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  1. #1
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    Default Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: New York

    I was just found guilty at my DMV court hearing for my "Failure to Signal" ticket.

    My main argument was that there was a sudden change in weather conditions. The temperature had been dropping dramatically for the past hour, and there was a sudden onslaught of hail and snow. My windows had fogged up, visibility was extremely poor and it was dark. It was immediately necessary for me to adjust the windshield wipers and defroster controls to regain visibility. After showing my turn signal and making the right turn, I was pulled over by the officer �. I feel that the officer would have had difficulty seeing my turn signal in such weather conditions.

    At the hearing, the officer failed to state the weather conditions. When I asked him, much to my surprise he mumbled that the weather condition was clear and visibility was good. That is a lie! I can prove the weather conditions during that exact date and time from various sources. He basically perjured himself and the judge failed to recognize that. The credibility of the officer should be questioned.

    I plan to appeal, but need some help with wording my appeal argument. Would appreciate any help. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Visibility is a matter of perception. Turn signals are bright enough to be easily seen in the pouring rain at night. What gave you a visibility problem might not have given the officer any problem.

    Check out this video of a nighttime rain storm.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01ZuNxAgcUc

    You'll see plenty of brake lights, running lights, and turn signals through poor visibility. About 3 minutes in to the video you'll see cars going from right to left without turn signals and at 3:10 you'll see a car with its left turn signal on.

    If you're going to try to tell the court that the officer couldn't see whether or not you used your signal, you will fail.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    I take it that you did not get this heard at the TVB. In a real court, your appeal has to be made on legal principals. You can't introduce new evidence. It was up to you to show the contradiction at trial? Did you? It's too late now to complain about it if you didn't.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    I take it that you did not get this heard at the TVB. In a real court, your appeal has to be made on legal principals. You can't introduce new evidence. It was up to you to show the contradiction at trial? Did you? It's too late now to complain about it if you didn't.
    Yes, this was TVB, and I actually did raise the issue. I took a photo of the weather conditions right after the officer released me. I handed the judge a printout at the hearing, and he didn't think it was sufficient evidence to prove the officer wrong. He said something like: "I see a dark photo with some rain, but no evidence the photo was taken at that exact moment." What's funny is that I even remember the officer was shivering and wet when he was standing outside my window.

    I have NEVER received a traffic violation in my 25 years of driving and I always use my turn signal. I honestly thought I used my turn signal at that turn, but I was also trying to clear my windshield from the hail, and actually even thought of pulling over to wait it out. I just think that a $138 fine and 2 points is a bit too drastic due to the circumstances.

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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting copper00
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    I honestly thought I used my turn signal at that turn, but I was also trying to clear my windshield from the hail, and actually even thought of pulling over to wait it out. I just think that a $138 fine and 2 points is a bit too drastic due to the circumstances.
    So you don't actually know if you used your turn signal or not? That means the officer could be correct that you did not use it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    So you don't actually know if you used your turn signal or not? That means the officer could be correct that you did not use it.
    Does it matter if I knew 100% that I used the signal or not? It will still be my word against his. As I said, I always use the signal and would have used it at that turn. May I have been more preoccupied with trying not to get into an accident with the sudden change in weather conditions?...Possibly.
    I see people driving like idiots all the time, and I'm the one who now has to deal with two points on my license.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting copper00
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    Does it matter if I knew 100% that I used the signal or not? It will still be my word against his. As I said, I always use the signal and would have used it at that turn. May I have been more preoccupied with trying not to get into an accident with the sudden change in weather conditions?...Possibly.
    I see people driving like idiots all the time, and I'm the one who now has to deal with two points on my license.
    Of course it matters, the officer testified visibility was good enough to observe that you did not use your blinker. You have stated that you do not know if you used it but you probably did since you usually do. The fact the weather had rapidly changed makes it more important to use your blinker. Taking a picture showing it was dark and rainy is not proof that visibility was not sufficient for the officer to observe your violation.

    Quote Quoting copper00
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    I have NEVER received a traffic violation in my 25 years of driving and I always use my turn signal. I honestly thought I used my turn signal at that turn, but I was also trying to clear my windshield from the hail, and actually even thought of pulling over to wait it out. I just think that a $138 fine and 2 points is a bit too drastic due to the circumstances.
    I suppose you might be right that you never received a Violation, but that seems like a bit of semantics. Most people would consider the Reckless Driving You received in 2012, and perhaps even the citations you received in 2008 as violations when considering your driving history.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting copper00
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    Does it matter if I knew 100% that I used the signal or not? It will still be my word against his. As I said, I always use the signal and would have used it at that turn. May I have been more preoccupied with trying not to get into an accident with the sudden change in weather conditions?...Possibly.
    I see people driving like idiots all the time, and I'm the one who now has to deal with two points on my license.
    To win on appeal you have to prove that the judge made an error in interpreting the facts or applying the law.

    That the officer said you didn't signal and you said you did signal (or that you have an excuse for not signaling) is not grounds for appeal and you are guaranteed to lose if you approach it that way.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Quote Quoting brownj12
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    I suppose you might be right that you never received a Violation, but that seems like a bit of semantics. Most people would consider the Reckless Driving You received in 2012, and perhaps even the citations you received in 2008 as violations when considering your driving history.
    Nice detective work Bronj12, but what you don't know is that I won appeals in both of those situations.
    What you did make me realize is that the next question on this forum should be under a different account name!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can You Try to Prove in an Appeal that the Officer Lied During His Testimony

    Before you accuse someone of perjury your need to consider a couple of things.

    First, every court in the nation has standard instructions that are given to jurors when it comes to considering witness testimony. The exact language may vary from state to state, but essentially the court's view on evaluating testimony is as follows:

    Sometimes a witness may say something that is not consistent with something else he or she said. Sometimes different witnesses will give different versions of what happened. People often forget things or make mistakes in what they remember. Also, two people might see the same event but remember it differently. You may consider these differences, but do not decide that testimony is untrue just because it differs from other testimony.

    In other words, just because the officer perceived a portion of your event differently than you doesn’t mean he perjured himself.

    Additionally, if you believe it appropriate to accuse the officer of perjury because his testimony differed from yours, then all things being equal, it is just as appropriate for him to accuse you of perjury because your testimony differed from his.

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