My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington.
I've got into the same situation as some others from this forum. After perusing this forum and other websites, I came up with the following plan and would appreciate any feedback on it.
I got a notice of intfraction in mail for making a right turn at red without a complete stop (it looks like the light has just changed from yellow to red). The violation date shown on the notice is 12/30/2010. The issue date is 01/07/2011. The stamp on the envelope is dated 01/10/2011 and the notice was actually received on 01/14/2011. I’m the registered owner and, thus, listed as the defendant. However, I know for sure I did NOT drive the car that day: there are two cars in the family and I used the other one to drive to work that day. My work is ~25 minutes away from the place where the alleged infraction took place and, by pure luck, just around the time of the alleged infraction I made two calls from my office phone, which got recorded in MS Outlook Conversation History.
I plan to contest this ticket to get a sense of how these traffic hearings are held, just in case I need to deal with a more serious infraction in the future. Here is how I plan to build my line of defense, with a few questions mixed in:
1) Show up in the court in person and request contested hearing. I’d like to make sure they do not schedule it for a day when I’m out of town. Q: does the court have to honor my request for another date, if I do not like the one they assign?
2) Make a request for discovery 15 days before the hearing by bringing it in person to the prosecutor and the court and getting it registered.
3) At the hearing, check whether the timing requirements of IRLJ 2.2 are met. If they are not, move for case dismissal. Q: where/how can I learn when the notice was filed with court?
4) Produce a written statement that I did not drive the car at the time of the alleged violation (with phone call records attached), and move for case dismissal based on RCW 46.63.075. Q1: Is the judge/prosecutor allowed to force me to identify the person who used the car instead of me? If yes, can I evade this by saying something like “I do not know for a fact and I do not want to wrongfully blame anybody by speculating here” (and I really cannot be 100% sure). Q2: Are phone call records from office software considered evidence at all?
5) If the discovery is not provided to me by the hearing date, move of dismissal of all evidences that the prosecution comes up with. If the prosecutor says that the notice of infraction is the discovery, object and refer to IRLJ 3.1 (d). Q: Even if my move is upheld, is not the information from the notice of infraction considered evidence (I thought I stumbled across a statute saying officer’s sworn statement is always admissible, but cannot remember that statute now)?
6) If the judge does not uphold my objections without a reasonable explanation, move for change of the judge per IRLJ 2.6 (g) / CRLJ 40 (f), and hope for a more fair trial next time.
If none of this works, can I do anything else? The video from the camera seems to be a killer, if admitted. If it is not admitted, I guess I can request a certificate for the camera radar (without which it is not clear from standstill photos whether the car actually stopped at the stop line or not). Also, I wonder how much weight officer’s sworn statement would have if video / photos were not admitted. The statement is as follows:
“… Based upon my review of photographs and/or a video recording made by an automated traffic camera, I have probable cause to believe, and do believe, that on the date and at the time and location indicated above, the operator of the vehicle described above was in violation of the RCW 46.61.055 as adopted by LMC 11.02.005 and enforced pursuant to LMC 11.18. The photographs and/or video recording taken together show the vehicle and its license plate, portray a fair and accurate representation of the location listed above and show that the vehicle operator was facing a steady or red arrow signal when the operator failed to stop the vehicle at a clearly marked stop line or other stopping point described in the ordinance/statute…”
Finally, am I right that by contesting the ticket I do not lose anything except for my own time? I presume the fine cannot be increased and I should not be cited with anything else, unless I do something outrageous (contempt, perjury, etc)?