Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington

    I was cited for traveling @ 86 mph in a 70 mph zone, westbound on I-90 a couple miles west of the pass. Below are the results of my discovery request (online request was really fast BTW). The SMD certification document(s) for the SMD(s) used in my case can be found here:

    https://fortress.wa.gov/wsp/smdsearch/

    Search for L1385 and R2414 for Certification Reports

    Citation:



    Report:



    My initial thoughts based on research on this forum is to utilize the Mociulski defense since my SMD certifications use the same third-person dialog.


    [NOTE: This is a new thread created to focus discussion on the necessary details only and provide discovery materials in the first post for easy reference. A slightly related thread on this case can be found here: http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/show....php?t=123250]

    [EDIT: Added a quick research snippet I found]

    I read some sections of the Laser III manual posted online and this segment caught my eye:

    Like radar, the ProLaser III is only a tool to be used by the operator. It is not a primary function, but secondary to the operator's visual estimation of speed. Tracking History of the target vehicle is essential, even with a laser based device.
    1. Visually observe target vehicle and estimate its speed.
    2. Obtain a locking tone.
    3. Obtain a speed reading with the laser and compare the speed readings with the visual estimate. This should be done over a period of time, usually 2-4 seconds.
    ...there are several anomalies that may affect the operation of the laser. Therefore, careful Tracking History, as with radar, will eliminate or reduce misinterprested readings.
    Since their case report language does not indicate a solid tone was acquired nor does the officer comment as such, is that useful argument?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    If he's subpoenaed to appear, you can question the officer about the locking tone at the hearing. I would argue that it's implied.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    If he's subpoenaed to appear, you can question the officer about the locking tone at the hearing. I would argue that it's implied.
    I hear you on that, but I'm curious to know why a majority of other enforcement bureaus seem to feel it's necessary to include a comment about the tone in their statements.

    On another note, is there any useful argument derived from the officer's failure to indicate whether I was approaching or receding from his location?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    Well unless indicated otherwise, I think I'm going to borrow from a previous poster's planned statements as they seem perfectly suitable.

    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/show...=115710&page=2

    -If prosecutor is present, try to negotiate a plea to a non-moving violation, mentioning that I will move to supress based on questionable usage of SMD device and lack of necessary certification
    -(if that doesn't work, or if there is no prosecutor) Ask judge if I can still ask for a deferal after making motions (who knows, maybe the judge will be accommodating)
    -(If he says no) request a deferral
    -(If yes) then I say, (1)"I move to suppress the SMD certification affidavits from the SMD experts Steen Nicholson and Anthony Hillock. Both state their qualifications as required. However, both state in their respective certifications that, “On the date indicated in Exhibit “A” which follows, each SMD was tested under the direction of a certified SMD expert.” Neither testifies to being the expert that did supervise or did perform the required testing. According to the case Bellevue v. Mociulski, "the authentication of the speed measuring device involves a compound determination. Before the machine is deemed reliable, the witness testing the machines or monitoring the testing must first show his/her qualifications to make and/or evaluate the tests. The witness must first qualify as an expert via knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. ER 702. After the witness has qualified as an expert, he/she must show that the machines passed the requisite tests and checks. Only then can the speed measuring devices be deemed reliable." This position was further affirmed by the case Bellevue v. Hellenthal. Both Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Hillocks’ testimony fail to establish either one of them as either the SMD tester or testing supervisor for SMD tag # R2440, the SMD used by Trooper Ward in the issuance of the NOI. Therefore, per Rule ER602, both lack personal knowledge of the SMD testing and may not testify." (2) "I move to suppress the NOI, it states the law as RCW 46.61.400, but this law actually has three subsections. Without knowing specifically which subsection I am accused under, it is not possible to formulate a defense."
    -(If the motions are denied) Request a deferral

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    Trial is coming up on Tuesday of next week, so I wanted to give this one last bump in hopes of any additional words of advice / feedback on my plan.

    Cheers.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    Curious how this defense worked for you. I received a ticket for 75mph in a 60mph zone on I5 in Pierce county. My hearing is next month. I'm trying to formulate my best defense.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Discovery for a Washington State Speeding Ticket

    I tried the Bellevue vs. Mociulski defense today in the Evergreen division of Snohomish County District Court (in Monroe). The judge, Patricia L. Lyon, was not familiar with the objection I raised to the SMD certificate. She put my case off to work through the rest of the cases and I eventually agreed to a non-moving violation plea bargain with the prosecutor, so I did not get a ruling on my objection.

    I actually made two objections, using the Mociulski ruling: the first against Hillock & Nicholson's lack of specificity as to who actually certified the SMD and the second against the trooper's use of passive voice when stating that the unit had been properly calibrated that day ("The unit was checked . . . and found to be in proper working order." Checked by whom?). She did not allow the second, agreeing with the prosecution that the trooper implied that he was the person performing the tests, but delayed ruling on the first until she could read the copy of Mociulski that I had brought. The prosecution offered a plea bargain and I took it as I felt she was going to take Hillock and Nicholson's implied certification although she may have changed her mind after reading the ruling.

    Two things I noted: the prosecutors were young and seemed flustered by the objection (they lacked a copy of the certification, as did the judge, so they borrowed mine). They quickly offered a plea bargain after the judge set my case aside to deal with the other cases. The other was that Judge Lyon was accepting most any argument in testimony that had a semblance of credibility: of the ten or so cases I had to wait for I think only two ended up being found guilty. As long as the argument did not attempt to stand only on challenging the officer's word, she was lenient.

    Finally, Judge Lyon kept my copy of Mociulski to review, so she may be aware of the argument the next time it is raised in her court.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Discovery: Discovery for a Washington Speeding Ticket
    By tburgboy in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-19-2011, 06:50 PM
  2. Discovery: Discovery Form for a Speeding Ticket in Washington
    By tankyhagg in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-30-2011, 08:01 AM
  3. Speeding Tickets: Washington Speeding Ticket With Contested, Discovery
    By sabz in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-08-2010, 11:08 AM
  4. Speeding Tickets: Washington State Speeding Ticket Notice of Discovery
    By yoshibond in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10-01-2010, 08:31 PM
  5. Speeding Tickets: Washington State Speeding Inquiry - Request for Discovery
    By vishnew in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-18-2009, 03:41 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources