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  1. #1
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    Default Speeding Ticket for a Higher Speed Than My Car Was Going

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Iowa

    I was traveling on my way to drill with two other soldiers in the car with me. We came up to a construction zone where I immediately slowed down. As we went under and over pass there was a trooper sitting on the other side. At this point, about three others cars have caught up and have started to pass me. I check my speed and it's between the 55 and 60 on the odometer. If I had to say I had my cruise set at about 58. I really wasn't worried because I thought he would pull over one of the other cars. I wasn't so lucky. The trooper however wrote me a ticket for going 70 in a 55. We all told him we were not going that fast and maybe he checked a different car. He didn't care and still wrote me a ticket for going 15 over. The ticket says he used lidar and I know I slowed down before the change of speed.

    I am going to fight the ticket in court and have a few questions.
    Should I let the officer testify without tying to object to any of his testimony which has been suggested in other threads and rely solely on my defense and my witnesses testimony.

    Or...

    Should I attack his testimony and try to have things excluded from evidence and use my defense.

    Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in Iowa

    The answer is not that simple. you would need to subpoena all relevant case information to see if there are any errors to raise in his testimony or procedures. Simply appearing and saying it was not you is not going to work as a defense strategy.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in Iowa

    Quote Quoting Disagreeable
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    The answer is not that simple. you would need to subpoena all relevant case information to see if there are any errors to raise in his testimony or procedures. Simply appearing and saying it was not you is not going to work as a defense strategy.
    Unfortunately in the state of Iowa I'm not allowed to request discovery or subpoena for information. I requested discovery and was specifically told by the prosecuting attorney "I don't have a right to do it." I then asked the judge preceding over my case if I had a right for discovery or to subpoena information and she said no. I have no idea how to prepare at this point since I can't get what I asked for.

    If I can develop a plan to attrack the prosecution I will, however my defense if it gets there is miss identification. Myself and the two other passengers in the car will testify that I slowed down and had a group of cars passed me as we drove past the trooper. We are all officers in the National guard so hopefully our testimony has some merit.

    I personally want to poke holes in the prosecutions case but really have no idea where to start since I wasn't allowed discovery. I've looked at a few threads and got an idea to object to certain things but that's it.

    Since I wasn't allowed discovery, is there anyway before the trial to motion for a coninuance to have time to view the evidence against me since that will be the first time I get to see it?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in Iowa

    Quote Quoting notanotch
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    Should I let the officer testify without tying to object to any of his testimony which has been suggested in other threads and rely solely on my defense and my witnesses testimony.
    Passengers rarely have any good testimony to offer about a vehicle's speed, as they're usually not in a position to easily observe the speedometer and, even when they are, they're almost always looking at something else. Also, if they testify that they don't think that you were driving faster than 60 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, that's still speeding.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    Should I attack his testimony and try to have things excluded from evidence and use my defense.
    You can certainly challenge the LIDAR evidence by asking about the certification of the device and the officer's training, although in most cases that approach won't prove fruitful.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
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    I have no idea how to prepare at this point since I can't get what I asked for.
    You can see what you can obtain under your state's open records law.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    Since I wasn't allowed discovery, is there anyway before the trial to motion for a continuance to have time to view the evidence against me since that will be the first time I get to see it?
    You can expect your trial to be completed on the date it's scheduled. You need to be prepared at the time of your hearing.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in Iowa

    Few quick questions, I know if the trooper uses his notes I can object. I was wondering if I could object once the trooper starts to state that he observed a vehicle traveling at a high speed because it was completely dark out with no moon light. I find it hard for him to visually estimate that any car was traveling at a high rate especially since it was on the interstate. Could I possibly object because of speculation. Then if that some how holds up, could I then object to his testimony on Lidar because he wouldn't have the proper foundation.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a Higher Speed Than My Car Was Going

    In almost every state, Troopers are trained to estimate speed without a radar device. What about his notes do you plan on objecting to? He writes them as a record of what happened regarding the stop to refresh his memory.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket in Iowa

    Quote Quoting notanotch
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    I know if the trooper uses his notes I can object.
    The trooper can read his notes to refresh his memory -- that's why the trooper took the notes. What he's not supposed to do is read his notes into the record -- he should read his notes to himself, as necessary, then testify from his refreshed memory.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    I was wondering if I could object once the trooper starts to state that he observed a vehicle traveling at a high speed because it was completely dark out with no moon light.
    You can object to whatever you want. That objection, however, will not succeed. You can try cross-examining the officer to ask how he could see cars at night, and he will likely respond, "Because they are illuminated by street lights, headlights and taillights."
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    I find it hard for him to visually estimate that any car was traveling at a high rate especially since it was on the interstate.
    If the officer testifies that he visually estimated your speed, you can object to the admission of his estimate of your speed, asking that there first be a proper foundation laid for the officer's ability to estimate speed -- the officer's relevant experience and training that would allow him to accurately estimate vehicle speed -- but you're not going to convince a court that it's impossible to estimate the speed of a vehicle on an interstate highway.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    Could I possibly object because of speculation.
    If the officer is deemed qualified by the court to estimate your speed, or if you don't raise the issue of qualification, the testimony will be allowed.
    Quote Quoting notanotch
    Then if that some how holds up, could I then object to his testimony on Lidar because he wouldn't have the proper foundation.
    The LIDAR is an entirely separate issue from the officer's estimate of your speed. An officer does not need to estimate your speed before measuring it with a SMD.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a Higher Speed Than My Car Was Going

    I was referring to the possibility of the officer reading his notes during his testimony.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    You can try cross-examining the officer to ask how he could see cars at night, and he will likely respond, "Because they are illuminated by street lights, headlights and taillights."
    This is something I will address during cross examination since there is no way he could distinguish between the cars at night until they got closer, yes he can see headlights, but that doesn't tell him make or model.

    Looking on my ticket, he has a mile marker of where the violation occurred I guess. I measured it the other day and it's right at a mile from his hiding point. I know it's New Jersey but wasn't there a case law about limiting the distance to a 1000 feet for Lidar. Also, I've read that a Lidar's laser beam can be 3 ft wide at a 1000 ft and it gets proportionally wider the further the distance gets.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a Higher Speed Than My Car Was Going

    Troopers are also trained in targeting vehicles at long distances.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a Higher Speed Than My Car Was Going

    If the prosecution does not provide calibration, maintenance, or training records during the trail and rely solely on the troopers testimony, is it possible to use that to my advantage?

    - - - Updated - - -

    So I went back to the scene where the officer cited me today. On the citation he gave me it has a specific mile marker. He cited me at mile marker 140, his spot was at mile marker 141, could me he meant 141 but put 140 by accident. My spot is on the over side of an overpass and then downhill half a mile. There clearly is no line of sight to MM140. I sat in the officers spot for a little bit and can only start to notice vehicles as they cross directly under the over pass. Even at that point it is 1/2 a mile. Any suggestions on how to poke holes in the defense evidence?

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