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  1. #1
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    Sep 2020
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    Default What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    So I received a summons in the mail to call the police about paperwork, I called the police. They asked me if I owned a certain type of vehicle (I did not). I told them no, I don't own that type of vehicle. The officer asked me if this was my tag number, I said hold on I'll go find out....I went to my vehicle and looked, and confirmed it was my tag number. The officer then asked what type of vehicle I had. I told him. (Like an idiot). The officer then states he will call me back because he needs to get ahold of the school board. I was like ok, what is this for. The officer said there is a school bus driver saying a vehicle with my tag number passed his bus, and he will get back to me. The officer calls me back 5 hours later, and tells me the school board told him to go through with it. I was like go through with what? He asked me to meet him so I can get this summons from him. I did so. The summons was an complaint signed by the magistrate, from a school bus driver that a (enter generic make of my vehicle and year of my vehicle and tag number) passed him while he was stopped, loading students, and the driver was (enter a generic description of my license photo here). I went to the magistrate, and was put on $500 PR bond (no drinking, can't leave the state, etc) (I have absolutely no criminal record or driving record, not even a parking ticket). I got a lawyer. I was home at the time and day that the bus driver says I passed the school bus. My lawyer asked for discovery so any video evidence could prove it wasn't me that passed the school bus. There is no video or photo evidence. Only a copy of the bus drivers statement. We gave a witness for the prosecutor attorney to find, they said they would dismiss the case when they get his statement (10 months later and they still haven't gotten ahold of said witness), we gave several other witnesses to the prosecutor also which he discounted because it was family. We gave gps info, which he discounted as well. We gave text messages, which he discounted as well. The prosecutor still has not gotten ahold of our witness and this has been dragging on for 10 months, and I am still on bond, and still fighting this. Now I received a letter that we are going to a bench trial. What does that even mean? What can I expect? What are our chances of proving this wasn't me? What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,991

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    What state did this occur in?

    A bench trial would be a trial with only a judge, not a jury.

    You will need to bring your witness to trial to testify on your behalf.
    I am the Mouse Man

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    19,873

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Innocent until proven guilty? The trial is the proof. Until then you are still innocent.
    The case is not tried by you giving evidence to the DA. While the DA "discounts" it, if it is relevant your lawyer will certainly bring it up in court.
    Listen to your lawyer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    What state?

    Quote Quoting Kitaine06
    View Post
    Now I received a letter that we are going to a bench trial. What does that even mean? What can I expect? What are our chances of proving this wasn't me? What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
    A bench trial is a trial without a jury. Ask your lawyer what you can expect and what your chances are. I don't understand your question about "innocent until proven guilty." That is a standard that applies nowhere other than in a criminal trial. At the start of the trial, the judge and jury (or, in your case, just the judge) must presume you are innocent until and unless you are proven guilty. In other words, nothing "ever happened to innocent until proven guilty."

  5. #5
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    Feb 2020
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    706

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    A bench trial is a trial without a jury. Ask your lawyer what you can expect and what your chances are. I don't understand your question about "innocent until proven guilty." That is a standard that applies nowhere other than in a criminal trial. At the start of the trial, the judge and jury (or, in your case, just the judge) must presume you are innocent until and unless you are proven guilty. In other words, nothing "ever happened to innocent until proven guilty."
    The term "proven guilty" is a fallacy used by folks who wish to bolster our justice system. A person in actually voted guilty by one, three or twelve people.

    One is rarely "proven guilty" unless science or actual video is used to convict. Otherwise, "guilt" is a matter of opinion highly influenced by how two lawyers laid out their case.

    Example: When a person is "proven guilty" by a court of law and then retried and found to be not guilty, by say DNA evidence, was he really "proven guilty" in his first trial? NO, he was voted guilty!

    IOW, our court system rarely proves guilt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    4,298

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Attention Readers,

    Harold99 posts for no other reason than to take shots at senior members of the forum and lawyers in general. *It would be wise to ignore whatever he writes. While the person posting under the name of Harold99 has been banned from this site at least 3 times but, due to the current lack of moderation, he isn’t being banned. Hopefully, that will change in the future but for now, we have to live with it.

    For now, I suggest you simply ignore his posts but if you do read them please read any responses posted by the more rational members.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    706

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    Attention Readers,

    Harold99 posts for no other reason than to take shots at senior members of the forum and lawyers in general. *It would be wise to ignore whatever he writes. While the person posting under the name of Harold99 has been banned from this site at least 3 times but, due to the current lack of moderation, he isn’t being banned. Hopefully, that will change in the future but for now, we have to live with it.

    For now, I suggest you simply ignore his posts but if you do read them please read any responses posted by the more rational members.
    Your stalking and harassing of me doesn't seem to be working. But have fun with it.

    Unlike you, I have never broken a forum rule.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    The term "proven guilty" is a fallacy used by folks who wish to bolster our justice system. A person in actually voted guilty by one, three or twelve people.
    The state has to prove the guilt to the satisfaction of the judge or jury deciding the case. If they determine the defendant guilty then the state has indeed proven them guilty to those people. In the law, that's all that matters.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    One is rarely "proven guilty" unless science or actual video is used to convict.
    I know you are highly enamored with scientific evidence and videos, but those are not the only ways to prove something to a judge or jury. We've discussed that before, and you've acknowledged as much from your own observations of at least 2 criminal trials.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    Example: When a person is "proven guilty" by a court of law and then retried and found to be not guilty, by say DNA evidence, was he really "proven guilty" in his first trial? NO, he was voted guilty!
    He was proven guilty to the judge or jury that heard the case given the evidence that was available at the time. Should better or additional evidence come along later that would change the result, then the guilty verdict may be overturned.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    IOW, our court system rarely proves guilt.
    It proves guilt, as guilt is simply a legal concept in which a judge or jury is satisfied by the evidence presented that the defendant did what he was accused of doing.

    We need to distinguish guilt and innocence from absolute truth. I think what you are getting at is that trials don't necessarily reveal the absolute truth of what occurred. And that would be correct. Trials do not reveal absolute truth. One may be proven guilty to a jury and convicted on the evidence that they saw, but what they were presented may not have been enough to reveal the absolute truth of what actually occurred. Truth and guilt are not the same thing.

    But none of this debate in the thread over guilt really addresses the issue that the OP has: how to deal with the charges against him. And since he has a lawyer, that lawyer is the best one to advise him on that.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2020
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    706

    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    The state has to prove the guilt to the satisfaction of the judge or jury deciding the case. If they determine the defendant guilty then the state has indeed proven them guilty to those people. In the law, that's all that matters.


    I know you are highly enamored with scientific evidence and videos, but those are not the only ways to prove something to a judge or jury. We've discussed that before, and you've acknowledged as much from your own observations of at least 2 criminal trials.

    He was proven guilty to the judge or jury that heard the case given the evidence that was available at the time. Should better or additional evidence come along later that would change the result, then the guilty verdict may be overturned.

    It proves guilt, as guilt is simply a legal concept in which a judge or jury is satisfied by the evidence presented that the defendant did what he was accused of doing.

    We need to distinguish guilt and innocence from absolute truth. I think what you are getting at is that trials don't necessarily reveal the absolute truth of what occurred. And that would be correct. Trials do not reveal absolute truth. One may be proven guilty to a jury and convicted on the evidence that they saw, but what they were presented may not have been enough to reveal the absolute truth of what actually occurred. Truth and guilt are not the same thing.

    But none of this debate in the thread over guilt really addresses the issue that the OP has: how to deal with the charges against him. And since he has a lawyer, that lawyer is the best one to advise him on that.
    We finally agree. That "proven guilty" does not mean a person did the crime. It means he has to do the time. And it does not mean the decision/vote is based in truth.

    But still, "voted guilty" is a far more accurate term, but it doesn't have the same ring to it.

    Just imagine, those who are the best spoken and written folks in society can get away with misusing such a highly defined word as "prove."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: What Do You Do if You Are Charged of Passing a School Bus, but Didn't Do It

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    We finally agree.
    Perhaps a first.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
    View Post
    That "proven guilty" does not mean a person did the crime.
    And, conversely, a "not guilty" verdict does not mean the person did not commit the crime.

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