Re: Forming a Traffic Ticket Defense
Hmmmm. I don't know about this one. It's going to be an uphill battle, I think. I don't even know if I'd give it a 50-50 chance of success. But, let me lay out my points. Perhaps someone can add to them or see something I missed.
The main issue is the "reliability" of the radar unit. Here are the salient points:
- The officer does NOT specify how many tuning forks were used for the calibration check. Nor are the serial numbers listed. You'll need to go to the courthouse and get a copy of the radar certification. If the serial numbers are listed, the question becomes "why not list the serial numbers on the sworn statement?" The answer MIGHT be that they are NOT the tuning forks listed in the Certification.
- The officer did NOT check the box beside the statement, "The radar base speed reading was consistent with the reading displayed on my patrol vehicle's certified speedometer." Interestingly, the next statement, "My patrol vehicle's speedometer was certified for accuracy on 3-17-10 by Sgt. Hester" IS CHECKED! AND IT WAS CERTIFIED THAT VERY DAY!
- Also interesting is the LACK of a check mark by the statement, "The radar reading was consistent with my visual estimation of the defendant's vehicle speed."
OK, so what do we have? The officer states that he observed your car travelling "in excess of the posted speed limit." Yet, he did NOT specify what he visually estimated your speed to be. Furthermore, the radar reading was NOT consistent with his visual estimate -- whatever that was (if it had been, he would have checked that box). Furthermore, the radar "base speed" was NOT consistent with the patrol vehicle's "certified" speedometer (if it had been, he would have checked that box). On top of that, we don't know for an absolute fact that the tuning fork or forks used to check the radar's calibration were, indeed, the proper fork(s) issued for that unit.
No knowledge of which tuning forks were used, the lack of agreement between the radar's base speed and the patrol's speedometer, and lack of agreement between the radar reading and the officer's visual speed estimate throw the radar reading into SERIOUS question, in my mind.
Oh, I could have argued that the "speedometer certification" does NOT meet the requirements for validation set forth in case law, but, in this case, you WANT to show that the discrepancy is with the radar. So, having a "certified" speedometer -- that is NOT consistent with the radar -- is in your favor.
As I stated in the beginning, I don't think these points are particularly strong, but it's all I can come up with. Maybe someone else will see something I missed.
Edit: plus, let's not forget the "no subsection" argument.
Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?