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  1. #1

    Default Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Washington

    Case Documents:
    1) Discovery Request (thanks Barry for the template):


    2) Discovery Response:


    As you might have noticed that the PA's discovery response only includes a copy of the infraction notice (with a cover letter) and a blank officer's report page. My brief knowledge gained through this forum tells me that there isn't enough evidence to prove the infraction is this case. Please correct me if you think otherwise. Also, I am wondering what the officer means by "638" on the infraction notice, right above the SMD check-box; Could it be the SMD Serial No.?

    I am preparing for my first ever hearing and wanted to get the community's opinion on this case. I will post more case details as things move forward. Will be looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

    Thanks for being a part of this community,
    (just another) Washington Driver

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket at Kcdc, Wa (is Discovery Inadmissible)

    Quote Quoting Washington Driver
    View Post
    My brief knowledge gained through this forum tells me that there isn't enough evidence to prove the infraction is this case.

    I believe you are entirely correct. This is about as close to a "slam-dunk" as you can get, IMHO. I'd simply make a motion for dismissal for lack of evidence. If the prosecutor (and there probably won't even be one present) tries to use the Notice of Infraction as "evidence", you should object, citing IRLJ 3.3 (c), which states (in part):

    Quote Quoting IRLJ 3.3 (c)
    The court may consider the notice of infraction and any other written report made under oath submitted by the officer who issued the notice or whose written statement was the basis for the issuance of the notice in lieu of the officer's personal appearance at the hearing....

    Note the conjunction "AND". The court may consider the NOI AND the sworn statement -- that means BOTH. It does not say the court may consider the NOI OR the sworn statement. Also, since the officer's sworn statement was not provided in discovery, if they try to introduce it, object pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 (b).

    Either way, move for dismissal due to lack of evidence. Yep, you should have a winner.

    Barry

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket at Kcdc, Wa (is Discovery Inadmissible)

    Wow. That is amazing. What a lazy cop. Or possibly a lazy prosecuting attorney.

    The only thing I should add is make sure that the prosecution doesn't try and present the officer's notes to the court. If that happens make an objection that you never received the officer's sworn statement as part of the discovery materials. How can you prepare a defense if you can't see ALL of the evidence agaisnt you. ESPECIALLY when you requested it.

    Yeah, def. a slam dunk. Have fun!

    Brendan

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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket at Kcdc, Wa (is Discovery Inadmissible)

    Quote Quoting BrendanjKeegan
    View Post
    The only thing I should add is make sure that the prosecution doesn't try and present the officer's notes to the court. If that happens make an objection that you never received the officer's sworn statement as part of the discovery materials.

    I really appreciate you "adding" that, Brendan. OP probably didn't understand when I said:

    Quote Quoting blewis
    View Post
    Also, since the officer's sworn statement was not provided in discovery, if they try to introduce it, object pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 (b).

    Thanks for clarifying that....
    Barry

  5. #5

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    If the PA calls the officer as a witness can I object since the list of witnesses provided in the Discovery is empty? If yes, what rule would my objection fall under?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    The prosecutor WILL call the officer, if the officer is present. You can try to object, but I think that will just give the judge a good laugh. The point of discovery is to avoid "surprise". As I said before, you'd have a hard time proving "surprise", when YOU issued the subpoena.

    Barry

  7. #7

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    I did not subpoena the officer. I am trying to prepare my defense in case the officer shows up. I guess my options are to ask officer questions about the infraction and motion for dimissal pursuant to 3.1 (b).

    My earlier question was because I do know the following two (given that the PA didn't mention any witness in the Discovery response):
    1) Can I object if the PA introduces a witness according to the IRLJ rules.
    2) Does officer count as a witness or does he have a different role in case he shows up.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    Sorry about the mix-up. That will teach me to post when I'm in a hurry.

    Barry

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    The ticket was dismissed. Feels good to win.

    There was no prosecuting authority present. There were around 8 attorney's present for defending the traffic infractions of their clients and around 15 people who were there to defend the case on their own.

    The judge entered the courtroom and explained the procedure. Made it very clear that the bar for deciding guilt was very low (51/49%) compared to criminal cases. She also explained the deferral and mitigation option details. According to her criteria the deferral option was available to people who have not deferred a ticket in the last 7 years and this was their first or second ticket ever; Also, the infraction should not have been more than 20 over the posted limit. She had the same 20 over rule for mitigation as well. She stressed that people who do not choose to mitigate or defer would not be allowed to have either of those options once the trial begins. (although, she made an exception to this rule in of the cases and allowed mitigation).

    After the explanation she asked people if they wanted to take the deferral option. Those who were interested said their names and the judge checked her computer before accepting the deferral request. If the option wasn't available she offered mitigation. Around half of the 15 people either mitigated or deferred.

    Then came the time for trials. Every one requesting the trial was provided with the case documents (infraction notice and the officer's reports). The first person was called upon and asked to take the oath. And then he started explaining his case. After about a minute into the case, the judge asked the defendant (to my surprise) about the officer's report. And the defendant said that it was empty. The judge dismissed the case. I took the benefit of the opportunity, raised my hand and went up next. The judge skipped the oath and jumped straight to the questions, my Name and the notes on the officer's report to which my reply was "empty". And the case was dismissed in under 30 seconds total.

    Around 50 percent of the people who underwent the trial had empty officer's report. The remaining were declared guilty because all they did was plead not guilty by only trying to express their emotions on why they thought they didn't over speed without any sensible (legal, to be correct) arguments. For those of you who contest with an officer's report please, please mention something that the judge can use in your favor instead of just please. I understand it's tough but that your only chance - read the following for an example. After my case was dismissed I waited to until all "pro se" trials were finished to watch the lawyers. These attorney trials were amazingly faster, including their technical language of course. A lawyer came up with a case that had the officer's report included and the officer had mentioned that he checked the laser gun before and after the ticket. But the lawyer's argument was that the results of tests were not mentioned and (to my surprise) the motion was granted and the case was dismissed. This trial was as quick as mine but with the officer's report being on the file. After this I think that it's almost impossible for an attorney to loose an infraction matter.

    With or without the lawyer the power is in your hands. Be aware of the law and try to make the most of your knowledge.

    (just another) Washington Driver

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington - Is Discovery Inadmissible

    Well, congratulations! Always nice to win!

    Thanks for the update.

    Barry

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