Many times the person who?s writing the ticket is not the one who is using the radar unit. He?s

basically the chase car. Find out if he?s the one because it?s very important to your case that you

know if the officer was the one using the radar unit. Observe the traffic in the area during your

stop and remember what the traffic was like when you were pulled over. If you can, remember

everything humanly possible about the cars in your area during your stop.

After the officer writes your citation he will bring it back to you and ask you to sign. By signing

you are merely acknowledging receipt of the citation. At that point in time, ask the officer if you

can have your court appearance moved to the county seat. If he refuses, please have him indicate

on the back of the ticket that he refused to allow you this consideration. If he does not want to

indicate that on the back of the ticket, don?t worry about it, just make a note of it in your notes.

It may be important later on. Tell the officer after you have signed the citation that you would

like to see the readout on the radar. He?s not really required to do this for you because it would

involve your safety. They would not like to see you run down by another motorist while you are

walking back to the patrol car. If he does allow you to see the radar, don?t make any comments

at all. Just make a note of who manufactured the unit or a model number. At this point in time,

don?t mention the calibration fork. We?ll explain that later on in the book, but don?t ask to see it.

If the officer knows that you are aware of the calibration fork, it would tell him that you know a

bit more about the type of equipment that he?s using, and he?ll remember you in court. And that?s

not going to help you later on down the road. After the officer returns to his patrol car, stay there

for another one or two minutes and jot down any other notes that may come into your head at the

time. The officer will usually be making notes on the back of the ticket so that he can recall them

later on in court. Don?t stay too long at the scene because that will be memorable to the officer

and you don?t want him to remember any aspects of this particular traffic stop. You?ve got

plenty of time to prepare your case between now and the time your set to appear in court. All of

the information is available to you twenty four hours a day. When you leave the scene of the

citation, pull away safely. Don?t spin your tires, don?t send rocks up into the air or a cloud of

dust. Go out with the confidence that you probably will never see the officer again.

There?s also the extreme possibility that the next time you see the officer, he?s going to be in a

courtroom, under oath, answering your questions. If you follow the directions previously noted,

you are just going to be another face in the crowd out of the hundreds of citations he wrote in the

past month. There?s a good chance that he won?t remember you, and he certainly won?t

remember what color shirt you had on, or what the weather condition was like.

FIGHTING, PLEA BARGAINING, OR PAYING THE FINE

This book is designed to show you that there?s only one choice in the three options that are

available to you.... FIGHT THE TICKET. Even if you go to court and lose, your fines still will

be no higher than they would be if you did not contest it. The important aspect to consider is that

your insurance premiums are going to go up for years. This will be far greater than the amount of

your ticket.

HOW SHOULD I PLEAD?

There are four types of pleading available to you that you can enter for your ticket.

Guilty. I made a mistake, here?s my money, raise my insurance.

Guilty with an explanation. I made a mistake, but let me tell you why, before I give you my

money, and you raise my insurance.

NoloContender. It?s the Latin translation for "No Contest". All right I?m guilty, but I just don?t

want to tell you. Here?s my money, raise my insurance."

NOT Guilty. This is what you should be interested in.

Not guilty does not necessarily mean that you did not commit the crime. All it means is that the

Prosecutor now has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you DID commit the crime. The

Prosecution has the burden of proof, not you. If the citing officer does not show up for the trial,

that?s not your problem, it?s the prosecution?s. All you have to do is, enter a simple motion to

dismiss due to the lack of prosecution?s witness.

DO YOU NEED A LAWYER?

You?re only going to need a lawyer if jail time is possible with your sentence. Some of the

citations that could involve jail time would be a DUI or a DWI. Driving a vehicle on a suspended

license, an accident involving a hit and run, or if a felony was committed while you were using

your vehicle. Drug or weapon possession, robbery, manslaughter, hit and run, anything along

those lines. If your case involves any of these points, a lawyer is definitely recommended. If not,

figure out the cost of the attorney?s fees and weigh them against the fine and how much you?ll be

paying in insurance premiums. Some attorneys specializing in traffic tickets will charge between

fifty and one hundred dollars for their services. You may be able to plea bargain for a driving

school certification in lieu of a larger fine.

You really can?t handle the above without the use of an attorney. Secure one for these purposes.

Most attorneys have a pretty good relationship with prosecutors, and they know their way around

the court system far better than you possibly can. If you feel that the pricing is okay, and the

services that you will be retaining will assist you in making a good settlement, consider one of

these people and utilize their specialties to help you out, simply because it?s easier on you in the

long run.

Once you hire an attorney, you have lost control over how your case will be handled because he

will be the one taking care of it for you. However, you do gain the advantage of his knowledge of

the legal procedures and you?re the one with the most detail as to the events surrounding the

particular citation.

Industry statistics states that if you do testify on your own behalf and you ultimately convict

yourself by stating the wrong thing, about 9/10ths of all traffic cases would not have benefited

from use of an attorney.

DRIVING SCHOOL

One of the most popular forms of plea bargaining available to you is referred to as driving school

or, another variation of the same thing. You, the Defendant agree to attend a driving school and

they provide a completion certificate from a school that?s licensed in you local jurisdiction. If you

attend and pass, the charges against you will be dropped. Usually you?re allowed to participate in

this program, once yearly. Sometimes you can get a discount on your car insurance by

mentioning that you have successfully completed driving school. Just don?t tell them that you

went because of a speeding ticket. Usually, this is the most painless way to get rid of the charges

that are against you. Driving schools normally cost $35 to $50 to attend. It?s possible that a

court cost will also be included or added to this fee. Usually, the total cost will be less than your

speeding fine. You might want to consider this possibility, if you feel that your case is weak and

you may not have a chance of winning. If you?ve got a good case built up, save the option of the

driving school for another time when you may need it.

SPEED DEFENSE

Speed defense implies that your need to speed was a determining factor in protecting yourself.

Perhaps you were doing 55 in a zone where everyone else was doing 70, and in order to avoid

the potential of an accident, you had to accelerate to match the speed of the surrounding traffic.

You might also have a tail gater behind you who is coming up rather quickly and you had to

accelerate to get out of their way, in order to protect yourself. These defenses don?t usually

work. Don?t feel that your case will be dismissed simply on the evidence that you may present

about these particular situations. It?s not a good option for you to pursue this type of defense.

There are some areas in New York State that give you an unusual opportunity to beat your

speeding ticket. The cities of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City are four of these

cities that give you the opportunity that we were speaking about earlier. In general, if you receive

a ticket in those cities, there is no way of fighting it. You don?t get to see a real Judge, you don?t

get a chance to appeal, you can?t plea bargain, and you don?t have any right to discovery. The

courts are required by law to maintain a 65% success rate on convictions in order to maintain the

revenues. The only good part of this whole system is that since you won?t be seeing a Judge, but

rather an Administrative individual, they don?t have the power to put you in jail. Your only hope

for success in this type of situation is to continue to postpone your appearance as many times as

possible and hope that the officer who issued the speeding citation does not show up on the

appearance date. That?s the only way you can possibly manage to win in a situation like this. The

system is legal, it?s constitutional, and efforts to change this system have been vetoed by the

Governors for years. Simply because they know that it generates a lot of cash flow. Just try not

to get a ticket in any of these locations.

PLAN AHEAD

Since we have now determined that you are going to take your case to court, there are a few

things that you should prepare for your defense. Some of these items are:

Call your auto insurance agency, find out how much your premiums will be affected by being

convicted on the ticket that you have received.

Check with Motor Vehicles and see how many points you have on your license, and how many

your possible conviction may add to that.

Make sure that the registration is up to date, your insurance is up to date, inspections, etc. Take

care of them before you walk into court. If you have any outstanding tickets, take care of them

before your trial.

Find out if you?re eligible for a driving school.

Check your work schedule to see if you have any conflicts that may facilitate changing your court

date. Once you?ve taken care of all these matters, or, if they are in the process of being taken

care of, it?s time to prepare your defense.

SET THE COURT DATE

First thing to consider is entering a plea and try to set a trial date. Here are three ways to enter

your plea with the traffic court. First, going to the County Clerk?s office to request a trial date in

person. Secondly, stand before the Judge, enter your "not guilty" plea and then ask for a trial

date. Third, mail a copy of your citation and request a trial date.

There?s a possibility with all three of these approaches that you will have to post bail in the

amount of the citation. Check with the court in advance to find out, so that you do have the

proper amount should it be required. After you have posted bail, if it?s required, you?ve got two

things that are going for you. First, you?ve paid your fine already. If you lose your case, your

fines paid and it?s not going to cost you any more money. Second, if you can?t make it to your

trial and they forfeit your bail, there will be no additional fees. But if you don?t post bail, and

don?t appear for your trial, a warrant can be issued for your arrest for failing to appear. Now

instead of just a simple traffic citation, you?ve got a misdemeanor charge pending against you.

Don?t let something simple get complicated by not showing up at your trial.

You are guaranteed by the constitution to a fair and speedy trial. That means that within 45 days

of the day that you entered your plea, you should be attending your trial. Watch this time very

carefully. If anyone contacts you about changing the date of your trial, you are going to have to

waive your right to a speedy trial. The only thing in your favor is that the longer the trial date is

from the actual date that you got your ticket, the better the odds are that the officer who wrote

the ticket will not be able to remember the details. The disadvantages include the fact that the

court can pick any date it chooses within the forty five day time frame. It could be that you are

not available on that day and you could forfeit your bail and the whole trial. You may have to

prepare for your trial at a faster pace if it?s less than the 45 days that you would normally allocate.

Also the details would be clearer in the officers mind than you might want them to be. If you

can?t get ready for a trial in 30 days, you?re probably not going to be ready in sixty anyway. Your

best bet is that the officer does not appear at all. The most important thing to consider is the fact

that you don?t want to waive your rights to a speedy trial.

Another little trick to remember when you?re trying to set your trial date is to find out when the

officer?s vacation time is due. Usually this time is extended as a courtesy to the court, but you

can usually use it to your advantage. If you know the officer?s vacation time, pick a day right in

the middle of his time off and try to make your court appearance to request your trial date about

40 days previous to that. Make sure that you skip over holidays and it doesn?t include a weekend.

If you follow these guidelines, try to use a day that you s elect as your date to appear to enter your

not guilty plea and request a trial. This scenario depends upon two criteria, one that includes the

officer?s vacation dates, and secondly that you are able to walk into the Clerk?s office and enter

your plea. At this point, it?s time for you to wait for your trial date to be set. Usually it?s

somewhere around 40 days after you?ve entered your first plea, in most cases. You should be

able to enter the courtroom right while the officer who wrote the citation is enjoying his vacation.

This doesn?t happen in most cases. Usually the courts notice the error and they try to schedule a

date for you. Under no circumstances should you waive your 45 day right to speedy trial. If they

reschedule your trial without your consent and it?s more than 45 days from the date that you

appeared in court originally, you have an excellent chance for a mistrial. Go to your local library,

research the case laws. Try to find out if an officers vacation time is not good cause for

continuance of your trial. This will give you some counter measures if the Prosecutor attempts to

claim that the court did have good cause to continue your trial. Just tell them what you found out

in your reading, and make a motion for a mistrial. If you?re overruled, just go on with your case

and file an appeal if you?re found guilty. Usually the case will be overturned on an appeal. Now

that you?ve entered your not guilty plea and you?ve gotten the court moving, it?s time to put all of

all your facts together and build your defense.

DMV

Every state has a division of Motor Vehicles. Their job is to control all facets of your privilege to

drive a motor vehicle. They are able to monitor your driving record and decide when and if it is

necessary to suspend your privileges. Usually they use points to determine whether or not you

have committed enough violations to suspend your license. If you do accumulate enough points,

you may have your license suspended and you may not be unable to operate a motor vehicle

during that period of time. Some states will keep the violation records on your license for five

years. Most states leave a DUI or a DWI on your record for seven years. When you?re preparing

the defense for your trial, make sure to check on your driving record. You might also like to have

a list of all the different points that can be earned on you license. Most of the DMV?s will be able

to provide you with that record on your license for nominal fee. Lets hope that you will not be

facing a potential suspension of your license for this current driving infraction. If you are, it might

be a good idea to retain an attorney. If your situation falls in the norm, you?ll probably be safe

from suspension but you may still have a mark on your license for three years from the date of

conviction and that will increase your insurance premiums.

YOUR BASIC RIGHTS

If you?ve entered into a courtroom prior to today, you know that they are rather impressive and

they leave no doubt in your mind who is in charge. Regardless of that fact you are still entitled to

certain rights. Unfortunately your rights may be overlooked in court, in an effort to get you to

plead guilty so that the court gets your money. Be aware of your rights as you are approaching

the date of your trial. Make sure to remember the following rights and keep them in your mind as

you enter into the courtroom.

*You are entitled to a speedy trial.

*You may request and are entitled to a court trial. Usually the only ruling body is the Judge.

You may have the option in some states to request a jury. You?ll probably have better luck with a

Judge than a jury of your peers in most cases.

*You are entitled to the use of an attorney. In traffic court you will usually have to pay for this

service, you won?t get one for free unless your offense could be subject to jail time.

*Do not attempt to subpoena the officer who was riding along in the police car when you were

stopped. The only thing that would be of interest to you are documents listed in the public

records in discovery sections here previously.

*Any witnesses brought into court are subject to cross examination by you. Usually it would be

the officer who wrote the ticket. That?s why if the officer does not show up, there?s no case

against you and no conviction.

*You have the right to remain silent. Don?t ever forget this as you go into the courtroom. You

never have to testify against yourself and try not to take the stand for the defense.

Later on in this manual you?ll see how important these rights are to assist you in fighting your

cause. Make a note of them and keep them handy so that you?ll be reminded of them during the

course of the trial.

REQUEST PUBLIC RECORDS

This area is important for several reasons. First of all, look up the actual violation that you were

charged with. Be aware of how it?s worded and any relevant laws that may pertain to that

particular code. You might need to access the public records provisions to obtain necessary

documentation to help you prepare your defense. You can either go to your local library or a

local Law library. Try to look at the different case laws that relate to your particular violation and

copy down any references that support your potential defense. Presume that you are going to

prosecute your own case, and write down any laws that you would use. I shall take an example

from the California Motor vehicle code to illustrate what the prosecution will need to prove in

order to get a conviction against you. The traffic violation code that we shall use is CVC22350

Unsafe Speed. "No person shall drive a vehicle (you have to be identified as the driver and the

witness for the prosecution needs to have observed you actually driving the vehicle) upon a

highway." (The prosecution has to establish where the violation occurred). "At a speed greater

than is reasonable or prudent." What do you consider reasonable or prudent? It?s merely

someone?s opinion. "Having due regard for weather visibility, the traffic on and the surface and

width of the highway." These are the factors used to establish reasonable and prudent issues "and

in no event at a speed which endangers safety of a person or property." Are you guilty of

endangering the person or of endangering someone?s property? Try to break down the codes into

bits and pieces that you can manage and figure out all the points that the prosecution needs to

prove against you. If he does not prove all these points, you have grounds for dismissal after they

rest their case.

DISCOVER

One of the rights of the defendant as part of the trial is the discovery process. Some states try to

limit this right in traffic cases. The reason is they want you to pay your fine and go home. Try to

remember that it is your constitutional right for utilization of the discovery process. You are

going to find a list of the items you need, how to write your request, and who to send it to under

the Public Records Request. Talk to your local county clerks office and find out how to issue a

discovery subpoena. Make sure that you indicate that any items on the discovery subpoena are

necessary prior to the trial date. The items you might normally need for a radar speeding ticket

are the following; repair records, manufacturers manual and specifications, a log of the

calibrations, and a copy of the departments FCC license to operate a radar unit, a copy of the

repair calibration, and accuracy of the tuning fork. The arrest record of the police officer for

three months prior to the date of your offense. His log for the day of your citation. Both copies

of your original citation. A speedometer calibration certificate, all the maintenance and the repair

records and the service records for the patrol car that was used in stopping you for your violation.

Please be aware that the prosecution can stop this request with a motion to protect. Don?t let that

bother you because if this occurs just appear at your trial and make a motion to dismiss the

charges. It might work, it might not. If it doesn?t work, ask what the prosecution is trying to

hide by denying you the information that you need to build your case. Immediately after that, file

for a motion for continuance to give you enough time to get your defense ready after the materials

are delivered. If the Judge still denies you access to the information that you want, you have an

excellent basis for a not guilty plea during the appeals process, and reversal of a guilty verdict.

Now we?re going to tell you what to look for in this documentation, so that you can use it at your

trial.

REVIEWING EVIDENCE

The repair records for the radar unit will give indication as to the dependability of the unit. If it

has frequent repair records, you?ll find that it may have a chronic problem. If there are infrequent

repairs it could mean that the unit has not been serviced properly and may not be accurate. The

manufacturers manual and specifications will tell you at what frequency maintenance is suggested

on the unit. This information should assist you with your cross examination. Check the units

frequency against the FCC also. The radar calibration log shows what time and how often the

unit was calibrated. Which means how often it was checked for accuracy. There are two court

cases you can refer to; Wisconsin versus Hanson and Minnesota versus Gerdes. During those

cases the Judge determined that calibration checking with a tuning fork should be performed

within a reasonable time after the citation is issued. In two other cases; Connecticut versus

Tomanelli, and New York versus Struck, it was ruled that a calibration by tuning fork should be

performed immediately before and after a citation is issued. All four of these case have shown

that tuning at the start and at the end of the shift is not acceptable, although this is the norm. The

FCC license is granted for a specific frequency or a specific range of frequencies. Check the

information in the manufacturers manual and specifications against the FCC?s license. This should

prove whether the officer was operating the unit legally. Calibration by tuning fork information is

necessary to show that the unit had been calibrated to what we call a "traceable standard."

Without the certificate of calibration, the tuning fork is immediately suspect as being accurate

enough to calibrate the radar unit.

The daily log record of the police officer may indicate that he prefers to ticket cars of a specific

color, make, model, or year. If there is a pattern, there may be a particular location that he writes

more of his tickets. It could be that location has bad engineering, problems with traffic control, or

visibility of the signs are bad. That could contribute to the amount of citations that are issued.

Basically it introduces doubt into the minds of the court. The daily log of the police officer will

list all of the citations that were issued on the day that you received yours. Check for a listing of

citations that are similar to yours such as, same speed, same location. That would tend to indicate

that perhaps the radar unit was locked in and the same reading was used for more than one

vehicle.

The police officer?s radar training should show 24 hours of classroom instruction and that

followed by 16 hours of supervised field training. Most of the time the officers are trained for a

very brief period of time. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has

endorsed and established the 24/16 hour criteria for training. The police officer?s copy of the

citation, meaning both sides, can be informative because the officer usually writes down his own

notes to refresh his memory and if you know what he is going to be remembering, you can bring

up other factors that he may not. The calibration of the speedometer on the patrol car should

show that it has been repaired properly and is accurate. This is extremely important, if the patrol

car was moving when the radar unit was used. Maintenance records of the patrol car may

possibly show any mechanical or electrical problems which could interfere with the proper

operation of the radar unit.

GO BACK TO THE SCENE WHERE YOU GOT YOUR TICKET

Returning to the area where you got your ticket can have several purposes. You may remember

some additional details that you forgot to write down on the day that the citation was issued, and

will also give you a chance to look at the situation and the scene in a bit more detail. If you find

that there are some factors that may sway the decision of the court at the scene, you?ll need to

prepare documentation to prove them for the trial. Your best evidence to present at the trial

about the scene would be a large diagram that documents everything that?s relevant. Try to

include the following; All the roads, with the markings on the roads and their widths, and all

traffic signals that includes signs or lights. The location of your vehicle and the officers vehicle at

the time that you were pulled over. Also include the locations after you both stopped. Put down

any structures in the area such as walls, buildings, fences, etc. Note any foliage, brush, shrubs,

hedges, trees. Any other structures around the area such as billboards, advertising banners, street

signs, anything that might distract. Put down any power line antennas, that sort of thing. It might

be important for you to take some pictures from the drivers view point to illustrate any

obstructing signage which may have caused you to miss seeing a speed sign.

The size of your diagram should be the size that will be easily viewed by anyone in the courtroom.

Keep it at a minimum of 8 x 10. Just bring these reference materials to court if they will have a

direct bearing on your case. If what you have described on your diagram is basically what is

described on your citation, it won?t be necessary to bring it in because it will only be helping the

Prosecutor with his case. If it does show some kind of some serious contributing factor, don?t

show these items until the trial when you introduce them as evidence for the defense.

CHECK OUT THE COURTROOM AHEAD OF TIME

If you?ve got time, spend a couple of hours in traffic court to get a general lay of the land.

Usually the Judge will be same as for your case, but the Prosecutor may be different. Pay

attention during your visit to the way the Judge addresses the defense, motions, or objections.

You might even be lucky enough to see another citizen try to defend their own case, and see how

he fares going down the paths of justice. Is he as prepared as you are in your case? And, if he

made any mistakes, can you learn from them? If you?re lucky there will also be a defense attorney

there and you may also be able to learn from his methods. Study the relationships between the

assistant district attorney, who is the Prosecutor, and the officer who is testifying. Usually this

will give you some kind of indication of how comfortable they are working together, and also the

amount of detail that they require during a normal preceding. Remember 95% of all traffic

violations are paid without question. This will give you some kind of expectation of what you can

look forward to before you have your moment in court.

Finally, if you find that the Judge is overruling any defense objections, you might want to file for a

continuance immediately. It can only help your cause if you transfer to another court, if it appears

that you are going to appear before a Judge that will not be beneficial to your case.

PLAN YOUR DEFENSE

Now that you?ve gone over all the evidence that you are going to review, you?ve looked at the

scene for the second time and you?ve checked out all of the documentation that you need to

support your case. It?s time to think of a defense strategy for your trial. Be aware that most

traffic tickets are argued from two different areas; a false radar reading, or a mistaken identity of

the vehicle. Your defense strategy should be comprised of several elements. They include some

of the following, Lack of a prosecution witness. This is your best chance for a mistrial. If there?s

no police officer, then there?s no witness, and you?re not guilty. It can?t get any easier than that.

Prosecution doesn?t prove the case against you. You should be familiar with all of the

specifications of the code that you are charged with violating. If the prosecuting attorney doesn?t

prove each and every item in the section of code, you should file a motion of dismissal and it is

likely that you will win. If there are technicalities, such as the officer was out of his jurisdictional

area, he cited the wrong code, or the address is wrong on the ticket. They are worth trying but

don?t expect them to get you a dismissal except for a jurisdictional issue. If you plan on using this

as your sole form of defense, you may be caught unaware when the Judge over rules on your

motion to dismiss, simply because of a simple error.

The next item could be an error on the ticket, a factual error on the ticket, whereby you were not

the driver, or you were not driving at an unsafe speed, the calibration of the unit was inaccurate,

or, it was not your vehicle that was targeted by the radar. You?ll need specific evidence, such as

the unit was not calibrated, or you?ll have to prove a procedural error on the part of the police

officer. Make sure that you keep a check list handy of everything that you want to cover during

your time in court. If the officer shows up for the trial don?t worry about it, just move on to your

next defense level. If the prosecutor has covered all of his bases, move on to the next level after

that. All that you can hope for is the best job that you can possibly do in your own defense.

Prepare an alternative plan for every single scenario. Being prepared will give you your best

advantage. Be ready to change your tactics at any time and have a good knowledge of your case.

YOUR TIME IN COURT

The first time you hear the Bailiff announce, "The people versus you", it kind of sends a little

chill down your spine. You?re entering a strange arena that you really don?t have any knowledge

about, and you?re wondering to yourself why you didn?t just pay the fine and be finished with the

whole ordeal. Relax, take a deep breath and be confident in the fact that you have spent more

time preparing for this case than the prosecution has. His only advantage is that he knows how

the procedure works. We?ll try and balance that out for your in this chapter.

LOOK GOOD IN COURT

If you have had a chance to visit a courtroom before your trial, observe how people are dressed,

so that you may dress accordingly. A normal attire will be a suit for men, and a conservative

business suit for woman. Don?t wear anything loud, flashy, or attention getting. The Judges first

impressions of you are extremely important and you want it to be lasting and favorable. Don?t let

him form a negative opinion of you before you even get started simply because of the way you are

dressed.

THE PLAYERS

People that you will contend with in your trial are listed below:

Defendant - that?s you

The Prosecutor/ADA - he?s the guy in charge of the opposing team.

The Judge - Basically he?s the referee, he?s the one who is the final authority on anything

from the final objections, the verdicts, or the fines.

The Police Officer - He?s the star witness for the prosecution.

The Bailiff - Think of him as the Master of ceremonies, and he?s also Sergeant of Arms for

the court.

The Court Clerk - that is the Administrative Assistant to the Judge.

The only additional players in the scenario may be another police officer who was at the scene,

during the time that your citation was written. If it turns out that one officer worked the radar

unit and another one wrote the citation, then both of them need to be present for your case, in

order for the prosecutor to make his case. If you don?t see the other officer or officers involved

in you case, at the time you case is called for trial, you?ve got a good chance for dismissal even

before you get started.

Just remember that the Judge being the final ruling authority can postpone you case until the end

of the day to see if the officer shows up for the trial. Be prepared to wait that amount of time.

PROCEDURES AT THE TRIAL

Below you?ll see a listing of typical events in the order that they will happen during your trial:

The Bailiff calls the case.

The defense, that?s you, and the Prosecution both reply with "Ready your Honor."

The Prosecution will give their opening statement.

The Defense will give their opening statement.

The Prosecution will present their case, they will have the police officers testimony.

There will be cross examination by the Defense.

There will be a re-direct by the Prosecution.

Any physical evidence that happens to be available will be brought to light at this time.

Any diagrams, citations, that sort of thing, then the Prosecution will rest.

If you have the grounds, you will make your motion to dismiss, on non-applicable grounds at this

point in time.

The defense case will include your witness, either you or your passengers.

Cross Examination by the prosecution.

Re-Direct by the defense, and you as the defense, will rest.

Next will follow the rebuttal of the witness by the prosecution.

The closing arguments by the prosecution, by the defense, and then the Prosecution gets another

chance to make a follow up and respond to the Defense closing. The verdict will be issued shortly

thereafter, and then you will get sentenced if guilty.

THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION

The Prosecution?s job is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt through the use of testimony and

evidence that all the vehicle code sections that you?re accused of violating, had in fact been

violated. Typically, the Prosecutor will attempt to prove that the ticketing officer made a visual

estimate of your speed and then verified that speed with his laser detector or, by following you

with his vehicle. Make a note of the fact that the Prosecution has a case law which supports their

side of the story and that would be the State of Kentucky versus Honeycutt which ruled that an

officer does not need to be an expert in radar operation, he only has to be competent in the use of

radar.

The purpose of your objections during the trial procedure and the prosecutions presentation do

have two purposes. First of all, you want to break up the pace that the Prosecutor and the

arresting officer or the ticketing officer are accustomed to. Primarily you can do that through

objections. Anything that appears to be subject should be objected to. Take a look at what

follows, for some of the typical objections that you have available to you. Even if you are

overruled, the police and the Prosecution have to break up their rhythm in order to wait for the

Judge to make a ruling.

While the Prosecution is presenting their case you should be making notes as to what was said.

Make comments concerning your upcoming cross examination so that you are prepared before

you get up to talk. Keep a tally, a running record of the various points of the vehicle code in

question. As the Prosecution proves that point of your case, check it off. This will be able to

give you a record as to whether or not he has covered all of the points in the case law. If all of

the code issues are not checked off and you know that they have not been covered by the

Prosecuting attorney, you have reason to make a motion for dismissal. Keep in mind that the

Prosecutor must prove all the points in the code beyond a reasonable doubt.

Now lets take a look at some of the typical objections that are used in a traffic ticket trial.

TYPICAL OBJECTIONS

The entire purpose of the objections is to keep the evidence limited to specific testimony which is

specifically relevant and admissible to the case. The only one who has authority over this is the

Judge. He can say nothing about evidence that is produced in the case unless it is objected to.

There is a fine line between how many times you can object and not be reprimanded by the Judge

and also how few times you can successfully defend your case without being run over by the

Prosecuting attorney.

Here are some of the objections that you may come across in a typical trial.

OBJECTION, INDEPENDENT RECOLLECTION When the officer begins his testimony,

more than likely he?s going to read from the copy of his citation. You should immediately object

to this since the officer is required to testify from independent recollection. You should also ask

to see what the officer is referring to even though you have received a copy of the citation

through subpoena. More than likely the Judge will allow the officer to use his notes to refresh his

memory, if the officer indicates to the court that he requires the notes to testify properly. This

starts everything for dismissal because the sixth amendment to the Constitution guarantees you

the right to be confronted with the witnesses against you. In this case, the officer and his

testimony, not the citation, are the witnesses against you. If the officer can not recollect the

circumstances of your ticket, he may be consider incompetent to testify. You have to prove that

the officer is unable to testify without his notes to make him an incompetent witness. If the back

of the citation and the officer?s notes signifies SB 124, then all he can testify to is SB 124, not

Southbound on highway 124. As you?ll soon see the notes on the back on the officers citation

can hurt the officers? testimony and help you greatly.

OBJECTION, FOUNDATION A situation arises when any witness testifies to something that

has not been previously established as evidence. For example, the officer states that the

speedometer on his police vehicle read 70 miles per hour. It is inadmissible in court unless the

calibration for the speedometer had been entered prior to that point in time.

OBJECTION, SPECULATION This type of objection occurs when a question is asked of a

witness and they introduce evidence that they could not possibly know. For example, they

introduce the fact that you could clearly see a street sign or a speed limit sign and there?s no way

that they could know that. Only you could be aware of that fact.

OBJECTION, CONCLUSION In this case the Prosecution would ask the officer to draw a

conclusion based on an insufficient amount of facts. For example, the officer volunteered that you

saw a stop sign and chose to ignore it. He cannot make that decision because he does not have

the facts.

OBJECTION, NARRATIVE The officer is allowed to testify in the form of a story rather than a

question and answer procedure. He has given a narrative. You have a right to decide if a

particular question would have an objectionable response. If he tells the events without

questioning, you have no opportunity to object.

OBJECTION, NOT QUALIFIED It?s similar to the previous objection, but in this instance the

witness testifies to something that they have no expertise in. If the officer were to testify that

your muffler was defective, he doesn?t have the expertise to make that determination since he?s

not a muffler mechanic.

OBJECTION, HEARSAY In essence this is anything said outside of the courtroom by someone

who?s not a witness. The officer may not state what a witness told him at the scene. The actual

witness would have to appear in order for that testimony to be entered into the court record. If

one officer wrote a speeding ticket for a radar violation for another officer, both officers must

testify, only to the extent of how much they were involved in that particular incident.

OBJECTION, IRRELEVENT These are events that may or may not have happened and have

no bearing on the particular law that you are accused of violating. The officer may state that you

have had a hostile attitude towards him, which has no bearing on the ticket. Your attitude is not

relevant in the speedy fulfillment of the law.

OBJECTION, IMMATERIAL It?s very similar to the previous objection. It may be closely

related to the previous facts at hand, but it?s really not close enough to remain admissible.

Perhaps the officer would bring up your driving record. Your prior traffic convictions have no

influence and should have no relevance to the ticket that you were fighting at the present. You

cannot be judged on your past performances. If that were the case and you?ve had 12 speeding

violations in the past three years, they would be assuming that you would be guilty of this

violation.

THE PREEMPTIVE OBJECTION This is when you realize before the fact that the officer is

going to drop some bit of information that could be damaging to your case. In this case, you

would object prior to the officer even mentioning it, just to disrupt their rhythm enough so that it

would throw them off. Be advised that you are only permitted to be able to use this once or twice

during the course of the trial because you are going to aggravate the Judge. If you abuse this type

of objection, when you have a real objection the Judge will just overrule automatically without

hearing your case.

CROSS EXAMINATION

During the cross examination period you?re acting as your own defense lawyer and your main

purpose is to discredit any witnesses testimony. In order to create a reasonable doubt in the eyes

of the court, remember your opponent, the Prosecution has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt

that you are guilty of the infraction that you are accused of. The key to succeeding in this type of

examination is to find the details that the police officer can?t possibly remember and focus in on

them. You should always be prepared for this type of questioning and the best means of being

prepared for that would be by knowing the answers to the questions that you are going to ask.

You should be prepared for any answer that the officer gives. His best answer will be the facts

that he already knows. Lets say you ask the officer the color of your car. On the back of your

citation he may have it indicated that your car is blue. What you want to know is what shade of

blue. If he tells you the proper shade of blue on your car, move on to another subject. If he tells

you he doesn?t know, he can?t remember the facts of his case, and if he tells you it?s white, he

hasn?t a clue and can?t remember what he wrote on the citation. That happens to be great for you.

Don?t ever argue the case with the officer. Just ask questions. You?ll have your chance in your

case later in your motion to dismiss. The next criteria for cross examining questions is whether or

not the questions will help your case. Don?t ever open up areas or details of an investigation that

could hurt your defense. You don?t want to ask a police officer why he didn?t write you a ticket

for a broken tail light and only one for speeding. It would be in the best interest to ask specific

questions such as, did you see the oil tanker truck in lane two? You don?t want to ask him

whether there was any other traffic around because it would be too easy for him to get around

that question. If you ask him specifics he has got to remember specifics. It?s also good idea to

start all of your questions with "Isn?t it a fact?" Simply because the officer is under oath and must

tell the truth. If he can?t remember, he must state, "I can?t recall". The more responses like that

you get, the stronger your case . If the officer can?t recall the details then he certainly does not

rule out reasonable doubt. Covering the Prosecution?s examination of the officers testimony, note

the strong points and the weak points of the officer?s testimony. If he states that he has the

required 24/16 hour training in radar, leave that alone. If he does not have the required training

and was trained by another officer attack that very hard. There are a number of general questions

that may be advantageous to be asked during the cross examination. Some of them should

include the location of the defendant when the officer first spotted his vehicle. Did the officer

always have the defendant?s car in site with an unobstructed view from the first contact, until the

defendant stopped? What was the distance between the officer?s vehicle and the defendant?s

vehicle at first contact? What was the weather like during the entire pursuit time. What kind of

traffic was encountered during the entire pursuit time? In what lane was the defendant?s car

during the first contact? What was the exact time of day when the offense occurred. How many

passengers were there in the defendant?s vehicle. What is the specific color of the defendants

vehicle. Did the defendants vehicle have any noticeable structural differences? Perhaps custom

wheels instead of factory hubcaps. The whole point of these questions is to discredit the officers

testimony as much as possible. If he continues to say I don?t remember and I can?t recall, you are

building up a reasonable doubt towards the witness? testimony. The next bright move would be

to move for a dismissal.

You may request a motion for dismissal for several issues. We are going to try to cover the

different motions for dismissal you might want to try to use during your trial. If you?re lucky, this

is as far as your trial will proceed.

Motion to Dismiss

Due to the denial of a right to a speedy trial. This should be used at the beginning of your trial if

your actual trial date was more than 45 days from the time of your original arraignment. Your

date of arraignment is determined by the date you stood up in court and pleaded not guilty. This

is a very rare instance and would cause great embarrassment on the part of the court and the

prosecutor. If you get to invoke this motion consider yourself very lucky.

Motion to Dismiss due to denied access to evidence necessary to your defense.

Again this would be used in the beginning of the trial if your subpoena was ignored by the

prosecution. In most instances the judge will delay the trial and order the prosecution to provide

you the information you requested. You don?t want to waive your right to a speedy trial, but you

may have to decide if it is worth getting your subpoena information. Its a pretty fair guess that

the judge will not let the speedy trial clause slip by.

Motion to Dismiss due to insufficient evidence.

The time for employing this particular strategy is immediately after the prosecution rests his case.

If the prosecution did not prove all of the required elements of the vehicle code you are charged

with violating, then you may invoke this motion. That?s why we suggest that you keep a check

list of all relevant points that the prosecution needs to prove during the trial. It will be a handy

reference chart when you explain to the judge that you were never identified as the driver, what

road you were on, or any other relevant factors to the vehicle code.

Motion to Dismiss due to incompetent witness.

An extensive cross examination is necessary in order to prove that the prosecution?s witness,

mainly the police officer, does not have the recollection necessary to bring back the details of the

day in question when you received your citation. If you can get him to state numerously that he

does not recall, it is up to the judge in his infinite wisdom to decide whether or not the officer

really remembers what happened on the day in question.

Motion to Dismiss due to inadequate procedures.

This may be utilized if the officer does not follow proper procedures, such as calibrating the radar

unit before and after his shift instead of before and after the issuance of the citation. Use the case

law to back up your claim of inadequate procedures.

Motion to Dismiss due to insufficient evidence, specifically a missing officer.

This is used in a case where you have two (2) police officers. One is manning the radar and the

other is issuing the citation after the chase. Both officers must appear in court since one cannot

testify for the other. This would also apply if the single officer not only monitored the radar, but

was in pursuit at the same time. If he does not attend the trial or show up you may move to

dismiss. You usually won?t have to make a motion if a primary officer is missing. The

prosecution will generally drop the case because he knows he has no case without the officer

present.

The layered defense.

The strategies for beating a speeding ticket basically follows a layered defense. In a layered

defense you will want one of the following to occur. The officer or officers do not appear. Your

right to a speedy trial was denied, or you employed various motions to dismiss after the

prosecution rested their case. After these strategies have been exhausted, it time to move to the

defense presentation.

The following will serve as an example of how to introduce evidence. Lets say that we are going

to utilize the introduction of a diagram of the scene of the crime. The clerk of the court will mark

the document with an indicator. Usually exhibit A, B, C etc. It will then be shown to the

prosecution so that they have the opportunity to object to the presentation of the materials. You

will have to identify the document as a diagram of the intersection of X & Y streets. At this point

proceed to explain how this diagram will relate to your case. After you have done this, you must

move that Exhibit A be introduced as evidence, otherwise, that document or any other document

does not automatically become evidence. Once you have introduced all of your evidence, you

have a decision to make. Are you going to testify on your own behalf or not. You do not have to

testify and you are under no obligation to do so. If you do not testify, you deny the prosecution

their right to interrogate you under oath. You also have to consider what you?re going to testify

to. If you know you were going 62 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone you certainly cannot testify

that you were doing 55 mph in that zone because you would be committing perjury, and that?s

another crime you don?t want to be involved with. Regardless of what the crime is, you?ve

admitted your guilt and you?re now subject to another fine. Your only salvation when you take

the stand in your own defense is that your testimony and your witness will outweigh the

prosecutions case and cause them to lose. After you have testified and your evidence has been

presented, if you elect to take the stand, you are ready to rest your case. Make sure that the

exhibits that you wanted to be brought out into the trial as evidence, are taken into account by the

court. Once all those items are introduced, you can rest your case.

Bring up their mistakes because they have to prove that their case is correct. Stay strong in your

presentation because the prosecution will get one more final word after you are done. Try to be

brief in your presentation. If you take far too long, the judge and the jury will stop paying

attention to you. State your case, sit down and wait for the verdict. If you find at the end of your

trial, that you are found guilty anyway, it?s time to begin your appeal. First of all, an appeal is a

bit more complicated than a self represented client defending themselves in court. Hire an

attorney. An attorney is going to want one thing out of you, and that?s money. You?re going to

have to give him money up front, he?s going to represent you during your case and when the trial

is over, win or lose you?re going to have to pay more money. Court transcript will be necessary

for the lawyer to go over to review all the facts of the case. When you do go in for your appeal

make sure that there is a court reporter present in order to take a transcript of your trial. If there?s

none there, request one from the judge. He will provide a court reporter for you. If he does not,

you already have your grounds for an appeal.

RADAR UNITS

Today most radar units are extremely accurate. There are some conditions that must be met

however, and the conditions are as follows:

The road must be flat and straight. There has to be good visibility, there needs to be a minimum of

traffic and the officer has to be properly trained to interpret false signals generated by the

equipment. Its very rare to find these four conditions existing at the same time. There are a lot of

errors that can happen in routine traffic radar operations.

How the system fails

The national Bureau of Standards tested the six radar units most often used by police

departments. All of them produced signals that were false from police radios or CD units. All of

the units produced panning errors, when used either out or in of the police cars. There were

shadowing errors that appeared on all the units when the police cars speed was added to the

targeted vehicles speed. 24 models were tested by the International Association of Chief?s of

Police for five different manufacturers. Those results were even worse than that conducted by the

National Bureau of Standards. In spite of the errors found, none of these units were dropped

from use. Some of these units are still probably in operation around the country today. Radar

errors can be a combination of many factors but are all linked to one of the following 13 types of

errors found.

1. Panning - This happens when the hand held unit is swept across the dashboard of the car

or the control unit mounted to the dash of the car.

2. Mechanical interference - the a/c or heating fan in the police car, alternator, ignition

noises, rotating signs near the roadway, anything mechanical that is operating in the vicinity of the

roadway can throw off the readings.

3. Shadowing - all moving radar units have this problem since the targeted speed is

calculated by subtracting the speed of the police car from the closing speed of the target.

4. Batching - this error is caused when the police car is either slowing down or accelerating

when the radar unit is still calculating the speed of the targeted vehicle.

5. Radio or Microwave interference - any outside source of a frequency transmission such as

a CB radio, Ham or police radio, radar from a local airport, cell phones, power lines, neon or

mercury vapor lights, power sub stations, etc., any one of these interference?s can throw off the

calculations of the radar unit.

6. Auto lock on wrong target - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest

that you disable the auto lock on units that have this function and the newer units no longer have

this capability.

7. No tracking history - this recommendation is most often ignored. It?s one that is stressed

in the operational manual and its impossible to avoid if you are using the unit in the "instant on"

mode. The errors occurs when there are multiple targets in the path of the radar beam and the

police officer has not observed the average speed reading nor has he checked for any external

interference.

8. Harmonic Error from Phase Lock Loop - This problem is common with moving radar

units when the police car is accelerating and the target vehicle is moving at a slow speed, typically

under 20 mph and an error can occur in the reading.

9. Terrain error - One common factor in radar units is that they always read in a straight line.

They cannot read around a turn or the other side of a hill. In this case, the radar unit may actually

may be reading another vehicle farther up the road rather than the target vehicle that is going to

be issued a citation.

10. Look past error - in this case the radar unit finds a larger vehicle between the patrol car

and the targeted vehicle and locks on that one and gives an entirely different reading for an

entirely different vehicle.

11. Multiple bounce error - These occur usually when there is an overpass in the vicinity of

the chase and the radar beam is reflected off of multiple targets at the same time. The vehicle in

question, an overpass, a sign, etc. will result in an improper reading.

12. Reflection error - If the antenna part of a radar unit is hung on the outside of the police

officer?s car , the beam can actually hit a side window or part of the window and a false reading

results which will throw off the actual reading for the targeted vehicle.

13. Arm Swing Error - When the officer swings the unit up to point at the targeted vehicle,

the speed of his arm is added to the speed of the vehicle and throws off the reading generated by

the vehicle.

In addition to these errors listed above, there are several ways that police officers can actually

cheat on the reading. This has come about because some smaller communities have found that

traffic tickets are an extremely effective way to raise money for their budget. These intentional

errors may include the following:

1. Target one vehicle that is speeding and give out many speeding tickets to other people.

2. Whistle into the CB on the patrol car which will give out a high frequency pitch and will alter

the speed that shows up on the radar unit.

3. Aim the unit at the ground and swing the unit up into the air.

4. Clock an airplane that?s flying very low.

5. Set the car mounted unit to calibrate and the unit will register whatever the patrol car vehicle?s

speed is at the time.

TYPICAL CROSS EXAMINATION QUESTIONS

In the Cross Examination section it was pointed out that the most important factor to a successful

cross exam is to concentrate on as many of the small details as possible. This section will take the

questioning for the radar portion of a cross examination and take it apart so that it will be easier

to follow. All of the questions may not apply to your particular case. Just use these questions as

an outline for your own particular direction and not as a script for use in the courtroom. You will

also need to analyze the judge's feelings as far as your line of questioning. Since you are

defending yourself, you will not likely be granted as much freedom during the cross examination.

Maintain a steady and rational pace and you should keep the judge satisfied.

The following line of questioning has been derived from the "Attorney's Deposition Guide" which

is available from the National Motorists Association.

Introductory Questions: These questions are formulated to establish the relevant facts in the case

and to create a friendly atmosphere with the ticketing officer.

1. What specific type of radar were you using when the ticket was issued?

Do not accept an answer like "Doppler Radar" or "Moving Radar"

2. Would you please tell the facts of the ticket as you remember them?

Remember your grounds for objections concerning the officer reading directly from the citation.

3. Was your audio Doppler working at the time the citation was issued?

If the officer claims he doesn't know what audio Doppler is, remember this response when you

get to the question section on audio Doppler.

4. What speed was your audio warning set on?

If the officer claims he doesn't know what audio warning is, remember this response when you

get to the question section on audio alarm.

5. Was your automatic speed lock working?

A crucial response. If yes, you have started building your case for operational error. If no, don 't

worry, there's a lot more opportunities.

6. Were you using a manual on-off switch or other radar detector defeating mechanism in

association with your radar unit?

7. Were you stationary or moving when your radar unit's alert went off?

8. Was the target vehicle coming towards you or moving away from you?

9. Did you see the target vehicle preceding the time your radar unit's audio alarm went off?

Another crucial answer. You have essentially asked the officer if he took a traffic history before

issuing the citation. If he indicates that he did see you, ask the next three questions. If he did not

see you, stop your preliminary questions here.

10. Were you able to determine the target vehicle's speed from a visual observation?

11. What was the apparent speed of the target vehicle?

12. About how many seconds elapsed between the time you first observed the target vehicle

and the time your audio alarm went off?

Establish the officer's qualifications: These questions are directed towards the officer's training on

the operation of the radar unit. Keep in mind the national standard of 24 hours of classroom time

followed by 16 hours of field training.

1. How many years have you been a police officer?

This is just a set up for questions to follow.

2. How long have you operated radar units?

Again, a set up question.

3. Have you received formal instruction and training in the operation of radar?

If he says no, contain your smile with your best poker face!

4. Under what circumstances did you receive your training?

This will likely have a variety of responses. A home run for you would be training received from

his own department by another officer.

5. How many hours of classroom instruction did you receive?

A crucial response. No officer generally has 14 hours of classroom. Remember Kentucky v.

Honeycutt is going to be used by the prosecution to justify the officer having less than the 24

hours. If the officer has less than three or four hours he is likely not qualified. This will become

painfully obvious to the officer as you continue you line of questioning.

6. How long ago did you receive this training?

If it was several years ago it could indicate that he is not current in the proper operation of the

specific unit. It could also indicate that he was trained on a different unit than was used for the

citation.

7. How many officers took this training with you?

If it was an extremely large class, try to downgrade his level of training by asking additional

questions such as: Was the training a lecture? Were you seated auditorium style? Where were

you seated? Did you have any other classes that day? Were questions allowed? Did you ask any

questions? If the officer can 't recall the particulars of his radar training class, ask how can he

remember the subject taught?

8. Who taught this classroom portion of the radar course?

If it was another officer, question that officer's training credentials and ask for the trainer's

certification. If it was the manufacturer, you have a potentially biased source of training.

9. Since your initial training, have you had any additional radar course work?

He likely has not. If he has, find out the circumstances just the same as you questioned for the

initial classroom training.

10. How many hours of one-on-one field training with a professional instructor have you had in

the operation of radar units?

If he rode along with another officer, again ask for that officer's training credentials. If it was a

factory representative, it was likely for thirty minutes or less with multiple officers in the car at

the time. Keep pressing for an accurate answer.

11. Do you believe yourself to be a competent radar operator?

What else can he say except yes?

12. Do you hold a certification in the use of radar?

Not likely but doesn't matter either way.

13. When was your initial training in the use of the (fill in the actual unit used)?

If he hasn't received specific training in the actual unit, remember your need for a poker face.

14. Did your training include the use of other radar units?

The goal is to subdivide his training and show that he has had little or no training in the specific

radar used in our case.

Establish the officer's trust in the radar unit: This is a faith check for the officer. He likely isn't

aware that you know some of the downfalls of the particular unit involved in your case.

1. Do you believe the (fill in actual unit used) to be a good radar unit?

What do you think the answer will be?

2. Have you ever encountered any problems with the unit?

Not likely, but if so, get the specifics.

3. Are you permanently assigned to one specific radar unit?

Again, not likely since most departments move units around.

4. Do you believe that there are individual differences among radar units of the same model? Will

one unit have an idiosyncrasy that another might not have?

Likely answer is they all work alike. If he has noticed differences, get the specifics.

5. Do you believe the (actual unit used) gives deceptive or false readings?

This is a crucial question. If he says no, you can likely catch him with the manufacturer's

documentation (remember your subpoena). He will likely reply that he has never seen any false

readings. If so, skip the next question.

6. About what percent of the time does your radar unit give these false readings?

Make a note of the percentage.

7. Do you believe that you can always tell when the unit is giving a false reading?

He will likely say that he can always tell, which sets up your upcoming reasonable doubt

argument later in your presentation.

8. Is there a special number or symbol that appears on the readout to indicate a false reading?

Of course not.

9. Does the unit give some visual indication that the reading is questionable?

No it doesn't.

10. How, then, can you tell that the reading you are getting is false?

He will likely say that there is no target in sight or the target is clearly not speeding. If he says

that false readings only occur when there is no target present, then that is essentially saying that

the unit never gives false readings. If he says that he can always tell that the target vehicle isn't

doing the speed indicated, finish this section with the remaining series of questions.

11. Since there are no special indications of a false reading, does that mean that all 82 mph

readings aren't false?

Of course not.

12. So the false reading could be 20 mph or 70 mph?

It certainly can be. If he says anything other than yes he is either trying to evade the questions or

technologically incompetent.

13. The radar could give a reading of say 70 mph, but you could clearly see, for example, that the

target vehicle was only going 30 mph?

He should agree with this question.

14. What if the speed limit is 55 mph, and the same 70 mph false reading shows up. Is that

possible?

He should say that this could happen. You should use the speed limit of your particular case in

all questions.

15. Presuming the car approaching you was going 55 mph, could you recognize that the radar

was malfunctioning?

If he says yes, press on with the remaining questions. If he says no then end this section with this

question.

16. If an approaching car is traveling at 55 mph and the radar gives a false reading

of 56, could you recognize that?

Not on his best day.

17. If an approaching car is traveling at 55 mph and the radar gives a false reading of 57, could

you recognize that?

Keep going until he commits to a specific speed he could recognize or until it becomes obvious

that he actually can't recognize the actual speed. If he commits to a speed within the range of

your citation, you have established reasonable doubt.

Audio Doppler, audio alarm and automatic speed lock: These are special features that most radar

units incorporate to make the officer's job a little easier. Audio Doppler is on every radar unit

except the Speedgun Series. If audio Doppler is used, it will aid the officer in confirming that the

target vehicle is speeding. The common problem is that the audio Doppler can be turned down or

completely off, thereby contributing zero to the unit's reliability. The audio alarm is a preset speed

that the radar unit will sound the alarm to let the officer know he has a fish on his line. The only

way to disenable the alarm is to dial in a very high setting such as 99 mph. The automatic speed

lock is the worst feature of any radar unit. Once the unit reads a specific speed the unit then locks

that speed in on the display. The officer then has no way of knowing if the reading is false or a

momentary reading. This section should establish the officer's normal operating methods.

1. Does your radar unit have an audio Doppler? That is, a continuous audio signal tone that

converts the radar unit's Doppler shift into an audible tone?

This answer should be yes unless the radar unit is a Speedgun. If it is a Speedgun, skip to

question 13.

2. Does the audio Doppler have a volume control?

It does.

3. Do you ever use your audio Doppler?

If no, ask the question one more time and skip to question 13. If he says yes, press on.

4. About what percent of the time do you use the audio Doppler?

Make a note and subtract from 100 % for question 10.

5. When you operate your radar unit with the audio Doppler on, do you operate at full volume?

Unless he can't hear at all, he should say no.

6. At what volume do you normally operate the audio Doppler?

This is important if it is a very low setting.

7. Do you ever turn it off?

Unless he answered question 4 with none, he will likely say yes.

8. Why do you turn it off?

It is extremely annoying, any other answer is a cover up.

9. Does the audio Doppler ever interfere with your use of the police radio or conversation with

other officers?

Of course it does.

10. So you operate your radar unit with the audio Doppler turned off about (fill in the number

from question 4) percent of the time.

11. During the remaining time, how often do you operate the radar unit with the volume on soft?

Note this percent amount.

12. Do you consider the audio Doppler a valuable tool to prevent operator errors?

This is important if he replies "no" and it ends up that he didn't use it during your citation.

13. Is your radar unit equipped with a dial which will allow you to s elect a speed above which an

audio alarm will sound if a violation speed is detected?

All radar units have this feature.

14. Let's refer to that feature as an audio alarm. Do you commonly use this feature of the radar

unit?

He has to unless he sets it so high as to never work.

15. About what percent of the time do you use the audio alarm?

If he doesn't say 100%, then ask him how he disengages the alarm.

16. If the speed limit is 55 mph, what speed do you normally dial in as the pre-set violation speed?

Note the speed, but this answer isn't crucial.

17. Do you find the audio alarm to be beneficial?

He will likely say that it is sometimes useful.

18. If a violation speed causes the alarm to sound, you only need to flip a switch to lock in that

speed on the radar unit?

That's how the unit operates.

19. Does the radar unit also have a mode which will allow the unit to automatically lock in the

violation speed?

Yes, it does.

20. Do you ever use the automatic speed lock function?

If he says "no': ask the question again and emphasize the word "ever" while giving the officer a

skeptical look. If he still says no, end this question section here. If he says yes, press on.

21. About what percent of the time do you use the automatic speed lock function?

Note the amount.

22. Do you find the automatic speed lock convenient?

Of course it is.

23. Do you use the automatic speed lock for any other reasons?

This should be interesting.

24. Was the use of the automatic speed lock included in your training?

This answer doesn't really matter.

Determining if the officer uses a visual backup: The typical officer has a standard pattern of

testimony. This pattern normally indicates that the officer observed the defendant's vehicle doing

approximately X mph and he then used the radar unit as a backup to his visual estimation of the

speed. This is pure fantasy since the maximum distance a highly trained officer can make a visual

identification from is approximately 500 feet. The radar unit can make the same identification for

up to 5,000 feet. As a result, the audio alarm will sound before the officer can make the visual

identification. This section is designed to verify this fact and try to get the officer to make a

statement that will come back to haunt him later in your presentation.

1. Are you familiar with the term "traffic history?" I want to verify that this term refers to the

continuous observation of the traffic by an officer.

2. With regard to speeding tickets, it is normal for an officer to observe the traffic patterns for

several seconds - usually three to five - before he sees what he believes to be a speeding violation.

In other words, three to five seconds before the radar unit sounds the audio alarm. Do you agree

with this assessment?

He will have to in order to keep up the fantasy of the radar for backup.

3. With this definition in mind, have you EVER taken a traffic history prior to issuing a speeding

citation?

He should say yes. If he says no, refer to the answer to question 5.

4. What percentage of the time would you say that you take a traffic history?

This number will likely be very high.

5. Do you feel that it is important to take a traffic history in speeding cases?

He will likely say yes. If he says no, then you have a valid argument that he was relying solely on

the radar unit.

6. At what approximate distance can you determine the exact speed of a target vehicle?

Most officers will say about 500 feet. If he doesn't give you a real answer, set up a specific

scenario, such as, in the median of a level and straight, uncrowded highway. If he still doesn't

answer suggest the 500 foot figure. If he doesn't accept 500 feet, adjust the number until he

agrees to a specific distance.

7. When you take a traffic history and make the visual estimate of speed, do you do so before the

radar unit sounds the audio alarm?

This is a very crucial question. If he says yes, he's had it since the radar unit has a range of at

least 1000 feet. Proceed with questions 8 and 9. If he says no, then he hasn't taken a traffic

history. Finish all the rest of the questions in this section.

8. What is the approximate range of your radar unit?

He will likely say he doesn't know. Toss him a high figure in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. If

he still doesn't know ask if he would be surprised to know that the radar unit has a range of at

least 3,000 feet. if he says yes he would be surprised, you just caught him in a crucial technical

question.

9. Despite knowing this range you still contend that the radar unit does not sound the audio alarm

before you are able to identify the speed of a vehicle?

The real escape for him is the answer "no". He won't say that, he will most likely say sometimes

it does and sometimes it doesn't.

10. If the radar unit sounds the audio alarm before you have determined that the target vehicle is

speeding, how can you say that you have taken a traffic history?

He will have to say that the alarm alerts him to the presence of a potential speeder.

11. Do you look at the radar unit to see what the reading is?

He will likely say that he looks. if he denies looking he has to admit that he knows the vehicle is

going at least as fast as the audio alarm setting.

12. Does the fact that the audio alarm has sounded influence your judgment as you make your

visual estimate of speed? In other words, are you more likely to agree that a target vehicle is

traveling a certain speed since the audio alarm has already acknowledged this fact?

He should agree. If he doesn?t ask him why he doesn't just run the audio alarm setting up so high

that it will never go off?

Determining knowledge of beam width and range: Remember that Kentucky v Honeycutt will be

used to show that the officer does not need to be an expert in the field of radar. You are trying to

demonstrate to the court that the officer lacks certain basic knowledge that he should have.

1. Do you know what the normal range of your radar unit is?

Get him to give you a figure of some sort. Then give the manufacturer's data if you have it. If not

it will likely be at least 3,000 feet.

2. At a distance of 1,000 feet, how wide is the radar beam?

Again, try to pin him down to a figure of some kind. Figure a traffic lane to be 12 feet. In reality,

a 12 degree beam will measure 287 feet at a distance of 1,000 feet while a 24 degree beam will

measure 574 feet.

3. How far away from the unit will the beam travel before it covers one lane?

Again, get a figure. The true amount is about 50 feet but most officers will guess around 500

feet.

4. With what degree of confidence can you aim your antenna at a specific lane of traffic at a

distance of 500 feet.

The answer is no confidence at all.

5. In the stationary mode, you can operate to record traffic going away from you or coming

towards you, is that correct?

This is correct.

6. Can the radar unit distinguish between traffic directions?

It will pick up traffic in either direction.

7. In the moving mode, can the radar unit pick up traffic in both directions?

The Speedgun 8 unit can, most all others can only pick up traffic coming towards the radar unit.

8. What types of things will stop the radar beam? For example, will the radar

read through bushes and tall grass?

Radar can pass through light brush

9. Can you get the speed of a vehicle around a curve or over a hill?

Not even possible. Remember, the beam travels in a straight line.

10. Will the beam bounce off a metal building or sign?

Certainly.

11. If the beam bounces off something could it pick up the speed of another vehicle at an angle to

the radar unit?.

Absolutely.

12. Can a high-voltage power line interfere with the radar beam?

Again, absolutely.

13. What about neon signs or street lights, can they cause interference?

Notice a pattern here?

Final questions: These are designed to apply the specifics of your case against the answers the

officer gave for the typical operation of the unit.

1. Could you again recall the facts of this particular citation?

2. Was your audio Doppler on at the time and if so how loud?

3. What speed was the audio alarm set for? Did you make any adjustments to it during your shift?

4. Was the radar unit's automatic speed lock engaged?

5. Were you using a manual on-off switch?

6. Were you in a stationary or moving mode at the time?

7. Was the defendant approaching you or traveling away from you?

8. Did you see any other traffic around the defendant's vehicle? If so, what

types and where were they located?

9. Was there any traffic moving in the same direction as you?

10. Did you see the defendant before your audio alarm sounded?

11. Did you determine an estimated speed of the defendant's vehicle based on your visual ident-

ification? If so what was your point of reference?

12. How many seconds passed between the time you first saw the defendant and the time your

audio alarm sounded?

13. Were there any power lines in the area? Any cars or trucks with CB radio antennas? Were

you using your police radio at the time? Was your police car's engine running at the time?

14. As for the calibration of the radar unit, at what times before and after you wrote the

defendant's citation did you use the radar unit's internal calibration function?

15. At what times before and after you wrote the defendant's citation did you use an external

tuning fork for calibration?

16. In your opinion, what is the difference between the internal calibration and the tuning fork

calibration methods?

17. Do you feel that one calibration method is more accurate than the other?

Questions 14 through 17 are critical to establish the calibration procedure followed by the officer.

Remember that case law has shown that the officer should calibrate, with tuning forks, prior to

and immediately after writing a citation.

LASER

Laser and radar serve the same purpose but they are really different entities, which are achieving a

common goal. Radar uses a radio beam and measures at the speed of sound while laser uses a

light beam and takes measurement based on the speed of light. A typical radar beam is between 15

and 18 degrees wide. Laser is considerably more precise with a beam width of one sixth of one

degree. At a distance of 1 mile a radar beam can expand to over 500 feet wide. A laser beam will

only expand to 19 feet wide. At a more common distance of 1000 feet radar will expand to over

100 feet wide, while laser expands to only 3 feet wide. Despite its accuracy, laser is not

unbeatable. It is affected by weather conditions. Fog, clouds and rain can significantly reduce the

operating range. You may not use it through a windshield, and it must be used as a stationary set

up. Calibration and maintenance may only be done by a factory trained specialist at an authorized

repair facility. Laser beams usually target a vehicles license plate. In order to work properly,

light must reflect off the surface of the vehicle and the license plate is designed to be highly

reflective for that purpose. If you have a low vehicle with little or no chrome, it is difficult for a

laser to detect you. In order to avoid a laser, you should coat your license plate with a high gloss

clear coat so as to deflect the beam.

Before using a laser beam, it should be calibrated by using all three of the following methods:

The self test button should be used and the resultant should be 8.8.8.8.

Pointing the unit at a stationery target should result in a reading of 0 mph. The audio and sight

tones should be tested by sweeping across a telephone pole.

In this country, the most commonly used laser detector is the Marksman LTI 20.20. The

manufacturer says that they will have a beam width of two feet at a distance of 1300 feet. The

accuracy is claimed to be precise within 1 mph up to 60 mph and within 3 % for speeds over 60

mph. This unit does have some downfalls. The Marksman has an unusual distribution of beam

intensity which gives you changes in the aiming point. The Marksman can actually detect another

vehicle within five feet of the target vehicle. In order to prepare against a laser defense you have

to know what the jurisdiction for laser cases is in the area that your citation was issued. There are

only a few states that have given laser judicial notice, which basically is a legal ruling that

establishes specific evidence as beyond dispute. Radar has judicial notice in every state. If there

is no judicial notice entered in the state in which you are appealing your ticket, the prosecutor

needs to have an expert witness testifying to the accuracy and reliability of the unit. If that witness

is the manufacturers representative you can have him disqualified since his company has a

financial interest of that particular case, and he may be impartial. New Jersey Superior Court

Judge Reginald Stanton stated in his June 13, 1996 ruling that he was not convinced of the

accuracy of the LTI Marksman. He ruled that any readings taken with that unit would not be

accepted as evidence in any pending or speeding ticket cases. If the state in which you are

appealing your ticket has been awarded judicial notice you might want to review the New Jersey

case when you prepare. The rest of the case is very similar in how you would handle a radar

defense. Concentrate on the training of the officer, the self test methods and the calibrations of the

unit, what the weather conditions were, and the amount of traffic that was traveling at the time

the citation was issued. Your best bet still is that the officer does not show up in court. You

should however, be properly prepared in case he does.

PHOTO RADAR

Photo radar is basically a computer system hooked up to a radar speed gun, with a camera

attached. What happens is when the radar gun detects a certain speed the computer triggers the

camera to take a picture of the front and rear of the vehicle aiming at the license plate and the

driver. Afterwards, the citation is written up and mailed to the driver at their registered address.

Its all very neat and simple for the law enforcement agency. However, it is extremely easy to beat

this type of ticket in court. Your easiest defense is to simply throw the ticket away. If it does not

come with a return receipt that requires a signature, there is no proof that you actually got the

ticket and they cannot prosecute you on that. What the legal system wants you to do is just send

in the fine and not ask any questions. This can be a big money maker for some communities.

One other form of defense to utilize on your behalf is the fact that when you are accused in court

you must be faced by your accuser. Obviously the computer cannot appear in court as a defense

method for the prosecution. Also, you do not have to identify yourself as the driver of the vehicle

because it would violate your sixth amendment rights against self incrimination.

There are two ways to beat a photo radar unit, and basically make the photos useless in a court of

law. First, remove your front license plate. At the worst you could get a minor repair ticket,

which would be very easily corrected. Or you could put a clear coat of paint over the license

plate. The coat allows you to read the license plate with the naked eye, but causes an extremely

high glare on the camera lens and therefore the numbers underneath the glare are

indistinguishable. Potential sources of defeating the ticket are usually not needed simply because

statistics show that most of the radar photo pictures are not legible because either the license

number cannot be clearly read, or the make and/or model cannot easily be determined, and the

driver is obstructed and therefore cannot be identified. The photo radar speeding ticket is one of

the easiest to defend against, most cities and states have abandoned the system all together.

VISUAL ESTIMATE, AIRPLANE RADAR AND VASCAR

VASCAR is an acronym for Visual Average Speed Computer & Recorder. This is simply a small

computer that will compute the vehicles speed based on the time it takes to travel a specific

distance. Basically it?s distance divided by time equals speed. It?s usually hooked into the patrol

car?s speedometer. One of the more devious applications of VASCAR is when an officer passes

you on the highway at a significantly higher rate than you are traveling, it gives you a false sense

of security. A few miles down the road, you will find the police officer waiting for you, since he

knows the exact distance he has traveled, and the exact distance that you have traveled, he can

compute your speed and issue you a speeding ticket. This is considered a speed trap in

Washington and California and as such is illegal in those states.

Plane speed detection - This is very similar to VASCAR as the officer in the airplane measures the

amount of time it takes a vehicle to cover a certain distance. The officer then computes the speed

of the vehicle and radios it to a patrol officer on the ground who stops the car and writes a ticket.

Having marks on the ground or highway are considered illegal in California as they are

considered a speed trap. There are a few disadvantages to airplane speed detection which can

work to your benefit in court. Usually the officer uses the airplane to pace the vehicle on the

ground and get their speed. You must explain to the courts that the airplane speeds are measured

in air speed which is relative to the surrounding air. If the airplane is traveling into the wind, the

speed is slower than if the aircraft was producing the same amount of power with a tailwind.

Also, it may be difficult to determine whether it was actually your vehicle that was spotted from

the air, since many cars look alike from such a great distance. This could be the basis for a sound

defense in court. A most advantageous problem is that this system relies on two different officers.

Consequently, both officers need to be in court for a conviction. It?s difficult enough to get one

officer there at a specific time and the odds of bringing both into court at the same time are slim.

If both officers do happen to attend your trial, request of the court that one officer be removed

from the courtroom so that each may be interrogated individually, and possibly contradict each

other which would give you the basis for a defense of reasonable doubt.

Visual Estimate - Basically this is another term for guessing. The officer is relying on his training

as a police officer in order to convict you. It can be extremely easy to defeat this type of ticket.

It is very rare that you are going to encounter this type of citation because the officer and the

court know they have only a minimal chance of defeating you if you challenge his ability to

visually estimate speed. If you do have to counter his abilities to visually estimate speed, take any

object and hold it straight out from you at arms length from your shoulder. Drop the object from

that point, and ask the officer to tell you how fast the object was traveling before it hit the ground.

To make it harder, use two different items, a heavy one and a light one and repeat the test. If you

receive two different answers, you know he is guessing because all items will fall at the same rate

of 32 feet per second squared, regardless of their weight. Make sure you have that data available

to you so that you will remember it. If you measure the distance from the floor to your

outstretched arm, the following table will give you a listing of the actual mph that that particular

object was traveling just prior to it hitting the ground.

If the distance traveled is: The speed would be:

3.5 feet 10.2 mph

4.0 feet 10.9 mph

4.5 feet 11.6 mph

5.0 feet 12.2 mph

5.5 feet 12.8 mph

6.0 feet 13.4 mph

Let us presume that you received a ticket for going 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. If you drop the

item from a height of five feet, and the officer estimates that the item was traveling at a speed of

15 mph, you can see from the chart above that he was off by 2.8 mph. Before you enter into

court, figure out the ratio factor between the speed that you were alleged to have traveled, which

would be 65 mph, and divide that by the actual speed of the item that you had dropped from 5

feet which is 12.2 mph. This gives you a ratio factor of 5.3. Since the officer estimated that the

object dropped was traveling at 15 mph he was off by 2.8 mph. Multiply 2.8 times the 5.3 ratio

factor and you will find that the officer was off by as much as 14.9 mph in his visual estimate. At

this point, the officer will know he is defeated and the judge will just wait for your motion to

dismiss.

PACING WITH ANOTHER VEHICLE

Pacing simply means that the officer followed you with another vehicle, attempting to maintain a

constant distance and referring to his speedometer to gauge your speed. In this case, the

calibration of the police car is critical to your defense. The defense strategies that we outlined

earlier may not all apply since the officer does not have to be specifically trained in reading a

speedometer, and it is unlikely he was following the wrong vehicle. Your best bet is that the

officer does not appear in court and that the prosecution fails to prove all the points in the specific

section of the vehicle code. Review the cross examination sections that we have discussed earlier

and also the radar ticket cross examinations. These questions should get your thinking on the

right track in order to prepare the questions for the motor pacing case. Some of the more

important items for you to remember are the following:

Make sure the officer is giving recollection of the incident and not reading directly from the back

of the citation.

Make sure that the officer testifies that the unit was calibrated at a certain date, and that the

calibration certificate is present in court. Also, the qualifications of the technician that calibrated

the unit should be available. Review the officers testimony carefully and also the prosecutors line

of questioning. If they leave out any of the points covered in the vehicle code, you have grounds

for motion to dismiss. Don?t expect that this will automatically happen, because the judge may

allow the prosecution to reopen their case if they do omit something. Ask the officer a series of

questions concerning the other traffic on the road. Ask him if during the time he was pacing you,

he passed any other vehicles. If not, that would indicate that you were traveling at the same speed

as the other vehicles at that time of day on that section of road.

Ask the officer as to the exact distances covered from the time the officer began to pace the speed

of your vehicle until you were stopped. You would also want to know the estimated distance

between the two vehicles at all times. Review the math and see if the officer actually had to speed

up in order to close the distance between your vehicles before he pulled you over. It?s possible he

could have used the accelerated speed and used that speed as the basis for the ticket.

BONUS - OTHER TYPES OF TICKETS

Parking Tickets:

If you get a parking ticket, pay it. If you have an exorbitant number of tickets you may consider

fighting them, but you may be better off just paying them. Also, consider yourself lucky that your

car was not towed.

Repair Ticket:

If you get a ticket for a minor repair such as a rear tail light lens that is broken, a head light that is

out, fix the problem; it will take care of the ticket. The easiest way to avoid getting a ticket is to

blend in with the crowd. Keep your car in good repair. It will pay off in the long run.

U turns:

You should prepare before you arrive in court in order to defend this type of situation. Research

the vehicle code and look for the particular section of code that gives all the details that must be

proved against you. The prosecution and the ticketing officer have the burden of proof in order

to prove you guilty. Most vehicle codes will specify when a U - turn is illegal. Usually it is within

a residential area and within so many feet of an intersection. Check with your local zoning office

and see what type of district you are in and then return to the scene, measure off the distance from

the corner where you made the U - Turn and refer to different land marks on the side of the road.

Your best hope is for an officer that does not show up in court. Should he show up, you can give

the prosecution the tiniest details and hope that these smaller known facts will cause the officer to

slip up and contradict his testimony.

Red Lights:

These types of tickets are difficult to beat simply because it is your word against the officer?s as

to the position of your vehicle at the time that the light actually turned red. The most important

thing that you will have to prove is the position of your vehicle at the point that the light turned

red. You have to be able to prove that you were not in the intersection at that time. The best

location for the officer in this type of case, as far as you are concerned, is behind you or at least

parallel to you. That would make it difficult for the officer to assess the exact position your car

was in at the point that the light turned red. If the officer was approaching from a right angle, it

may be difficult for him to give an accurate view of your vehicle and you may even state that he

was not able to see your vehicle and the traffic light at the same time. There may also be some

obstructions that may prevent him from having a clear view of the intersection such as hedges,

fences or buildings that may be in the way. This could bring up the possibility of a theory of

blocked visibility which may assist you in defeating the ticket.

Stop Signs:

Stop signs are very similar to red lights in the fact that you have to defend them in about the same

way. If the officer is directly behind you, it?s difficult to assess the exact position of your vehicle

in relation to the stop sign. When an officer is checking to see if your car actually stopped at a

sign, the nose of your car will actually elevate slightly when it comes to a complete rest. The best

place for an officer to observe this is from a 90 degree angle to your vehicle. If it is behind your

car, he obviously can?t see the hood of your car and make the determination. Basically any

position that?s perpendicular to your vehicle is impossible to win, since the officer has a complete

view of your vehicle.

Appendix A Public Records Request Form

In accordance with State Statute / Code _____________, I am requesting access to ____copy /

copies of the following records:

1. Officer _____________'s training records that pertain to his / her instruction / certification and

continuing education of traffic speed enforcement and to the use of the speed detection device

that was used to ascertain the speed of the vehicle described in citation #_______________.

2. Officer _____________________'s daily log for the day of ______________.

3. Officer _____________________'s radar log for the day of ______________.

4. The name, model and serial number of the speed measuring device used to ascertain the speed

of the vehicle described in citation # _____________ and the serial numbers of the tuning forks

used to test the speed measuring device.

5. Copies of maintenance and / or certification records, for the last twelve months, of the speed

measuring device that was used to ascertain the speed of the vehicle described in citation #

_______________.

6. A copy of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license that authorized the issuing

police agency and operator of the speed measuring device to lawfully operate the device on a

specific frequency and / or range of frequencies.

7. A copy of both sides of the officer's copy of citation # _________________.

8. Other record(s) needed:

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

The records that I am requesting DO / DO NOT need to be certified or their authenticity verified.

If there is an additional charge for this, I understand that I must pay for that charge.

I am requesting that the requested records be mailed to me at the following address:

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

_______________________________________________

I will pick up the records upon notification that they are available.

Signed ______________________________________

Date ______________________________________

Appendix B Notable Case Law for Radar Tickets

Listed below are ten significant case law examples which pertain to the use of radar in speed

enforcement by police departments. The first two cases deal primarily with the reliability and

accuracy of radar. The next six cases all deal with the various aspects of police officer training and

field testing of the radar units. The last two cases specifically address the K-55 model radar gun

by M.P.H. Industries, Inc. of Chanute, Kansas.

State of Florida v. Aquilera (1979). This famous case is known widely as the Miami Radar Trial.

After a local television reporter showed a house clocked at 28 mph and a palm tree clocked at 86

mph, the story broke nation wide and radar was quickly shown to be less than accurate. In this

particular case the Dade County Court sustained a Motion to Suppress the results of radar units

in 80 speeding ticket cases. The court's opinion stated that the reliability of radar speed measuring

devices as used in their present modes and particularly in some cases, has not been established

beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, nor has it met the test of reasonable

scientific certainty.

United States v. Fields (1982). The District Court in Ohio ruled that it was impossible to

determine from the radar results whether the defendant was traveling at 43 mph or whether the

Speedgun Eight radar unit was measuring the rotation of the ventilation fan at the sewage

pumping station next to the officer's car. The court also found that the officer was not qualified to

operate the radar unit since he did not know the requirements for correct operation of the unit. In

addition, the officer did not calibrate the unit before its use.

Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Honeycutt (1966). This case is a very common prosecution

weapon against the 24 hours of classroom and 16 hours of field training requirement. In this case

the court ruled that an officer should not be required to know the scientific principles of radar.

The court also ruled that the officer only needs to know how to properly set up, test and read the

radar unit. As such, a few hours of instruction should be enough to qualify an officer to operate

the radar unit.

State of Connecticut v. Tomanelli (1966). In the case, which is the same year as the Honeycutt

case, the Supreme Court of Connecticut ruled that "outside influences may affect the accuracy of

the recording by a police radar set sufficient to raise a doubt as to the reliability of the speed

recorded." The court also stated that tuning forks must be proved to be accurate to be accepted as

valid tests of a radar unit. In order to establish the accuracy of the radar unit the operator must

testify to the following:

1. That he made tuning fork tests before and after the defendant's speed was recorded.

2. That the tests were made by activating 40, 60 and 80 mph tuning forks and by observing that

the unit responded correctly in each case.

State of Minnesota v. Gerdes (1971). The Supreme Court of Minnesota ruled that where the only

means of testing the accuracy of a radar unit is an internal mechanism within the unit, and there is

no other evidence of the motorist's speed other than the radar reading, the conviction cannot be

sustained. The court also established the following conditions for proving the accuracy of the

radar unit:

1. The officer must have adequate training and experience in the operation of the radar unit.

2. The officer must testify as to how the unit was set up and the conditions the unit was operated

under.

3. It must be shown that the unit operated with a minimum possibility of distortion from external

interference.

4. The unit must be tested with an external source, such as a tuning fork or an actual test run with

another vehicle that has an accurately calibrated speedometer.

People of New York v. Perlman (1977). The Suffolk County District Court ruled that the radar

device was not proved to be accurate since no external test had been performed before or after

the arrest. This case is significant since it established the criteria of testing before and after a

citation is issued.

State of Wisconsin v. Hanson (1978). In this landmark case, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin set

minimum conditions for the use of radar as evidence. Sufficient evidence to support a speeding

conviction with moving radar will require testimony by a competent operating officer that:

1. He had adequate training and experience in radar operation;

2. The radar unit was in proper working condition at the time of the arrest;

3. The radar unit was used in an area where there was a minimum possibility of distortion;

4. The input speed of the officer's car was verified, the car's speedometer was expertly tested

within a reasonable period after the citation was issued; and

5. All testing was done without the use of the radar unit's own internal calibration device.

State of Florida v. Allweiss (1980). The Pinellas County Court ruled that the testing methods for

radar equipment are legally insufficient. "The use of such a tuning fork furnished by the

manufacturer in this court's opinion is tantamount to allowing the machine to test itself. A tuning

fork furnished by the manufacturer is but an extension and part of the total speed measuring

apparatus which is furnished by the manufacturer upon delivery.

State of Delaware v. Edwards (1980). The court found that evidence based solely on the reading

from a K-55 moving radar unit was not sufficient for a conviction since the unit has not been

proven to be reliable.

State of Ohio v. Oberhaus (1983). The court sustained a Motion to Suppress the results of a K-55

moving radar unit. The court further ruled that the K-55 unit was only acceptable in the stationary

mode.

Appendix C United States Radar Speed Guns

Listed below are the major radar units, along with their manufacturers, encountered in the United

States. These units account for approximately 90% of all units in use today. Remember that every

unit is equipped with an audio alarm and all but the Speedgun series have audio Doppler.

Broderick Enforcement Electronics (B.E.E.)

7155 Antigua Place

Sarasota, FL 33581

BEE- 36 K-Band Moving

Beam: 15 Degree Range: N/A

BEE- 36 X-Band Moving

Beam: 18 Degrees Range: N / A

CMI, Incorporated

P.O. Box 38586

Denver, CO 80238

Speedgun l &3 X-Band Stationary

Beam: 16 Degrees Range: 1,500 Feet

Note: Lacks audio Doppler

Speedgun 5 & 6 X - Band Stationary / Moving

Beam: 16 Degrees Range: 1,500 Feet

Note: Lacks audio Doppler

Speedgun 8 X - Band Stationary or Moving

Beam: 18.6 Degrees Range: N / A

Note: Lacks audio Doppler

Decatur Electronics, Inc.

715 Bright Street

Decatur, IL 62522

Rangemaster- 715 X-Band Stationary/ Moving

Beam: 24 Degrees Range: 7,500 Feet

Note: Longest range & widest beam on market

MVR-715 X-Band Moving

Beam: 17.5 Range 2,500 Feet

MVR- 724 K-Band Moving

Beam: 15 Degrees Range 2,500 Feet

RA-GUN KN - 1 K - Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range 2,500 Feet

Kustom Electronics, Inc.

8320 Nieman Road

Lenexa, KS 66214

MR - 7 & MR -9 X - Band Moving

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 1,800 Feet

Note: Over 15,000 units in use

TR-6 X-Band Stationary

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 1,800 Feet

MR-9 X-Band Stationary

Beam: 13.3 Degrees Range: N/A

KR - 10 & KR - I1 K - Band Moving

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 1,800 Feet

Note: KR - 10 is stripped down version of $3,600 KR-11

KR - 10 SP K-Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N/A

KR-11 K-Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: 4,100 Feet

HR - 4 & HR - 8 K - Band Stationary

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 2,000

Note: Similar to KR - 11 unit

HR- 12 K-Band Moving

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 2,000 Feet

Falcon K-Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: 2,500 Feet

Road Runner K - Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N/A

Trooper K-Band Moving

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N / A

H.A.W.K. X-Band Moving

Beam: 12 Degrees Range: 1,500 Feet

Note: Forward & Rear facing antenna

M.P.H. Industries, Inc.

5 S. Highland

Chanute, KS 66720

K-15 K-Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N/A

K-15&K-35 X-Band Stationary

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N/ A

K-35 K-Band Stationary

Beam: 18 Degrees Range: N / A

K- 55 &K- 80 K-Band Moving

Beam: 15 Degrees Range: N/A

K-55 X-Band Moving

Beam: 20.4 Degrees Range: 5,200 Feet

Note: Cheapest unit sold ($375 in NJ in 1978)

S - 80 MC X - Band Moving

Beam: 18 Degrees Range: N / A

Other Resources

The following organizations and WEB locations are recommended for additional information

concerning traffic tickets:

National Motorists Association

402 W. 2nd Street

Waunakee, WI 53597

608-849-6000

http://lwww.motorists.com

The NMA is an organization focused on drivers? rights and speeding tickets. For an annual fee of

$29.00, members receive extensive information, support and additional benefits. After you first

dues renewal, NMA will pay one speeding ticket per year for a member who fights a speeding

ticket in court and is found guilty. They also offer a variety of reading materials and legal services.

RADAR (Radio Association Defending Airwave Rights)

4949 South 25 A

Tipp City, OH 45371

513-667-5472 http://www.haus.net/radar

RADAR is an organization who focuses more on issues involving the use of radar speed

measuring devices. For an annual fee of $29.00, members receive a variety of information

concerning the use of radar. Unlike NMA, RADAR does not offer legal services or offer to pay

convicted tickets. RADAR is an excellent resource for all information concerning the use of radar.

The WWW Speedtrap Registry

http ://www.nashville.net/speedtrap/

The WWW Speedtrap Registry is a state by state listing of known speedtraps. Users are able to

view listings by state and are encourage to submit any new speedtraps not currently listed. There

is no fee for this service.

The WWW Cop Car Registry http://www.nashville.net/speedtrap/copcars/

As you can see, the folks at the WWW Speedtrap registry also run the WWW Cop Car Registry.

This site is also broken down by state and lists the known cop cars in use by local and state police

departments.

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