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  1. #1
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    Mar 2011
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    Default Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearing

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

    I received a ticket on Feb 25th... so about 11 days ago. I've been reading and researching trying to figure out my best choice. I haven't done a formal discovery request, but was able to informally obtain the information from city hall. Looks like I need to go back to get the radar cert information. Will do that tomorrow. I found out today that the judge typically gives ticket reductions even if found guilty, so it seems like I should contest no matter what; however, I'm looking for some solid argument points.
    Here's the scanned info:

    Ticket
    Officer's Statement
    Statement (last page)

    On the Ticket:
    1) IRLJ rule 2.1 (b)(3), was not followed in regards to providing information to the defendant in regards to the vehicle style. He omitted style, and color.
    However, 3.1 (d) seems to indicate the above rule might not make that much of a difference.

    2) There is no cross street mentioned.. only MP BLOCK 800. I had just left a house less than half a mile away from where I was pulled over. I originally thought he was stopped and pulled out behind me... but if he was going the opposite way, that potentially means that distance is even shorter??

    On the Officer Report:
    1) Officer did not indicate unit was tested nor the results of the test, only that the unit was calibrated int and ext before and after the stop.
    2) Officer does not indicate what type of calibration was used: Tuning fork vs button calibration.
    3) Officer does not indicate who performed the calibration.
    4) Officer does not indicate training or certification in calibrating or use of the radar.

    5) Issue with Officer's Testimony: I did not indicate awareness as to why I was pulled over by the officer, nor was the question posed.
    He said, "I clocked you going 39"
    I said, "Oh!", which is a far cry from admission of guilt or awareness
    I explained I was late and wasn't paying attention to my speed. However, I didn't confirm or deny that I was speeding. His report seems to indicate that I admitted to intentionally speeding. When I saw the officer behind me, I checked my speed and it was under 35. My wife was in the car with me, so she can confirm this.
    6) There was another vehicle in front of me when I was pulled over.
    7) Again, no cross street mentioned.. only MP BLOCK.

    Other possibilities:

    Was the area a speed trap? I'm still working on this one. If the Engineering and Traffic Survey is older than 5 yrs, I may be able to contest that it is a local street or road on the point that there is more than half a mile between stop signs / traffic lights on the particular stretch I was on. Everything else about this is stacked against me though. I think the area would be classified as residential (although it has mixed business).

    Can I argue the safety of my speed? Possibly. Not a school zone, perfect weather conditions, not much traffic at all (everyone at work and kids at school). I was not tailgating the car ahead of me. If anything, I was matching their speed. There is a retirement home just ahead of where I was pulled over though.

    Beyond this, I don't really know if I have anything. I'd love to hear if there are any other things I can argue.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    CT & IL
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    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    I also don't think that the unit was shown to be calibrated at all what does "ext" & "int" mean -- nothing substantial. I also don't see where he states he obtained the result using a suggested method for taking the measurement; the radar steady tone means nothing.

    Nor does he say his is trained to operate or calibrate the unit. Very sloppy statement. Officer's visual observation talks about "obvious excessive rate" .. rate of what? Acceleration (which is no crime), interest rate? lol...who knows?

    His statement saying you were aware means nothing .. aware that he pulled your over?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Seattle
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    3,577

    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    I'm going to guess that you've got about an 80% chance of a dismissal, but I can't be sure until you tell us what type of RADAR was used (why you would redact that information is beyond me). Meanwhile, I'll address your specific points:

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    On the Ticket:
    1) IRLJ rule 2.1 (b)(3), was not followed in regards to providing information to the defendant in regards to the vehicle style. He omitted style, and color.
    However, 3.1 (d) seems to indicate the above rule might not make that much of a difference.
    You're right -- it's not relevant.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    2) There is no cross street mentioned.. only MP BLOCK 800. I had just left a house less than half a mile away from where I was pulled over. I originally thought he was stopped and pulled out behind me... but if he was going the opposite way, that potentially means that distance is even shorter??
    Oh, "800 block of E. Grover Street" is PLENTY good enough. Remember, both of you were moving.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    On the Officer Report:
    1) Officer did not indicate unit was tested nor the results of the test, only that the unit was calibrated int and ext before and after the stop.
    2) Officer does not indicate what type of calibration was used: Tuning fork vs button calibration.
    3) Officer does not indicate who performed the calibration.
    These are GOOD points, but you haven't even gone far enough. Let us know the RADAR make and model, and we'll be able to expand on these points.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    4) Officer does not indicate training or certification in calibrating or use of the radar.
    Not all that good of a point. Most judges I've seen ASSUME that officers have been sufficiently trained (which is probably a reasonable assumption).

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    5) Issue with Officer's Testimony: I did not indicate awareness as to why I was pulled over by the officer, nor was the question posed.
    He said, "I clocked you going 39"
    I said, "Oh!", which is a far cry from admission of guilt or awareness
    I explained I was late and wasn't paying attention to my speed. However, I didn't confirm or deny that I was speeding. His report seems to indicate that I admitted to intentionally speeding. When I saw the officer behind me, I checked my speed and it was under 35. My wife was in the car with me, so she can confirm this.
    Not relevant.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    6) There was another vehicle in front of me when I was pulled over.
    Not relevant.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    7) Again, no cross street mentioned.. only MP BLOCK.
    Again, "800 block" is sufficient.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    Other possibilities:

    Was the area a speed trap? I'm still working on this one. If the Engineering and Traffic Survey is older than 5 yrs, I may be able to contest that it is a local street or road on the point that there is more than half a mile between stop signs / traffic lights on the particular stretch I was on. Everything else about this is stacked against me though. I think the area would be classified as residential (although it has mixed business).
    25 MPH is the STATUTORY speed limit for streets in a city or town. No survey is required. Besides, we're NOT in CA.

    Quote Quoting samcrash
    View Post
    Can I argue the safety of my speed? Possibly. Not a school zone, perfect weather conditions, not much traffic at all (everyone at work and kids at school). I was not tailgating the car ahead of me. If anything, I was matching their speed. There is a retirement home just ahead of where I was pulled over though.
    You can argue the "facts" of the case all you want -- but, keep in mind that I have NEVER seen ANYONE win by arguing the "facts". At least, not for a speeding ticket.

    As I said, let us know the make and model of the SMD. Then we can go into some detail about your defense.

    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    Sorry, that took longer than I was expecting. The city court had records, but the clerk didn't think I was allowed to take notes from their records and suggested I get the information from the police station. Just did that today.

    It is a Kustom Pro 1000 DS. According to the station, they did calibration the 1st or 2nd of February. The city told me they did it in March. So, I guess it would be good to take a look at the records to get the right story there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    Found the manual online for this particular radar: PRO1000DS_om.pdf

    Seems like there are a few things there to support my arguments:
    6.0 GENERAL TESTING PROCEDURES
    Kustom Signals recommends that the internal test and tuning fork tests, explained below, be
    conducted at the beginning and the end of each patrol shift to ensure the accuracy and
    functionality of the radar unit. The results of these tests may be recorded in a radar log,
    similar to the one found at the end of this manual.

    From this I gathered a few potential additional arguments (a few may be redundant):
    1) Officer's does not indicate the results of the test. If calibration was meant as test, pass/fail results are not indicated.
    2) Officer does not indicate what test was used for ext calibration. Mfg recommends a tuning fork test.
    3) Officer does not indicate what test was used to calibrate the radar (moving vs stopped).
    4) Officer does not indicate that he verified patrol car odometer speed matched radar speed reading.

    Further to 4):
    8.2 MAN-MADE INFLUENCES
    Various reflections can cause most radar to display incorrect speed readings. These
    include shadowing, combined speeds, moving cosine error and fan speed interferences.
    Most interferences are momentary and lack supportive audio required for tracking
    history.
    2. The combined speed effect can occur when the patrol vehicle and the approaching
    target are traveling at low speeds, usually below 40 mph, (64 km/h) and at relative
    short distances, typically 300 feet (100 meters) or less. The radar sees a strong
    reflection from the combined speed signal and uses this as patrol speed. See Section
    8.3 for further details.

    8.3 GROUND SPEED
    True ground speed of the patrol vehicle is required by all moving traffic radar systems
    before a target vehicle speed can be accurately computed. If the PRO-1000DS loses
    ground speed, the operator can recapture ground speed by placing the unit in and out of
    hold using the HOLD switch on the remote control. In addition, the operator can select
    the opposite antenna momentarily, then selecting the desired antenna, which may also
    help in restoring proper ground speed.
    The PRO-1000DS filter system will always look for the strongest signal in the spectrum as
    ground speed. If there is a large vehicle traveling in the same direction as the patrol
    vehicle, but at a slightly different speed, the radar unit may display the difference in the
    patrol and same direction target speed as patrol speed, called patrol speed shadowing.

    5) The ground speed read by the radar may have been off due to other vehicles both in front and behind him that could have affected the radar ground speed reading for his vehicle. Again, the officer does not indicate that he verified his speed.

    The potential issue with this argument though is what is stated in the initial paragraph of 8.2 regarding consistent audio history, which essentially he indicates on the ticket with "radar speed and clear audible tone was consistent with my observation.".
    6.6 MOVING MODE TEST
    Verification of speed readings between the patrol vehicle's speedometer and the PRO-
    1000DS patrol speed display is another accuracy test that can be performed. These
    readings should be the same, or within reasonable limits, allowing for minor speedometer
    error.
    Speedometer checks should be done on a daily basis. If a discrepancy is found, the radar
    unit should be removed from service until the error can be corrected.

    6) Officer does not indicate moving mode test was performed. Mfg states speedometer check should be done on a daily basis.

    Another argument, although it appears not to hold much weight, is that of operator certification. Officer does not indicate certification or training. But, I've read a number of posts that say this just serves to annoy the judge... I guess I can put it at the bottom of my list.

    I'm also at ends whether or not I should subpoena the officer and I think tomorrow is the last day I can do it... unless I request a continuance. Would love to get some additional feedback on this. Am I grasping at straws or is any of this substantial? I still need to check the radar logs to see when it was calibrated.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Seattle
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    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    I think you've got most of it pretty well covered. Failing to verify the "patrol" speed with the car's speedometer is a biggy. Failing to indicate the tuning fork test or the give the serial numbers of the forks is also huge.

    If you subpoena the officer, however, you will most likely lose. He will neatly tie up all of the loose ends, and you will be left with no defense, since his sworn statement will NOT be the evidence against you -- the officer's testimony will, and he'll simply provide all those missing details verbally.

    Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    4

    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    Thanks Barry! I think I still have quite a bit of preparation to do now...

    One more thing though. It looks like there may be two serial numbers provided on the officer's response:
    LA40XXX / DS22XXX. The LA... is for the radar, but I'm not sure about the other one. I'll try to figure that one out... along with looking at the radar certs.

    One additional ponderance regarding requesting information: We have a small town court and I'm worried that if I do a discovery with the police, that will raise 'awareness' of my intent to fight and might encourage the officer / prosecutor to attend the trial? I've already found out that I can't just get a copy of the radar certs, etc from the court and I've been hesitant to contact the police station to get information. Should I worry about that?

    Are there any other documents that would be good for me to have for the trial?
    I've got 13 days before my trial... and I didn't do a discovery for the radar certs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Washington State - Moving Radar 35 in 25 - Mitigation Hearing or Contested Hearin

    As I indicated, you should NOT have blanked that out. The "DS" number MIGHT be a tuning fork. It's also possible that the "LA" number is a LASER, while the "DS" number is a RADAR (the officer should have circled one, in that case).

    Discovery is "served" on the prosecutor (they are responsible for getting the information to you), and "filed" with the court (so they have a copy of the request) -- pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 (b). Personally, I would NEVER contact the PD about discovery.
    Barry

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