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  1. #1

    Default Laser Speeding Ticket, No Discovery from State

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

    So I read through this old post as inspiration.
    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=116999

    Hello,

    Looking for input/opinions on this. (inb4: you shouldn't speed).

    • speeding ticket going 78 in a 65 zone early on weekend morning during very light traffic
    • ticket says "SPEEDING - STATE HIGHWAY"
    • measured via LASER
    • car is registered in a different state to another person, but the ticket says "Texas registration"
    • Texas speeding law is a prima facie state, meaning: the posted sign or "reasonably prudent"
    • scheduled for a Jury Trial next month...for a $165 criminal ticket
    • I requested Discovery (officer notes, oath of office, Traffic/Eng study, laser calibration, training records, etc).
    • the prosecutor has responded saying there is nothing, no evidence they are providing; they have nothing to disclose...the officer's testimony is their evidence.
    • I've extended/delayed the court date several times


    So, here's some of my questions.

    What do you think?

    • First, the ticket lists my car's state registration incorrectly. Is this enough to dismiss?
    • Next, your thoughts on prosecutor refusing to provide any details about the laser device? They do not have unit details or calibration records or training certificates for the officer. Hall vs TX comes to mind
    • third, thoughts on how to fight the prima facie, "reasonably prudent" angle?
    • Fourth, any other opinions on how to motion to dismiss on a texas speeding ticket when the prosecutor refuses to provide any discovery?


    PS i'd love to push for some of the 'no state project' stuff like evidence of jurisdiction or corpus delicti but those tend to be non-starters with judges.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    Clerical errors on the ticket are meaningless.
    Hall isn't a particularly valid case for this. Do you think that in light of Hall, nearly a decade ago, the state has not established scientific validity of LIDAR (this case did not have anything to do with calibration certificates or officer training)?
    You'll have a hard time arguing exceeding the prima facie speed limit is ever reasonably prudent in Texas.

  3. #3

    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    regarding the Prima Facie, reasonable and prudent discussion.
    See Texas Transportation Code: 545.351 & 545.352

    Can we discuss why arguing the speed limit will be a hard time?
    • So Prima Facie means "sufficient to establish a fact unless disproved" or "at first look before closer inspection"
    • If upon closer inspection, there is evidence that the speed is not unreasonable under the circumstances, then you are not speeding.
    • The speed limits are presumptive legal speed which can be rebutted by proof you are driving in a reasonable and prudent way.

    So it seems that Prima Facie is not of itself a violation unless you plead guilty to it. It seems that as long as defendant can argue their speed is compliant w/ 545.351, the speed is legal. so 545.351 says that you must drive reasonable and prudent for the conditions and have regard for hazards....aka you must control your vehicle as to not cause a collision.

    So if you a driving along minding your own business on an empty road (above the posted speed limit) and don't cause any hazard/collision, then it seems you are driving at a legal speed.


    Regarding Hall v State, I'm still reading up on it, but why do you think this is not valid? It seems to show that LIDAR is not valid. This is a laser/lidar speeding ticket.

    For the calibration/training records, I think I was fixing towards the 3-prong kelly test.

    I'd love to expand this discussion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    If you've got to Kelly, then you are beginning to understand what is going on. Hall only addressed one issue with LIDAR, the recognitionof scientific validity. This has almost certainly taken place by now otherwise no LIDAR would ever be valid in a Texas court.

    Then you can go determine if it was used properly (properly utilized and calibrated). Typically, LIDAR doesn't need to go through the same "calibration" that RADARs do and the preoperation checks are pretty much just turning it on and seeing it go through self test. You can certainly make your crossexamination of the officer on these points, expectd him to be smart enough to have the right answers but if not, you might have a chance.

    Prima Facie means on it's face. So yes, it is the speed already recognized (the state needs to go no further) to prove that you couldn't safely exceed it. You can try to refute that, but I can tell you, it is NOT going to work in a Texas court. The PF limit is already predicated on the best conditions, The reasonable and prudent speed only goes DOWN from there. But hell, go knock yourself out.

  5. #5

    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    So is there Judicial Notice for accepting LASER/LIDAR? I am only finding content showing that LIDAR is not generally valid yet.

    Obviously, the Prosecutor could ask the judge to take Judicial Notice on the scientific theory being valid. (prong #1)

    It seems that Prong #2 (Valid Technique) is easily supported (just turn it on and it works).

    Then there's the Prong #3 (Valid Application) which seems would fail. The Prosecutor has stated they do not have any evidence the officer was properly trained and no evidence to show the device's accuracy (not even what model # it is). It seems that code 644.101 states LEO's must be trained properly.

    So it seems that any testimony could be OBJECTED to on foundation, having no evidence to support the officer is trained, thus failing to meet kelly test.

    Thoughts?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    And if they ask the officer, "Are you properly trained in the use of LIDAR?" and he answers, "Yes, blah, blah, blah." ?

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    And if they ask the officer, "Are you properly trained in the use of LIDAR?" and he answers, "Yes, blah, blah, blah." ?
    if he answers yes, it seems a standard OBJECTION to Foundation. The officer can only testify to something established through evidence.
    There's a ton of discussion about this, found with a quick google search.

    And/Or a Motion to suppress evidence related to laser because the Prosecutor has stated there is nothing to disclose for model #, calibration, records, training, etc.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    The officer's testimony in court is evidence. It may be evidence that you can refute or say that there is no record available of but it is evidence.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    Which code section violation were you charged with, exactly?

  10. #10

    Default Re: [Tx] Speeding Ticket, Laser, No Discovery from State

    Quote Quoting zeljo
    View Post
    Which code section violation were you charged with, exactly?
    That's a very good question, one I've asked for in Discovery several times and Motioned to Dismiss because of.
    The ticket only says "SPEEDING - STATE HIGHWAY".
    the Prosecutor has not given any other information about what statute or code....

    I think in general, its these two code sections that are the "speeding" violation.
    See Texas Transportation Code: 545.351 & 545.352

    I sent this in as part of my motion to dismiss....it was completely ignored.
    =================
    a. Per the Texas Penal Code Sec. 1.03(a), “conduct does not constitute an offense unless it is defined as an offense by statute…”
    b. Per the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 1.05, “the accused … shall have the right to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him….”
    c. Per the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 15.05(2), “the complaint … must show that the accused has committed some offense against the laws of the state…”
    d. Per the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 45.019(4), “the complaint … must show that the accused has committed some offense against the laws of the state…”
    e. A charging instrument must be specific enough to inform the accused of the nature of the allegations so that he may prepare a defense. State v. Moff, 154 S.W.3d 599 (Tex.Crim.App. 2004).
    f. A complaint notifies a defendant of the offense charged so that he or she may prepare defense. Kindley v. State, 879 S.W.2d 261 (Tex.App.—Austin 1982, pet. ref’d)

    Considering the above, nowhere on the citation filed by J. Dozier or the complaint filed by Lisa Munden is a specific statute, law, or code given as the offense allegedly committed. The citation merely states “SPEEDING – STATE HIGHWAY” and the complaint merely states “…at a speed which was greater than was then reasonable and prudent…” There is no law, statute or code listed.

    The alleged defendant objects to this complaint in that it is defective and does not allege or show any actual offense. Without an actual law, code, statute listed as the offense, the alleged defendant cannot know what they charged with and cannot prepare defense. The complaint should be set aside or quashed.
    ==========================

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    The officer's testimony in court is evidence. It may be evidence that you can refute or say that there is no record available of but it is evidence.
    What about the "Best Evidence" rules? If a document exists, it must be used as the best evidence for such a statement. This seems to be a general rule for states and federal courts.

    So if the officer is claiming he is certified, then per rules of evidence, this must be presented, otherwise it lacks foundation and could be hearsay.

    ...I don't know. I'm just trying to understand what I'm reading.

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