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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Jefferson County District Court

    Interesting day in court. Basically I was doomed from the start because as soon as I approached the bench the Judge spilled a full cup of hot tea all over her computer and desk. Also the Trooper was present and the judge allowed him to correct and clarify every hole in his written statement.

    My first objection was rejected as the judge said the trooper followed proper protocol when he calibrated his speedometer by himself even though he is not listed as one of the two electronic engineers certified to calibrate SMDs in the affidavits.

    Next, the judge ordered a short recess to allow the Trooper time to go out to his car and grab his testing log to prove he tested the SMD the day of the citation before and after the stop. The judge didn't even bother to look at the log when the Trooper presented it to the court.

    Next, the judge thought that the Trooper's written statement "I also checked the unit externally using a tuning fork(s)" meant he used two turning forks instead of the one that I argued it meant. "Trooper ______, did you use one or two tuning forks?" Two your honor!

    Lastly, the log showing the SMD to be expired was explained by the fact that the logs sent out with discovery are often not up to date. I objected to the lack of discovery issue but again the judge ordered a short recess and allowed the trooper to go out to his car and take a picture of the certification sticker on the SMD. Of course it was current. The judge told me that I needed to state the law where it says SMDs are required to be calibrated every two years. I kept saying, its required by the WA state patrol as written in the affidavit in front of you. She relented but of course the photo provided by the Trooper showed a current sticker.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Never ever subpoena the officer. The judge will take their word above yours and allow them to correct any errors in their statement.
    2. I should have brought up the fact that the officer was reciting details of a stop that was 3 weeks old in his written state. However, the way it went today, the judge would have recessed for as much time as the trooper needed to reproduce his daily traffic stop log for the court.
    3. Even attorneys who are paid $200-300 to clear tickets lose. The one attorney there with 2 client files went 1 for 2.
    4. Stay out of Jefferson County. I'll take my disposal income and spend it somewhere else.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Jefferson County District Court

    Wow. You really got screwed. I would appeal that in a heartbeat. But that's just me.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Jefferson County District Court

    Appeal? Really? On what grounds, Brendan? If the officer had not been there, it might be a different story. But, I see no grounds -- nothing beyond "discretion" (which is REALLY hard to get overturned) -- no errors that the judge made. If OP subpoenaed the officer and he showed up, almost all hope is lost.

    Barry

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Jefferson County District Court

    The officer clearly said he was in moving mode. And his patrol speedometer was certified by himself? What makes him such an expert? I think the judge erred in admitting that the officer was an expert to calibrate his own speedometer.

    Furthermore, we have no proof that the speedometer was working correctly at the time of the stop. He said it was certified for accuracy on 10-14-10, but where does the trooper say it was checked before the stop? Could have been entirely not working.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Jefferson County District Court

    Actually, as far as I can find, there is NO requirement to have the speedometer "certified". It was NOT the SMD used to determine the defendant's speed. At best, it can be considered "corroborating" evidence. By comparing the "patrol" speed shown on the RADAR to the car's speedometer, it assures that the RADAR is using the proper "baseline" for computing the defendant's speed in "moving" mode. Those two speeds don't even have to be identical -- just close, since it has been established (there's even a case on it somewhere), that of the two, RADAR is the more accurate.

    I think your argument MIGHT persuade a trial court judge, but I highly doubt it would prevail on appeal -- there is simply no authority that the speedometer certification is necessary in a RADAR case.

    Barry

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