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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    Update...

    I went to the local courthouse to get the Officer's copy of the ticket, that was submitted to the state. Once again, nothing regarding the distance. No extra notes as well. Interesting thing, as I got there, two security guards were present and they asked where I was going. I told them why I was there, one security guard was extremely upset I would even consider "discovery" for a speeding citation. Right before walking through the metal detector, I put my things in a small bin, and my copy of the ticket as well, he decides to open the ticket up and start reading it, then tells me in a harsh tone "You were either speeding, or you weren't! It's that simple and you obviously got a ticket for a reason!". I was polite, although I found it inappropriate considering this had nothing to do with him. I told him, I believe a mistake was made, and someone was speeding, but it wasn't me, then went on about how this is a right we have. He finally shut up, the female security guard next to him was trying to divert him to the next person who showed up. She was also telling me to goto the traffic information center to obtain my copy, basically in case he got mad again. This guy was borderline livid someone would even dare request discovery over a ticket. I hope that's not a preview of things to come.

    I received the copy, and was told I need to call State Patrol for any extra notes or information pertaining to my ticket.

    On the way out, the same security guard asks me normally "Did you find out what you were looking for?", I said "yes" and was on my way out.

    When I got home, I contacted State Patrol, the person who answered the phone was initially very helpful. I gave her my name and citation number. She put me on hold for about 3 or 4 minutes. I knew this wasn't good. When she finally got back on the phone, she told me she had spoken with the Sarge and he informed her it is not required on their end to disclose any information to me, and that to obtain the few notes the officer left, I'd have to make a request via the District Attorney's office. I'm assuming a Court Order...for this. Really?

    What's the best way to go about this? I plan to write a very polite letter and send it via certified mail. I have the phone number, but I just worry they will look for a way to avoid giving it to me and I'd rather make this formal request in writing. I think it's slightly suspicious they don't want me to have this. I did not say that to her, but I could tell there was a change in her inflection when got back from being on hold. Almost a slight concern. I understand it is not required, but I will use it in my favor citing I was never able to obtain the distance (or the officer intentionally left it out thinking I wouldn't know this) and therefore this ticket should be dismissed, especially as LIDAR does give the exact distance one was clocked at. I'm also thinking he may have not said anything about my lack of license plates.

    At this point, I'm guessing now that they know, and they could change anything to suit themselves. My court plea date is May 23rd, and I was told the officer will not be there that day. I was told I could change my plea date to sooner, but decided to stick with the 23rd. Seems a little overboard for a speeding ticket trial to have a separate plea date. Maybe they know he's on vacation or something. Again, I'm not sure what to believe. I can tell they operate on the premise every civilian must be as uninformed as the status quo.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    I know you are in Iowa but here's a link to how it's done in Washington State. Maybe it is a similar procedure or maybe not...maybe you can cherry pick. I would think that you do have the right to see the evidence the state has against you. You would need to obtain that by requesting it from the county prosecutor or DA. Court procedures vary but the clerk of the court should be able to tell you how to obtain the discovery materials you are requesting. They cannot give you legal advice but they can explain what you must do when you come to the court to defend yourself. Good Luck!

    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89115

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    If the distance still isn't mentioned (if I obtain discovery - which I was told any had a "few notes"), is it possible to write a letter to the DA asking to have charges dismissed? If I'm denied the discovery entirely by the DA...is it possible to write the Court and request a dismissal? What are the chances of Law Enforcement suddenly changing the discovery to suit their case? I am convinced this trooper wanted to make an example of me for whatever reason, didn't think I'd research LIDAR as thoroughly as I did. I find it suspect there was no LIDAR exact distance even on his notarized version of the ticket submitted to the State.

    If the discovery is denied via the DA, would I be able to use that in my favor? I would rather not appear in court. I am very distrustful of prosecutors. Quick example..."Mr. Accused, at any time while driving did you go above the 65MPH speed limit?" If I reply, "I'm sure I went 66 or 67, but that's not that I'm here for, and 13 over is different than 1 or 2, and I did not do that". Then the prosecutor will somehow try and make me appear a liar, knowing it's normal to go a few over. If I reply "No, I did not speed ever one MPH during this trip", then that opens up questions regarding speedometer, then if I say "I'm not sure as to my speedometer being completely exact", then they will say "So, you are admitting, you may have sped, Mr. Accused, you do understand you are here to contest your speeding, and you just admitted to not knowing if you ever sped even once during this trip. You realize you are under oath?", then possibly try and accuse me of perjury, thinking by that fear, I'll admit guilt, even when I know I didn't do this.

    I have the idea to divert all questions of that nature as "irrelevant", but am concerned how that will to the judge. I understand you can plead the 5th, but I don't think that looks good. Sort of how I don't think it looks good the State Patrol is going out of their way to make the discovery difficult to get. If the DA denies it, who do I contact next?

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,260

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    Not a lot of states will allow for discovery for a traffic infraction. In fact, it's most likely going to piss of the court more than the prosecutor. The court most likely won't reply to your letter, and they certainly won't dismiss due to lack of discovery in a state that has no rules for traffic discovery. In my brutally honest opinion, I believe that you should give up on the discovery.

    Where does that leave you? Well, looks to me that you're gonna have to go to court.

    In response to prosecutorial questions, just say, "Your honor, I would like to let the record show that I am not willing to testify against myself." If you have to reply with that statement a million times, then so be it. It's your constitutional right: Use it.

    Don't worry about diverting questions. If you don't take the stand, then you can't be asked questions. If you're asked questions while making a motion for dismissal or while your crossing the officer, then I would reply by looking at the judge and saying, "Your honor, I had no idea that I was giving testimony at this time. I would prefer that you ask the prosecutor to hold his tongue to strictly objections of my line of questioning."

    The judge might be taken aback, but legally, he has to agree with you. You're not testifying - you don't have to. Even if he hates you he MUST to tell the prosecutor to back off.

    If you're polite to the prosecutor, you'll find the prosecutor won't play "dirty." Remember that childhood saying, "treat other's as you'd like to be treated?" That applies in the courtroom as well.

    Stick to your point that distance is needed to prove your guilt. There's going to be something in the manual about a beam of a LIDAR device. If you need to, try calling the police department and ask them what type of LIDAR devices are used by the department. If you're nice, I don't see why they'd hide that information from you.

    Another point I'd like to see driven home is a point about adverse weather affecting LIDAR performance. Quite a few manuals will say this. If the manual says something that could affect the device, EXPLOIT IT.

    Edit: Actually. Just thought of something. Some states have a law that will cover the inspection of public records. If you can find one, you can request inspections of the public records for the case. You can use this as a defense as well when the trooper doesn't respond to the request for the inspection of public records.
    "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." ~Robert Frost

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    I need to find out about the Traffic discovery rule. I would like to avoid court if possible. If it's standard protocol to include the distance, and he neglected doing that, it is difficult to prepare a case. If I could have it dismissed via letter that way, would be much better. I have no idea how to find out about the law regarding this...it seems shrouded from the public. There is no mention of it in any speeding codes, regarding if distance is required with LIDAR, and the topic of discovery in general regarding traffic citation. I have also read about "judicial notice" and very few states have it for LIDAR. All have it for RADAR. I'm not sure how to exploit but I'd like it to.

    If he never cited distance in his notes (I don't think he did if it's not on either ticket). I want to include that in my defense. I think it points to the truth - that he saw my recently-bought car with no plates as an easy car to make an example of, and didn't even bother with distance because he invented this entirely, or gave me someone else's speed. I'm worried to say that....although that is what I truly believe. I plan to include how without a plate, LIDAR isn't as effective then basically go into "it does not make sense you failed to include the distance, especially when I had no license plate, how can you be sure you got the right car?". Imply it was by his own design. Again, I would prefer to avoid all this if possible. I'm sure it's happened before and my situation is unique.

    If I don't take the stand, I'm also going to look automatically guilty. That is a concern of mine. Can you just say "I refuse to comment as I object to that question?" It's also hard to believe the court would get mad I'm trying to defend myself as best as I can without a lawyer by requesting discovery. Doesn't seem very impartial.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    I contacted the State Patrol again today, this time to inquire about general information regarding LIDAR. I spoke with the main instructor for LIDAR in the state (based in a different city). He did give me the gun model and specified that LIDAR distance is not required to be on the citation. I still thought he sounded surprised when I told him it was not on the citation. Also, the range of this particular gun is 3,280 feet. If I was anywhere near that range, I would have been in the 70mph zone. It took me 14 seconds at 65 mph from the speed limit change to the mile marker on my stopwatch when I retraced the route. I was still not speeding even in that zone approaching the 65 zone. Whether or not that is grounds for dismissal I am unsure. He told me LIDAR was unaffected by lack of a license plate, but I don't believe that. The manual will always specifically tell you to aim at the plate. I was also told LIDAR can be shot through the window. Initially, when I asked him the model, he gave me a brand name only. It wasn't until I asked the submodel he gave me more details. I have some information now, finally. Whether or not he calls the other trooper and tells this guy and tells him I am serious about contesting the ticket, I'm not sure. I would think with all the meth being transported through Iowa everyday they'd have more important things on their list.

    I have nothing to hide and am completely sure I was not speeding. Most states include LIDAR distance on citation, and there is good reason for that. Without it - it can be anyone's reading. Personally, given the technology is there for LIDAR to take a picture of your car, I find it suspect that manufacturers do not design guns do that. It's like they want to keep the system as skewed as possible against you.

    I'm still waiting on the County attorney regarding the officer's notes which my local State Patrol division denied from me. Specifically the distance I was clocked at. I have not received a response yet.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: What are the Defenses to a LIDAR Ticket

    They denied absolutely everything. Without the distance specifically, I cannot prepare a case. Any way I can use this in my favor? Or motion for dismissal?

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