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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Fighting my ticket

    Hey all,

    I received a speeding ticket recently (75 in 60) and wish to keep it off my record (mostly for insurance premium purposes, but I enjoyed having a clean record). The speed limit is low for the road. Two lanes on each side, divided by a grass section, pretty straight road.

    Couple notes about my ticket:

    First, at the top it says State of OHIO, Wooster (filled in on blank) and City (box checked, choices are city, village and township). Later on it says I operated my vehicle in the TWP (filled into blank) of Chippewa (filled into blank) in Wayne (filled into blank) county. So they don't match.. no big deal though, right?

    Next, it says my vehicle is a Toyota but I drive a Scion (a brand under Toyota, similar to Chevy and Pontiac under GM). So no big deal again.. right?

    Finally, the ticket does not specify the offense I committed. No boxes are checked for Speed, OVI, Driver License Status Infringment, Safety Belt or Other Offense. The officer simply filled out my information, the weather conditions and filled "RADAR #13 C-650 V" into the remarks section.

    So, the ticket does not accuse me of speeding in my mind. I failed to show insurance because I had an outdated card in my wallet, so that box is checked.

    Also, the RADAR could very well have picked up the big black truck that was passing me in the outside lane.

    Does anyone have any advice to contest the ticket? I am hoping the judge will throw the ticket out due to it not being filled out completely. Other wise I plan to request information from the DA via Discovery (don't know how yet, need guidance) and see if the RADAR unit was in need of calibration, etc.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Jon / Veg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    I'm not real familiar with Ohio laws, but here in WA, we have a set of Court Rules which govern traffic infractions. IRLJ 2.1 sets forth what MUST be on a Notice of Infraction. So you don't have to read the whole thing, paragraph (b)(4) states:
    The infraction which the defendant is alleged to have committed and the accompanying statutory citation or ordinance number, the date, time, and place the infraction occurred, the date the notice of infraction was issued, and the name and, if applicable, the number of the citing officer;
    Thus, any citation in WA that does not contain an indication of the infraction -- along with the statutory citation -- would be get dismissed.

    This provision is taken fairly seriously -- I've seen a ticket thrown out because of it. You should check to see if there is a comparable law in Ohio.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Thanks for the reply!

    Sounds good. I haven't been able to find anything definitive yet. At one point I found something that stated (not sure if i was looking at Ohio laws or not) that the officer would be given time to re-write the ticket.

    Anyone else know anything further or any Ohio-specific examples? I'll keep digging!

    Thanks again,

    Jon / Veg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    I agree with Blewis. There are very few "fatal flaws" that will render a citation inadmissable, but omitting the actual statute IS one of them. Failing to provide the defendants name, and failing to fill in the officers name are the other two that I know of.

    Personally, I wouldn't request disclosure or it might trigger a sharp eye'd DA to mail you a revised citation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Book'm--- I agree about not filing for disclosure/discovery and had been debating it.

    I just found this:

    Ohio Rules of Court - Traffic Rules - Rule 3 (Complaint and Summons; Form; Use) Section (C)

    (C) Use of ticket. ... An officer who completes a ticket at the scene of an alleged offense shall not be required to rewrite or type a new complaint as a condition of filing the ticket, unless the original complaint is illegible or does not state an offense. If a new complaint is executed, a copy shall be served upon defendant as soon as possible.

    I have received no new complaint. Also, I haven't found an explicit listing of the information that must be present yet.

    Still looking!
    Jon / Veg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Update:

    http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing...-h.htm&cp=PORC

    Section 2935.26: Issuance of citation for minor misdemeanor.

    (B) The citation shall contain all of the following:

    (1) The name and address of the offender;
    (2) A description of the offense and the numerical designation of the applicable statute or ordinance;
    (3) The name of the person issuing the citation;
    (4) An order for the offender to appear at a stated time and place;
    (5) A notice that the offender may comply with division (C) of this section in lieu of appearing at the stated time and place;
    (6) A notice that the offender is required to do one of the following and that he may be arrested if he fails to do one of them:
    (a) Appear at the time and place stated in the citation;
    (b) Comply with division (C) of this section.

    Looks like this is my saving grace?

    Jon / Veg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Good find! However, you know the expression about all your eggs in one basket -- ideally, you should be prepared to argue your case in chief, just on the off-chance that you'll get a judge who's not sympathetic (of course, that could get overturned on appeal).

    The problem is, that in order to fight the ticket, you'll need discovery information about the radar, etc. But if you request that, they may see the mistake and issue a revised ticket with the proper information.

    Since I'm not a lawyer, I can't give you legal advice. However, this is what I'd do. I would NOT request discovery, then I'd show up at the trial and move for dismissal based upon ORC 2935.26 (B). If the judge doesn't grant it, I'd ask for a continuance to prepare a defense. If that's not granted, I'd pay the fine (since any judge who won't grant the motion for dismissal, will, most assuredly, find you guilty, as well) and file an appeal. But that just me. You'll have to decide for yourself.

    Good luck,
    Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Alright, so my court date is tomorrow so I've been preparing.

    I was reading Ohio Rules of Court / Traffic Court / Rule 11: Pleadings and Motions before Plea and Trial: Defenses and Objections and found the following when trying to find out what I need to do to ask for a dismissal and what would then happen:

    (H) Effect of determination. If the court grants a motion to dismiss based on a defect in the institution of the prosecution or in the complaint, the court shall dismiss the case unless the prosecuting attorney can, pursuant to Criminal Rule 7(D), amend the complaint.

    I know this is just the initial court appearance, but will the Patrol Officer be there? I am worried that if he is there he will amend the ticket and correct his mistake via Criminal Rule 7(D):

    (D) Amendment of indictment, information, or complaint. The court may at any time before, during, or after a trial amend the indictment, information, complaint, or bill of particulars, in respect to any defect, imperfection, or omission in form or substance, or of any variance with the evidence, provided no change is made in the name or identity of the crime charged....

    Should I try to get another continuance in hopes that the Officer will not show and be able to amend the ticket? (Provided he is supposed to be there?) If the DA or someone other than the ticketing officer is there I think I am safe because they should have no way of know what the offense actually was.

    Anyone have any further information?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jon / Veg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    Quote Quoting Vegetto
    I know this is just the initial court appearance, but will the Patrol Officer be there?
    Are you saying that you'll have another appearance after this one? That this is like a "preliminary hearing" where you simply enter your plea and the court sets the date for the actual hearing?

    If so, they'll probably figure out their mistake when they call your case and rectify it by the hearing date.

    BTW, from what you've shown Criminal Rule 7(D) wouldn't apply, since there is NO "name or identity of the crime charged" on your ticket, and that's the one thing they are not allowed to change.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Fighting my ticket

    I have never tried to fight a ticket before and was under the assumption that the first time you go to court you enter your plea and then a trial date is given, so you are understanding me correctly.

    Regarding Rule 7(D) I was mis-reading and thinking they couldn't change the person charged... I have re-read it and agree with you that the rule shouldn't apply then.

    Ugh... I really dont wanna have to go through the PITA of an actual trial...

    Jon / Veg

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