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The Definitive Guide to Outsmarting the System And Beating Your Speeding Ticket in Court... WITHOUT A LAWYER!

By Damon Dallah

Fourth Edition

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER:

The information contained within this book is not intended to be used as legal advice. Beat the System is a compilation from the authors own knowledge, research, opinions, experience and by consulting some of the relevant authorities, laws and government publications. Every attempt was made to ensure this information is accurate and up to date. The author disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of the content of this book. The publisher and author disclaim any personal liability from loss, damages, convictions, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information or methods presented in this book. Also note that the author does not guarantee (either expressed or implied) that any speeding tickets will be avoided or dismissed in a court of law when this system is being worked. The reader agrees to use this information in a reasonable manner and at their own discretion and risk. Court procedures and laws differ (and change regularly) from sate to state and county to county. The reader agrees it is their responsibility to know the law and exact court procedures used where they live. If the reader is in doubt as to any legal procedures, it is to their own benefit and highly recommended they consult with a licensed attorney specializing in such matters. Do not act on or rely on any information from Beat the System without consulting with a licensed attorney as this book is not a substitute for obtaining appropriate legal advice from competent, independent legal counsel.

TERMS OF SERVICE: BY READING BEAT THE SYSTEM, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE PREVIOUS TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE. IF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE IN FULL, YOU MUST STOP READING ANY FURTHER.

This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized use or reprints of this book is strictly prohibited. You DO NOT have the right to repackage, copy, distribute or resell this book! All violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Copyright © ­ BEAT THE SYSTEM - All Rights Reserved

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Table of Contents

Intro..................................................................................................................6 How to Use This Book...........................................................................9 PART 1...........................................................................................................10 So You Got a Ticket................................................................................11 First Things First.............................................................................12 Set a Court Date............................................................................14 Your Legal Rights........................................................................... 16 Good Impression............................................................................19 The Traffic Court System..................................................................20 Players.............................................................................................. 21 In and Out.......................................................................................24 Time in Court..................................................................................25 Methods of Speed Capture................................................................27 Case Essentials.........................................................................................30 Calibration........................................................................................30 Log Books........................................................................................34 Direct and Cross Examination.....................................................35 Judicial Notice.................................................................................36 Close Doesn't Count......................................................................38 Actual Trial...............................................................................................39 What Not to Do............................................................ 39 Plea Bargaining...............................................................................44 Preventing the Officer from Showing Up.................................. 48 Standards of Proof...............................................................................51 Reasonable Doubt..........................................................................52 Preponderance of the Evidence..................................................54 How to Throw Out Evidence..............................................................57 Defense Strategy.....................................................................................58 Reasonable Doubt..........................................................................59 Case Law......................................................................................................62

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Part 2.............................................................................................................72 Fatal Flaws..................................................................................................73 Testimony Attack....................................................................................75 Stationary Radar Defense.................................................................. 82 Scenario #1.................................................................85 Scenario #2.....................................................................................88 Scenario #3.....................................................................................90 Scenario #4.....................................................................................93 Scenario #5.....................................................................................95 Scenario #6.....................................................................................97 Scenario #7.....................................................................................98

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Moving Radar Defense.........................................................................99 Construction Zone Defense..........................................................106 School Zone Defense.........................................................................114 Laser Defense........................................................................................118 Testing.........................................................................................123 Pacing Defense..................................................................................... 126 Scenario #1.................................................................................127 Scenario #2.................................................................................129 Scenario #3.................................................................................130 VASCAR Defense.................................................................................. 132 Scenario #1.................................................................................134 Scenario #2.................................................................................135 Scenario #3.................................................................................137 Scenario#4..................................................................................139 Legally Speed Defense......................................................................142 Visual Estimation Defense.............................................................. 145 MUTCD Defense..................................................................................... 146 Court Time...................................................................................154 Discrepancies...............................................................................156

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PART 3........................................................................................................161 Playing Unfairly.....................................................................................162 Objections and Leading Questions.............................................165 Objections.................................................................................... 165 Leading Questions......................................................................167 No Prosecutor......................................................................................168 Get a New Trial...................................................................................... 171 Appeal.........................................................................................................173 Traffic School..........................................................................................176 Closing Arguments..............................................................................178 Conclusion................................................................................................180

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Glossary.....................................................................................................183 Appendix...................................................................................................187

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Introduction

Hello and welcome to Beat the System. When it comes to contesting speeding tickets, NO other book comes close. Consider yourself fortunate for being able to read this. Much of its' content is not known to the general public. So mysterious and secret, Beat the System will reveal amazing proven techniques that really work! Your decision to stand up and fight is an undoubtedly wise decision. At the same time, it is a brave one for the simple fact that you will be going up against one of the most powerful entities around... the US government. I know that may seem like a very formidable opponent - but never fear. The government, like any other form of organization in the world, is prone to some mistakes. These mistakes are our secret weapons. What you have before you is all you'll need to master the art of beating speeding tickets. Beat the System is a treasure chest of interesting tips, tricks, and proven strategies that will ultimately have you saying goodbye to speeding tickets forever. Beat the System will put you inside the courtroom with the legal strategies and defense tactics you need to beat your ticket easily and effectively. Don't let that word 'legal' fool you. There's absolutely nothing difficult or confusing about it. No traffic court system in the country will be able to convict you of speeding once you're done implementing Beat the System. The opposing state prosecutor will wish he never laid eyes on you.

Who Deserves A Ticket?

So, what distinguishes one who deserves a ticket from one who doesn't? Basically, there are two types of drivers on the road today. You have your law abiding citizens who stop at every red traffic light, slow down through school zones and give other drivers the right of way when necessary. They try to follow the posted speed limits at all times. Occasionally they may

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exceed the speed limit, but only when it is safe to do so. Or they may exceed the speed limit absentmindedly for a few moments. In other words, they are for the most part safe drivers. On the other hand, you have your speed racers who think they own the streets. They make their presence felt with their disregard for traffic laws and safety. They run through stop signs, tailgate to get others to move and cut and weave through heavy traffic. They usually use their daily commute to catch up on things they didn't have time for at home like eating breakfast, shaving or applying makeup. They do all of this without the least bit of concern for others' safety. It's these types of people police officers should be focusing their attention and trying to catch. Their driving habits are dangerous for everyone on the road. I advocate safety to the fullest.

This is NOT a book that condones or encourages fast and reckless driving!

If you find yourself driving extremely fast without any regard for others safety, then you're on your own. You won't find anything to help you here. You deserve a ticket. Beat the System crosses the line between safe speeding and irresponsible driving. As long as you aren't driving recklessly or while intoxicated, you will have a great chance at beating your speeding ticket. That's only common sense, but many people who do drive exceptionally fast think they can continue to do so and get away with it simply by reading this book. So, if you bought this book with the intention of avoiding a ticket while you and your buddies do a little drag racing, stop right now and get your money back. Nothing in here will help you! It would be in your best interest to close this book and open up The Yellow Pages instead... to start looking for a good lawyer. For the rest of you who momentarily lost track of your speed, weren't going 40+ over the limit or who are innocent victims of the system, with Beat the System at your fingertips you hold the most powerful source of information

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money can buy. This book will continue to pay for itself time and time again. Never will you be duped into "illegally" contributing to your county, city or states revenue pool again. Sit back, relax and enjoy this e-book. It's quite the eye opener.

Damon Dallah - Author

Note: Throughout this book, I refer to the police officer, judge, prosecutor and defendant in the masculine term. This is not to undermine females in any way. I only do this because it's easier to say "he" or "him" instead of he/she all the time when describing someone. For all you women out there, please don't get mad .

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How To Use This e-Book

This book is conveniently broken up into three parts. Part 1 basically gives you a formal lesson of some of the traffic court procedures, what to expect in court, what you should and shouldn't do (before and during the trial) and other essential knowledge you should have before actually learning the defenses. Part 2 is where you will find the speeding defenses. Each defense is separated into its own section or category. Part 3 is more or less a conclusion that gives you additional tips on how to handle the trial and other helpful hints that will assist you in getting the most out of your trial. I suggest you read all of Parts 1 and 3 and only the defense you need in Part 2. There's really no need to read every defense given, if for instance you're trying to fight a laser speeding ticket. However, the one defense EVERYONE should read (regardless of what type of ticket you are fighting) is the MUTCD Defense in Part 2. This defense is applicable to everyone and is very powerful. Lastly, off to the left of this book is a tab called "bookmarks". Depending on what version of Adobe Reader you are using to read this book it will look different for everyone. But generally in older versions it simply says "bookmarks" and in newer versions (7.0 and up) it looks like a sheet of paper with a blue ribbon hanging down from it. By clicking on this you can easily jump to different sections of the book without having to scroll from page to page.

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PART 1

The Fundamentals

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So You Got A Ticket

There you are on the side of the road somewhere late for work and staring a speeding ticket dead in the face. For one reason or another, the officer didn't give in to your efforts at trying to get a warning instead. It could have been you were speeding much too fast or maybe you were the victim of a ticket quota. Whatever the case may be, that is behind you now. Don't gripe and whine about it. What's done is done. All is not lost yet. The mere fact that you have a speeding ticket doesn't mean anything at first. By signing the ticket you haven't pleaded guilty or admitted to anything. You are just promising to show up for court at the assigned date and time. Now it is time to initiate Plan B. Plan A involved trying to avoid the speeding ticket. If that didn't work, it is time for Plan B -- beating this ticket in court! Many people who don't bother fighting their ticket in court are under the false notion that it is impossible to defeat. That's what the courts would like you to think. Nothing could be further from the truth. Too many people needlessly pay up, without knowing what their options are. They are intimidated with the whole court process and choose to bypass it as much as possible by just paying the fine. If this describes you, then you have been properly conditioned by our justice system. The traffic court process is not as confusing and scary as you think. Going to court can be a simple task if you know how to do it. Now it is time to learn how.

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First Things First

The first thing you will want to do is examine your speeding ticket. This is a very important first step. There may be some required procedures for you to perform, BEFORE you step foot inside the courtroom. This means if you're instructed to do something - you had better do it! Many states and jurisdictions require you to put forth some effort before something can be done. For instance, you may be required to show in writing that you request the presence of the officer to testify during the trial. Failure to do so may result in you showing up for court with no officer present. As much as you like the sound of that, I'm sorry to inform you that this is a TERRIBLE idea. In these instances, your case will not be dismissed if the officer fails to appear in court. Why? Because you never requested that he shows. If you don't request it - he doesn't have to come. Instead of the police officer coming to court he will send a written affidavit stating your guilt. When the officer is not present in court, the only thing you have to question is the affidavit itself. Ever try to get an answer from a piece of paper? It's not very cooperative is it? When the officer doesn't show for court, your defense strategy crumbles because the affidavit then becomes the "eye witness" against you. Since you can't prove a piece of paper to be wrong (it can`t answer your questions), you lose your case. Many jurisdictions use this sneaky practice. Read the back of your ticket very carefully. All pertinent procedures should be followed exactly as described. Another thing they have been doing more and more these days is requiring you to subpoena the prosecution's evidence before you go to court. This way, if you ask the prosecution to submit forth any evidence and you did not subpoena it before the trial, the judge will say the prosecutor has no obligation to present this evidence.

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As you'll see later in this book, I tell you not to do such a thing before the trial. However, if it specifically says on the back of your ticket to do so, then simply write a letter with your ticket information on it and the date of your trial stating that you want the prosecution to present ALL of the evidence relevant to your case. This is what is called a subpoena duces tecum (pronounced dookis takem). (You may have to get the appropriate documentation from the courthouse in order to do this. Contact the court and find out for sure.) By having done so, you deny the judge or prosecutor the chance to say they don't have to present the evidence you are requesting. Never request a specific item. Just say you want ALL the evidence to be brought to court the prosecutor plans to convict you with. This is just a formality. More than likely the prosecutor still won't bring anything with him. Lastly, check to see how you are supposed to plea. Sometimes you may have to put your plea in writing and mail it to the court.

Important Note: If you send anything by mail, make sure it is registered mail. This way you can show proof that you did send something if they say you didn't. Have the court clerk sign for receiving your mail. Also keep a copy of what you send and always bring it to court with you.

The next thing you will want to do is find out what method the officer used to measure your speed. I always inform people not to ask the officer during the traffic stop how he clocked you speeding, so as not to tip him off that you will be contesting the charge. Instead, just take a look at your speeding ticket. It will be written somewhere on the ticket the exact measuring device used (i.e. radar, moving radar, laser, pacing). Not until you find out exactly what the officer used to measure your speed can you begin to build your case. Once you have this information, you'll know what defense strategy is best for you.

Note: If the method used to clock your speed is not given, then your only choice is to make a discovery request (more on this later).

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Set A Court Date

The next order on the agenda is to set your court date so you can contest your ticket. Procedures will differ depending on where you live, but basically there are three ways to set a court date: 1. Going to the courthouse and requesting a trial in person. 2. Sending a copy of your ticket to the courthouse and requesting a trial date. 3. Attending the arraignment date given on the ticket and giving your plea. Find out which is offered where you live by examining the ticket or by calling your local county clerk.

How to Plead

In court you have three options to choose from when pleading your case. 1. Guilty - By pleading guilty, you are relinquishing your right to contest this ticket in court. You are stating that the accusations against you are correct and you are willing to pay the price. The judge will then find you guilty and impose a fine. Your meeting with the law is now over and you will be instructed to go down to the clerk's window and pay the fine. 2. Nolo Contendere - Also known as No Contest. This plea basically states you do not completely disagree with the charges against you, but that you have an explanation as to why you committed the violation. You are placing your fate in the hands of the judge. Most people choose to plead No Contest to traffic violations. After pleading no contest, depending on your excuse, the judge may find you guilty or not guilty. I would say that 99% of those people who plead No Contest will ultimately be found guilty -- good excuse or not. 3. Not Guilty - This is what you are going to plead. By pleading not guilty, you are not necessarily stating you did not commit the violation, but the courts can not prove, by providing sufficient

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evidence, that you are guilty. When you plead Not Guilty, the judge will set a date and time for you to reappear in court and will subpoena the officer who gave you the ticket to also appear (remember in some states you may have to subpoena the officer yourself ­ check your ticket). This next court date will be the actual trial. Simply by pleading Not Guilty, you already have a 30 - 50% chance (give or take) of beating your ticket. Many times, for a variety of reasons, the officer will fail to show up to court. If he doesn't show, your case will most often be dismissed! If this doesn't encourage you to fight your ticket, then I don't know what will.

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Your Rights

As a U.S. citizen, the constitution has given you some very powerful rights when it comes to contesting speeding tickets. Know and understand your civil liberties before going any further. It's these rights that make this country a great place to live in.

Know What You Are Being Charged With

You have a right to know why you are going to court. Any questions or concerns should be addressed to the courts.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Anyone who is charged with a crime in this country is innocent until the prosecution can prove otherwise. The same holds true in traffic court cases. If you are charged with a traffic offense, the burden is on the prosecution to prove you did in fact commit the alleged violation. Depending on where you live, that burden of proof can be very high or extremely low. (More on this later.)

Right to a Speedy Trial

This gives the state a certain amount of time to try your case in court. If that time expires, the state may not be able to carry through with the trial. The term for this time is called the Statute of Limitations. If you can prove that the state has exceeded the Statute of Limitations, you should have your case dismissed. Normally, this time is no more than 45 - 90 days from your arraignment date. But it will differ from state to state. It's a good idea to keep a close eye on this date. Many times the court clerk will make an error in scheduling your court date and may give you a date that falls outside the mandatory time they have to try your case. If you do notice the date is more than 45 days (or whatever time your state has) from your arraignment, say absolutely nothing about it. If you mention it to the courts, they have the right to change your trial date. What I suggest you do is keep quiet about it until your trial. When your case is called, motion to the judge to have your case dismissed

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since your right to a speedy trial has been violated. Motion for Dismissal: Your Honor, my right to a speedy trial has been violated in that the trial date has been scheduled past the Statute of Limitations of 45 days. I motion for a dismissal. (Note: 45 days is given as an example only. Yours may be slightly shorter or longer.)

Right to Counsel

When attempting to fight this ticket in court, you have the option of hiring the services of an attorney or representing yourself. The state will not appoint a lawyer for you, unless jail time is at stake. Otherwise, you would have to pay for your own attorney. Should you hire one? I always shy away from hiring an attorney for traffic court cases. There are two main reasons why you should not hire an attorney. Reason #1 - The lawyer's fees may be too high for the offense you are being charged with. Reason #2 - You can easily do what a traffic attorney would do in court. The only time you should hire an attorney is if jail time or the loss of your license is at stake. You will find the services of an attorney almost mandatory in these instances. Otherwise, go it alone and save yourself some money. I guess you've already decided on that or you wouldn't be reading this right now.

Right to a Jury Trial

If you feel the judge will be biased when rendering his final verdict, you have the right to motion for a jury trial (in criminal cases only). Although this may seem like a good idea, don't do it. Prosecutors always come prepared for a jury trial. Jury trials also cost the court time and money. If you want to make the judge mad and order a jury trial, go right ahead. But be forewarned, jury trials are harder to win. I should also note that this option is not available in all states. States which have decriminalized speeding offenses no longer offer you the right to a jury trial. Your case is considered a civil offense where there

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are no juries.

Right to Discovery

Before your court date, you can motion for the prosecution to submit forth all the evidence they plan to convict you with. This is called discovery and may sound like a good idea at first, but it is one of the most damaging things you can do. I highly recommend you steer clear of doing this. (However there are certain times where you have to -- i.e. to find out the method used to clock your speed if it is not written on the ticket.) If you ask to see the prosecution's evidence, the prosecutor will know you are planning a good defense and he will better prepare his case against you. Never hint to the prosecution you are familiar with the legal system. Never contact or ask the prosecution for anything before the trial starts. The objective of Beat the System is to catch them by surprise. I will speak a bit more on discovery a little later in this book.

Right to Avoid Self Incrimination

This is going to be one of the most important rights you have with you when you walk into that courtroom. This allows you the right to avoid testifying on the stand where the prosecution can cross examine you. By testifying on your own behalf, you stand the chance of incriminating yourself or having the prosecution damage your testimony during cross examination. Again, I will touch up a bit more on this topic also.

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Good Impression

Since you will be in a court of law, it only makes sense to arrive clean and well presentable in appearance. You don't have to necessarily wear a suit and tie, but first impressions are vital to winning your case. In a situation where things can go either way, the judge may rely heavily on your appearance and manner to render his decision. Always arrive on time and prepared. If your case is called and you are not present, you will be found guilty of the charge against you or worse yet, have a bench warrant out for your arrest. Always address the judge as Your Honor or Judge. Never engage in loud or disruptive behavior. You are only damaging your case and increasing the chance of getting hit with contempt of court which may carry jail time. Never interrupt the judge or prosecutor while they are talking. Always stand when the judge is entering or leaving the room. Take off your hat and sunglasses inside the courtroom. Avoid wearing bright colors to court. Take off your coat, if it is big and bulky. You will look more presentable with the clothes you have on underneath. Avoid wearing excessive jewelry. If you have long hair, wrap it up in a pony tail. Men should remove all earrings prior to going to court. Also, both men and women should remove lip, nose, and eye rings. All judges will be critiquing you on your physical appearance. Turn off all cell phones and pagers during the trial. It's very rude and disruptive to have your phone ring while court is in session. Avoid bringing young children who can cry and be distracting during the trial.

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The Traffic Court System

Maybe you have stepped foot inside a traffic courtroom before. It's probably the only experience you've had with the legal system. Unfortunately, most of you don't know what to do once you get there. Fear and a lack of knowledge make people discouraged from using the very system which is in place for their protection. Because of the misinformation that is floating around, about 95% of ticket holders walking into traffic court will just plead guilty and pay the fine. Frightened people see courtrooms with huge ceilings and cold, lonely atmospheres. The judge always looks like a bully out to get you. Everyone's intimidated with the whole court process and wants to get it over with FAST! Do not be intimidated by the court. If you give in to your fears you will never win. The judge, police officer and prosecutor are all on the same side and team up against you to instill fear. This keeps you off guard and them in control. You can break that level of control by knowing your rights. The law really does work in your favor and limits what these guys can or can't do in the courtroom. They have to follow the same rules you do too, so they are NOT above the law. It is easy to get sidetracked and hypnotized with the whole courtroom atmosphere and legal jargon. If you allow this to get to you then the court system has done its job and prevailed against you. The only way to avoid the common pit falls of the court system is to be knowledgeable on basic issues and to be armed with a foolproof defense strategy. This book will do just that. After you have read it, you will never look at the court system the same way again.

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The Players

The traffic court system is very similar to any other judicial system in the country. There are certain people you should familiarize yourself with before stepping foot into the courtroom. They are as follows:

The Judge

The judge is the highest authority in the courtroom. In some instances a judge may appoint a magistrate to preside over the trial. A magistrate isn't a judge, so to speak, but functions like one in the courtroom. No matter whom it is, his job remains the same. He is in court as a neutral party. He will hear both sides speak and after everyone is finished with their case, will render a decision based on the evidence that was presented. He is the one you will be making your motions and objections to. His main role is to act as a referee between the prosecution and the defense (you). Although by law, the judge must have a neutral position in the courtroom, you will soon find out that his main goal is to find you guilty. Of course he will never admit it, but the judge does not like his time or the courts resources wasted on a lousy speeding ticket. In his mind, you are guilty and should have just pleaded that way in the beginning. For all purposes of this book, your main objective in the courtroom is to convince and persuade the judge into dismissing your case. Unless you are cross examining the state's witness (police officer), all your words and actions should be directed towards the judge. The judge is the only one in the courtroom that can find you not guilty. Don't get on his bad side. You could very well have a solid defense, but wind up guilty anyway if you say or do something to make the judge mad.

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The Prosecutor

The prosecutor is the state's lawyer hired to represent its' case. Often times, the prosecutor is a recent law school graduate who is only in traffic court until they get a higher position and better paying job. With their inexperience, mediocre pay and desire to be somewhere else, you are at a great advantage over the prosecutor. Unlike a high money trial or murder case, the prosecutor NEVER comes fully prepared. Traffic cases involve dozens of trials that must be heard in a relatively short period of time. Due to this fact, the prosecutor doesn't have the time or resources to completely establish his case against each defendant. As a result, important pieces of evidence will fail to make their way into the courtroom. That's really good news for you! If it weren't for the lack of time and resources on the prosecution's part, Beat the System would be awfully hard to work. Beating your ticket would become a very gruesome task. Fortunately for us, we can allow the system to work in our favor. With the "hurry up and get them out of here" attitude the courts have, your case becomes so much easier to win.

Special Note: You should be advised that not all states will hire a prosecutor to represent their case. It is completely legal for a trial to continue without one. But, it really doesn't make a difference either way. Whether a prosecuting attorney is present or not will not change the outcome of the trial. I include some information later in this book on how to handle a case when no prosecutor is present.

The Bailiff

The bailiff is a uniformed officer of the court. He's the judge's right hand man. He acts as the courts police officer and judge's helper. If you are unruly, he will escort you out or worse... arrest you.

The Court Clerk

The court clerk under general supervision performs a variety of legal procedures relating to the preparation and processing of court cases. The clerk also files court documents and receipts fines, fees and bond

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payments. If you should ever have a question about your case ­ before it starts ­ then this is the person to see.

The Star Witness

The prosecution's star witness is always the police officer who issued the ticket. He will be the first and often times only person to take the stand and testify. His testimony is of great importance in the courtroom for two reasons: 1. He is a police officer who, like the bailiff, is an officer of the court (more on this later). 2. He is the one who clocked you speeding, so he is an eye witness to the violation. The police officer is no stranger to the court system. He's probably been there hundreds of times before to testify against motorists. He knows what to say and how to say it. He will give his testimony very convincingly. The police officer knows the judge and prosecutor very well. Often times they are on a first name basis. They will work as a team to try and bring you down. Every person they encounter uses a slightly different variation to the same defense. They are familiar with the "it wasn't me" or "radar was faulty" defenses and know how to respond to them. Not until they see you, will they encounter that one in a million unbeatable defense strategy. They won't know what hit them and won't be able to respond. They will accept it as a loss and carry on.

The Defendant

The defendant is the accused. You are the defendant in this case. The defendant has many rights at his disposal for defending himself (as we have just seen). One of those rights is cross examination of the prosecution's witness. It's here where the defendant (you) will win the case!

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In and Out

Your time in the courtroom will be swift. Things will be happening very quickly. Traffic court cases cost valuable time and money. When you add the judge's fee, the prosecutor's fee, the police officer's overtime, the courtroom fees, paperwork, secretaries, and case filers -- the costs quickly skyrocket. It is in the court's best interest to speed things up as much as possible. Every minute in that courtroom is costing the city money. The faster they can get people in, the faster they can find them guilty and impose their harsh (and ridiculous) fines. This "in and out" attitude the courts have adopted does a pretty good job of maximizes their returns -- but it makes the courts vulnerable for a whole lot of critical mistakes. And it's these mistakes that make it so easy to beat your speeding ticket. Fortunately for us, we can allow their hastiness to backfire on them. You see, the prosecutor has to try dozens of cases throughout the day. He doesn't have the time or resources to properly prepare his case for each defendant he prosecutes. As a result, important pieces of evidence will fail to make their way into the courtroom. This is how we manipulate the system. With this unique defense strategy you are about to learn, the prosecutor is caught off guard and can't respond. He'll be more than happy to have your case dismissed on the spot for fear of someone else in the courtroom mimicking your exact moves. With so many other defendants in the courtroom the judge will be eager to dismiss your case too if you expose these mistakes. This is yet another advantage you have over your opponent. But never forget this: you must capitalize on your advantage! It doesn't make sense to just know they make mistakes, but it's also necessary to know what mistakes they make. And then once you know what these mistakes are you can easily formulate a defense plan around them.

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Your Time In Court

After your initial arraignment, you will have your trial. Actually, in some places there will be a pretrial date before the actual trial. It is at the pretrial where deals are made. We won't distinguish between the two because then it tends to get a little confusing because not all places have a pretrial. Just regard the following information as if it were the actual trial. There will be a date and time for you to attend. Make sure you're not late. I'd advise you come at least 30 minutes early and sit towards the front of the courtroom. Sometimes (but not always), the first person in the courtroom will also be the first to give his defense. The reason why this may be so is because when the bailiff (or other court employee) starts roll call he or she will begin from the front of the court and one by one ask everyone to state their name. As these names are called off, their case files will be stacked in this same order. When the cases are finally heard, the judge will usually start in the same order as the names that were called. As you arrive, you may or may not be allowed to enter the courtroom. Just wait out in the lobby until the bailiff invites everyone into the courtroom. Once inside, the judge will not be present at first. The bailiff will call everyone's name to make sure they are present. Once all the names have been called, the prosecutor (or assistant prosecutor) will now attempt to strike some plea bargains (deals) to prevent as many people as possible from contesting their tickets. He will only call those defendants who have decent driving records. One by one names will be called and people will be leaving the courtroom to follow the prosecutor to his office. This process is carried on with the rest of the defendants. Once everyone has been taken care of, the judge will then enter the room. Now, it is very difficult for me to get into too much detail at this point. Procedures vary greatly from state to state, but I'll give you a general description of what comes next to follow. First, anyone who has hired a lawyer to defend them will be allowed to go first. That's usually the case throughout the county. Once they are out of the way, the judge will then begin to call everyone else who has come to defend themselves. Once your name is called, approach the defendant's desk and wait for further

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instructions. The judge will give the prosecutor the go-ahead to start his case against you. The prosecutor may begin with a short opening statement. Once he has done that, he will call his star witness (the police officer). The police officer will take the stand where he will be questioned by the prosecutor to try and establish your guilt. This phase of the trial is called the direct examination. The prosecutor will start with the customary routine of asking the officer to state his name and number of years on the force. The prosecutor will then ask the officer what it was he caught you doing and how he caught you doing it. The officer will respond with convincing testimony. One-by-one the prosecutor will be asking the officer specific questions about the stop. Each question is designed to make you look guilty. The police officer already knows what will be asked and always has his answers ready. Back and forth the prosecutor and police officer will be building their case against you. Like a championship team, they will wok very well with each other. It will seem as if the prosecutor has destroyed you with his well thought out questioning of the police officer. But when you know exactly what the prosecutor is going to ask during the direct examination, you can easily put together an unbeatable cross examination. Once the prosecutor thinks he's done a good enough job at proving his case to the court, he will then throw the ball in your court so that you may begin questioning the officer. The judge will then ask you if you would like to cross examine the police officer. You reply "Yes Your Honor", and wait for further instructions. Place your note cards you have prepared in advance on the desk or podium in front of you. You are allowed to read directly from your notes, so there is nothing to memorize. You will then commence with your cross examination as outlined in Part 2 of this book. Don't be discouraged, if you do it right it will only take a few minutes!

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Methods of Speed Capture

Basically, a police officer has 6 different methods to measure your speed. They are... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Radar Laser Pacing Photo VASCAR Aerial

1. Radar

The most popular method of speed detection is without a doubt, radar. Radar stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging. It works by transmitting radio waves from a gun into the air at a certain frequency. When these waves hit a moving object they will bounce back at a different frequency. Depending on how fast they come back, the difference in frequency is mathematically calculated as the speed. This speed then appears on the small screen of the radar gun. It's important to point out that there are numerous factors that can occur either while the radio wave is being emitted or while it is returning, to give a false reading. Plus, the person operating the radar gun can and will make mistakes. It's good to know this, but you shouldn't concern yourself with it too much. The radar gun must be frequently tested and calibrated for accuracy. This is done with the use of tuning forks (more on this later). There are also two modes of radar guns, stationary and moving radar. As their names suggest, stationary radar guns can only be used when the police car is not moving and moving radar can be used while the car is in motion. As a result of these differences, there are separate defenses needed for each type of radar unit. Of course, I give you both of them. I can go on and on about how radar works and how it fails. There have been entire books written on this subject. For our purposes it's enough to know that radar guns can and do make mistakes. The actual workings of the radar guns are not important and extremely boring.

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2. Laser

Laser or lidar as it is also known, differs a bit from the radar. Instead of radio waves, a laser uses pulses of light. Light from the laser gun is beamed on a moving object. A laser makes its calculations using time and distance. Each pulse of light travels a certain distance to hit its target. That distance will get shorter as the object approaches. Depending on how fast that distance gets shorter, a measurement of the speed is calculated. Like the radar gun, a laser gun must also be tested and calibrated for accuracy. Like the radar gun, the laser gun itself can be field tested by the police officer. The test involves securing the laser gun to a fixed position (or tripod) and distance. There are no tuning forks for a laser gun. Laser is not as wide spread in its use as radar is, but it is gaining in popularity. There are only about 30,000 or so laser guns in use today, (as opposed to over 150,000 for radar). That number will continue to remain low because of its high cost, about 3 to 4 times that of radar.

3. Pacing

If you ever get pulled over for speeding by this method, you definitely weren't paying attention to your surroundings. By pacing you, an officer will travel nearby (usually behind you) at the same speed you are for a short distance and then he will look at his speedometer reading. Whatever his speedometer reading is, that's the speed you are traveling at. As you probably guessed by now, yes, the speedometer in the vehicle has to be calibrated too. Either by a facility certified in speedometer calibration or by the officer clocking the vehicles speed with a (calibrated) radar or laser gun. If the reading in the radar/laser gun matches the vehicles speed, then everything is working properly. One thing I would like to mention regarding the calibration of speedometers is that internal and external factors can alter a speedometer's reading. Let's say a vehicle has just had its speedometer calibrated. About 2 weeks later it becomes involved in an accident. In a court of law, the speedometer is no longer considered calibrated. Not until a new calibration is performed

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after the accident will the speedometer be accurate.

4. Photo Radar

Photo speed detection is where an apparatus is set up on the side of the road with a camera and a radar gun coupled together. Whenever the radar gun triggers a vehicle traveling over a certain speed, it instantly sends a message to the camera to take a picture of the entire vehicle. After a whole day of this, all the pictures taken will be collected and by the license plate information, the owner of the vehicle is located and mailed a speeding ticket with a fine. Once again, the radar gun and camera must be calibrated.

5. VASCAR

VASCAR stands for Visual Average Speed Computer And Reading. It's a very simple process. The officer will have two defined markers on the road (usually a quarter of a mile apart). As you pass the first marker, the officer starts a stop watch (or other similar device). As you cross the second marker, the officer will stop the watch. The amount of time it took you to get from the first marker to the second is divided by the length between the markers. This will give the officer your speed. It's a type of visual estimation. Although you may have never heard of it before, it is a very popular form of speed detection in many states.

6. Aerial

This is the biggest waste of taxpayer's money the government has ever spent. Basically, a plane in the sky will target fast moving vehicles on the ground and measure their speed. Once a reading is taken, an officer waiting on the ground is notified of the vehicle and pulls it over to issue a ticket. It's only used in a small number of states. The cost of maintaining this type of speed detection is obviously expensive (i.e. airplane, gas, pilot, police officer). For an aerial defense you will use the same one for VASCAR. They both employ the same principles, except for VASCAR the officer is on the ground and for aerial the officer is obviously in the air.

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Case Essentials

Calibration

The American Heritage dictionary defines calibration: 1. To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quantitative measuring instrument): calibrate a thermometer. Calibration is the means of testing and/or repairing a measuring device to establish accuracy. For our purposes, calibration involves the testing of a speed measuring device, whether it be photo radar, radar/laser gun, or pacing (speedometer). In either case, the measuring device must be properly calibrated in order for it to be considered accurate in a court of law. The best way to check any electronic measuring device is to compare it with another device set at a certain known measurement and see if the two are exact. If they are, everything's working fine. If they are different, it becomes obvious that one of the two measuring devices is faulty.

Accuracy Check

Being that radar guns are electronic and are used to measure something - speed - they must be periodically checked for accuracy. All radar guns come equipped with an internal check button. This allows the officer to give it a quick circuitry test by pushing the button and displaying a preprogrammed speed on the screen. This is only considered an initial quick check, just to show that the inner electronics are functioning properly. There is a better and far more legally accepted way to check or test the radar unit. Every radar unit comes with at least 2 or 3 tuning forks. These tuning forks are set at a certain speed. Each one is a little higher than the previous, i.e. 30 mph, 50 mph, and 70 mph.

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The radar will give out measurements for each fork. If each measurement corresponds with the fork being used, it's a safe bet that the gun is functioning properly. Another way to check the gun for accuracy is to clock another vehicle (usually a police car) traveling at a pre-determined speed. If both the vehicle's speedometer and the radar reading are equal, then it's safe to assume the gun is working properly, but ONLY if the speedometer in the vehicle was calibrated also.

Tuning Forks

As mentioned, the radar gun must be tested with tuning forks. Every radar gun issued in this country comes with two or three tuning forks. Each tuning fork is stamped with a serial number. These tuning forks are specific to the radar gun they come with. The officer MUST use the same tuning forks issued with the unit. He can not use a tuning fork from an outside radar gun! Much like tuning forks you might remember in music class, radar tuning forks work exactly the same way. By hitting the tuning forks against a non-metal object (usually the soles of the officer's shoes) each individual fork will give off a certain wave frequency. Each tuning fork is preset with a specific wave frequency and when it is hit it will give off that exact frequency. When the radar gun is used to calculate this frequency (by pointing it at the tuning fork), it must match (within 1 mph) to the tuning fork. If the tuning fork is set at 30 mph for example, the radar gun must indicate a speed of either 29, 30, or 31 mph. Anything outside this range is unacceptable.

Every radar gun comes with a manual. Regardless of who manufactured the radar gun, every manual states the same thing regarding the accuracy of the radar gun. They all say that a radar gun can only be established as being accurate if it was tested BEFORE and immediately AFTER it was used. You will want to use this during your defense. Also note that police officers do not calibrate radar or laser guns. What they do is test them for accuracy. There's a difference between the two.

An Important Note Concerning the Radar Gun Test:

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The actual calibration is done by a certified professional. This can involve a number of procedures such as taking apart the radar unit or using special equipment and computers to calibrate the unit, which is outside the scope of typical police work. Many books on the subject of beating speeding tickets don't differentiate between the two (testing and calibrating) but I do and you should too.

An Important Note Concerning the Tuning Forks:

If the tuning fork is damaged (cracked, scratched, or chipped) or is exposed to excessive heat (as is commonly the case when placed in the trunk of the police car), it will give off a different tone than what was originally pre-set. If this happens, any testing that is performed by the officer will create faulty readings. Not only must the measuring device be tested, it must be tested within a reasonable time of the offense. Depending on the device used, this time differs. With regards to a radar gun, reasonable time is no longer than the actual day of the offense. The officer must test the gun on the same day you were clocked. Also, as a double check, the unit MUST BE checked again immediately after the ticket is written. Many officers fail to perform the check after the ticket is written. Very Important: Not only must the radar gun itself be tested for accuracy, but the tuning forks used to test the radar gun must be calibrated within a reasonable amount of time. This time is usually no more than 6 months (or 1 year in some locations) from the time the offense occurred. If the tuning forks were dropped or damaged in any way, regardless of when the last time they were calibrated, they must be recalibrated. The calibration of the tuning forks should be done by a certified facility and not the police officer. If the officer tested his radar or laser gun by clocking another vehicle, the speedometer in the vehicle must also have been calibrated. In almost every state, 6 months to 1 year is the maximum length of time regarding speedometers. The calibration must also be done by a certified facility. Not any garage will do. If the vehicle has been in an accident or has had new tires or any other

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alterations done to it, the speedometer's calibration is no longer considered valid until a new calibration has been performed. Testing and calibration is a very important aspect to winning your case. If you can show the device used to measure your speed was not tested or calibrated (or at least not in accordance with a certain time frame), you should have no problems convincing the judge to dismiss your case.

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Log Books

Radar Log

When a radar gun is repaired and/or calibrated by an authorized facility this must be documented in what is called a radar log. The time and date of the repair, when and by whom it was last calibrated and any malfunctions associated with the radar gun (past and present) are all documented.

Activity Log

The activity log (they may use a different name such as an arrest log) shows the date and time of your arrest (being pulled over), and any testing performed on the radar gun (on the day of your arrest). Also, the officer who checked out the radar gun that day will be documented. Most officers fail to bring the activity log to court with them. When you ask the officer for it and he doesn't have it, he is left without evidence to prove he tested the radar gun both prior and after issuing the speeding ticket. Without this crucial piece of evidence, you have established enough legal doubt as to whether the officer performed these tests and as a result, your case should be dismissed.

Maintenance Log

The maintenance log shows the vehicle history of the police car. This log comes in handy when the speedometer of the police car is questioned. It will show if the vehicle was involved in an accident, any repairs done to the vehicle and speedometer calibrations (if any). You can bet the officer does not have this particular log with him in court.

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Direct and Cross Examination

Anyone who takes the stand to give testimony regarding the case has the chance to be questioned by both the prosecution and the defense (you). Depending on who's doing the questioning, each phase of questions has a different term applied to it

Direct Examination

The first phase of questioning takes the form of direct examination. Here, the witness (police officer) will give his testimony as to the specifics of the case. This is where the witness will try to establish some credibility in his allegations against the defendant (you).

Cross Examination

Once the witness is done giving his testimony the opposing side has the opportunity to cross examine the witness. During this cross examination, the opposing side will be doing it's best to discredit everything (or the more important points) the witness has just said. The opposing side can only ask questions or make statements that pertain to the witness's testimony. Important points: Only ask questions. Avoid comments or direct accusations. Now is not the time. You only want to be asking questions and damaging the witness's testimony. Once the prosecutor has finished with its direct examination of his witness, he may then rest his case. Once he has rested his case, he can not submit new evidence that his witness did not originally testify to. One can only cross examine a witness as to the testimony he/she has given. Asking questions not regarding the case or his/her testimony will be stricken from the record. You have the right to choose not to testify on the stand. If you take the stand to testify on your own behalf, you can bet the prosecutor will be more than willing to cross examine you.

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Judicial Notice (Very Important)

Judicial notice is where the court will accept something as being true without any evidence (or expert testimony) to prove it. The law.com dictionary says that examples of matters given judicial notice are public and court records, tides, times of sunset and sunrise, government rainfall and temperature records, known historic events or the fact that ice melts in the sun. Judicial notice has been taken into consideration regarding radar guns and speedometers. The courts will accept them as accurate measuring devices as long as they were calibrated and used properly. Radar guns and speedometers are expected to be accurate speed measuring devices provided that: 1. Operated by a trained and competent individual. 2. The radar unit was tested both before and after an alleged violation. 3. The unit was calibrated within a certain time frame (usually every 6 months to a year). 4. The device (ex. tuning forks) used to test the radar gun or speedometer was also calibrated itself. If all four of the above are proven true, (or at least testified to be true) then judicial notice will be taken.

Please Read This: Just because the courts have taken judicial notice that speedometers and radar guns are accurate means of speed detection without expert testimony, DOES NOT mean they can deny your request to see actual proof of calibration. By asking to see actual proof, you are merely trying to get the officer to provide evidence that he did conform to the required steps above in order for the courts to take judicial notice! If and when he fails to provide this proof, then the courts can no longer accept the notion the device was accurate.

If the calibration of the equipment is not pursued by you, the courts will not accept the radar gun or speedometer as being faulty. It's up to you to create

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uncertainty as to their level of accuracy. That's why using any other defense except Beat the System won't work. Claiming the gun clocked a different vehicle or that the gun was not working correctly or that the officer made a mistake only allows the judge to take judicial notice on the matter. Unless you can prove the radar gun clocked a different vehicle or that it was inoperable at the time of use, will this work. Otherwise, it will be assumed the gun was working properly.

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Close Doesn't Count

When you were charged with the speeding offense, the officer clocked you going at a specific speed. This actual speed is the charge against you. If you were clocked doing 77 mph, the prosecution must prove you were going 77 mph. Not 78 or 76, but 77 mph. Fines are based on the exact speed you are charged with. So, if you were caught traveling 77 mph, your fine will be higher than if you were traveling 67 mph and vice versa. When you plead not guilty to a speed violation - you are pleading not guilty to the exact speed you were charged with. They can say you went over the posted speed limit, but that's not good enough. They must prove the method used to calculate your speed was working accurately at the time the offense occurred. If they fail to do that - it will be assumed the device may not have been calibrated, since there is no evidence to prove otherwise. This means you could have been going 75, 76, 79, or 80 mph, but the exact charge against you is 77 mph. The exact charge may not be so exact, if they don't supply documentation to prove you were clocked with an accurate method of speed capture.

Word of Warning: If you admit to any speed other than the charge against you, the judge can change the charge to what you said you were doing. If you say that you were only going 65 mph instead of 75 mph - the judge will change the charge from 75 to 65 mph and find you guilty!

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The Actual Trial

What NOT To Do

There are certain things you should NOT do before or during the trial. Often times you can have your case lost even before you step foot inside the courtroom. Make sure you avoid doing the following:

Discovery

Discovery is a legal process that allows you to see the prosecution's evidence before your trial. Never ask for the prosecution's evidence before the trial. This sends red flags to the prosecutor that you are planning a good defense and he will come prepared. Remember, Beat the System is based on the fact the prosecution will come unprepared to court. If he comes prepared, it's only because you tipped him off. Motioning the court for evidence spells big trouble for you. Almost every book out there will tell you to request documents and evidence from the prosecution before trial. Don't do it! It will do more harm than good. You want to be as inconspicuous as possible and attack when they least expect it. Never contact the court or prosecution before trial.

Bring Witnesses

Never gather witnesses to testify in your defense. You never know what they may end up saying, even if you practiced in advance. The prosecution is keen at damaging a person's testimony, truthful or not. Plus, they're your witnesses and are expected to be on your side. The judge will give their testimony very little weight. Beat the System doesn't call for any witnesses to be subpoenaed or brought to court.

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Ask for a Continuance (Postponement)

Many other books on the subject of beating speeding tickets will tell you to ask for a continuance before your actual court date. Basically, what happens is that you ask the court to extend (or postpone) your court date to a later time. Of course, the courts will want a valid reason for the delay and will often ask for proof to substantiate your request. Most of the time traffic court cases are extended to one month of the original court date, but it could be just a couple of weeks or even a few days. The authors of these books would like you to believe that by doing so, you "greatly increase your chances at winning". They claim there are two main advantages to doing it this way: Advantage #1 - Allow for more time to lapse between the traffic infraction and the court date. This will have an effect on the officer's ability to remember details about the stop which may play a role on the outcome of the case. Advantage #2 - Increase the chances an officer won't show up for court. It's very possible, that by continuing a court case you could get another date to appear which falls on the officer's vacation, day off or when the officer is busy with other aspects of his job that for one reason or another he will be unable to show. If he doesn't show, you win. There is some truth to what they say. Advantage #1 is absolutely true. An officer's memory does forget certain aspects of the stop as time goes on. However, the officer isn't required to remember every portion of the stop. Usually, the notes written on the ticket are enough to convict you. Having the officer forget how many cars were behind you or what color your hubcaps are will do absolutely nothing to help your case. All an officer is required to know is the vehicle pulled over, the name of the person driving the vehicle, what stretch of road or highway the violation occurred and what the offense was. All of that is written on the ticket itself. The officer is not required to know the name of the perfume you had on or what you were wearing that day. Let's not be silly. As for Advantage #2, there is a small bit of truth to it. If an officer doesn't show up for court on the initial court date assigned, your case should be

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dismissed. However, if an officer fails to show up for a court date that was assigned because you asked for a continuance, then you most likely will not win your case. The courts feel that it's only fair to allow for another continuance on behalf of the officer, since you we're allowed a continuance too. The judge will set another date right then and there and tell you to show up for the new court date. You could very well object to him allowing for another continuance arguing that you have missed work and arrived on time and prepared. It's not your fault the officer didn't show. But, it's been my experience the judge will allow for another continuance despite your objection. People who believe that beating speeding tickets primarily consists of crossing their fingers and hoping the officer doesn't show up for court, will never win their case. Police officers get paid overtime for their appearance in the courtroom. If they can show, they WILL! It's easy money.

Note: If the judge allows for another continuance despite your objections, ask him to make it a 'firm' date. This means if the officer or prosecutor fail to show up at the next trial, a dismissal will be rendered in your favor.

I highly recommend you steer clear of this method of defense. It usually doesn't work. Some books even go so far as to have you ask for several continuances and delay the original court date by several months. This will never happen. No court is going to allow you to simply request continuances at your convenience. They will usually issue only one continuance with a valid reason. Only ask for a continuance if you truly can't show up for a court date. Otherwise get it over with as soon as possible. Besides, you want the officer to be there. Part of the thrill is seeing the look on his face when you beat this ticket.

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Officer's Training

Never go into a courtroom with the intent to challenge the officer's training of the radar gun. This type of defense is always attacked by the judge. He will accept the officer's testimony as to his training and will tell you to ask your next question. This is another instance where judicial notice takes precedence over the matter. The officer will not have to prove his training qualifications in the courtroom. Not unless you know for sure or you can prove it - should you a challenge the officer's qualifications. Otherwise, it won't get you anywhere. Trust me. Remember that police are officers of the court. This means that a police officer on the stand could be lying out his teeth, but it won't matter because everything he says will be accepted as the truth. He is an officer of the court who has been sworn to uphold the law. And officers of the law don't lie (according to the courts). Keep this in mind the next time you challenge an officer's training. Unless you are certain what the officer is saying is a lie and can back it up - never accuse the officer of giving a false testimony while on the stand. The judge will always take his side.

Testify In Your Defense

Never Testify on the Stand!

Although you may want nothing more than to tell your side of the story, avoid testifying at all costs. The prosecutor is trained at making a truthful person seem like a liar. You won't be able to handle the prosecution's powerful attempts to find a crack in your testimony. If you are going to court with the intention of taking the stand to declare your innocence, you will lose! It is not your job to prove you are innocent. When you walk into that courtroom you are an innocent person. It's up to the prosecution to prove you are guilty. Everyday, people walk into court with 101 reasons why they are innocent. They have pictures, diagrams, and witnesses to support their innocence. With all their hard efforts, they still wind up with a speeding ticket on their record. Let the prosecutor do his job and prove to the court that it is you who is

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guilty of the violation you are accused of. Never proclaim your innocence to the judge. He's heard and seen it all before. The burden is on the prosecution to prove your guilt. Keep it that way and don't make it easier for them by trying to prove your own innocence. You will lose. GUARANTEED!

Word of Warning: If the prosecutor invites you to take the stand, reject the offer. You're under no obligation whatsoever to do so. He wants you take the stand because he knows once he's done with you, the case is over.

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Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining is the court's version of "let's make a deal". If you know how to use it wisely, you can benefit from it tremendously. Instead of going to court to challenge your speeding ticket, you can negotiate a deal and avoid the harsh consequences involved with a guilty conviction. Bear in mind that by plea bargaining you will be relinquishing your right to challenge the speeding ticket in court. But that's the whole purpose of doing it in the first place. Let's see how to go about doing this and some of the plea bargains available to you.

When to Plea Bargain

There are some things you should consider when deciding whether or not it is a good choice for you: 1. How many violations you have been charged with. 2. Your chances of beating all of them in court. 3. The penalties involved with being found guilty of these violations. Now of course, if you have a good defense all planned out then you shouldn't even think about plea bargaining. But, if circumstances force you to do so then you should consider some of the different types that are available to you.

Types of Plea Bargains

Dismissing a Charge - This type is helpful when you have multiple charges against you. For instance, if you have been charged with reckless driving, speeding, no seatbelt and failure to show proof of insurance, you might be able to have one or more of them dismissed (thrown out). In this example, more than likely what will happen is the reckless driving and seatbelt charge will be dismissed in return for you pleading guilty to speeding and failure to show proof of insurance.

Merging - With this deal you can have two violations merged into one single charge. This way instead of having to face two entirely separate

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This most commonly occurs with careless driving and speeding. The prosecutor will merge the careless driving violation with the speeding violation and you will have to plead guilty to speeding only. Usually this only becomes an option when you have two similar offenses. Also bear in mind that the lesser offense merges into the larger offense and not vice versa. Note: Careless driving is not the same as reckless driving.

Reduce - With this type of plea bargaining, you can have a charge reduced in its level of seriousness. Many times you can get the prosecutor to reduce a moving violation down to a non-moving violation. For instance, a speeding charge might be reduced to a non-moving violation such as a failure to wear your seatbelt. This way, the violation won't show up on your driving record.

How to Get a Plea Bargain

Sometimes you don't have to do much. Depending on your driving history, the prosecutor will mail you an offer before your court case. Also, the prosecutor might approach you before the trial has started and ask you if you would like to strike a deal. If he doesn't, you may have to initiate the process. You could go to court before your trial or wait until the day of the trial and approach the prosecutor then. Just have a good plan of defense laid out just in case he doesn't offer you a good deal or doesn't accept yours. Here are some of the reasons why you may not receive a plea bargain from the prosecutor: You You The The You The have had 3 or more traffic tickets within the last 24 months have had 2 or more tickets in 12 months violation you are charged with is more than 4 points violation you are charged with is more than 20 miles over the limit were in an accident that involved an injury address on your ticket is not your current mailing address

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You are a juvenile (Under 18)

Juveniles are normally eligible for one plea bargain without going to court. However, since a parent must sign the plea bargain, the juvenile and a parent must appear on their scheduled court date at the clerk's window. As mentioned, sometimes the prosecution will mail you a plea bargain offer in the mail before your trial date. Read it carefully and see what type of offer they have made. If it is to your satisfaction, accept it and mail it back to them. I only suggest plea bargaining if you feel you have no way to beat your case. If you can get a lessened fine or some of the charges reduced, plea bargaining might be a wise choice (when there is no other alternative). The best plea bargain involves NO points being added to your driving record. If the prosecutor offers you this plea bargain, then by all means take it! This is the whole reason why you are fighting your ticket to begin with. By avoiding points on your driving record you can save hundreds of dollars in raised insurance premiums. Please be very cautious though, if the prosecution initiates the plea bargain by approaching you first. He's doing so in the court's best interest. Since court cases cost money, the prosecutor will try to strike as many deals as possible to prevent people from contesting their tickets. Even if they reduce fines, they still end up ahead because: 1. You are relinquishing your right to contest the ticket (plead guilty). 2. You are still paying a fine and possibly points will be added to your driving record which will also increase your monthly premium. Examine all your available options first and really think about the deal the prosecutor is offering. If it is only for reduced fines ­ generally I wouldn't accept it. Only accept a plea bargain if there will be no points assessed to your record. Otherwise, take your chances the officer won't show.

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Some Things to Remember:

Never sound desperate when asking for reduced settlement. Always make it seem as if you have a good defense on your hands. When approaching the prosecutor say something like this, "I have planned a good defense for my case, but if a deal is negotiable I may be willing to take it." Always plan a good defense just in case the prosecutor doesn't offer you a good deal or doesn't go for the one that you suggest. Remember that the judge always has the last word. Even if the prosecutor recommends a reduced charge, the judge may not allow it. Sometimes the prosecutor will talk to the officer who pulled you over and get his take on the situation. If you were very rude or impolite to him during the traffic stop he may not agree with you receiving a lesser charge. Getting a good deal may have a lot to do with your previous driving history. A terrible driving record will make it impossible for you to strike a deal. Not all cities offer plea bargaining. For instance, you can't plea bargain in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, or New York City. DON'T FORGET: The best plea bargain involves you receiving no points to your record. This happens with a moving violation being reduced to a non-moving violation.

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Preventing the Officer from Showing Up

Continually postponing your trial is a terrible way to get the officer not to show up for court. If you really had your heart set on the officer not showing up, there's a better way to do it. Ask to have your court trial moved to the county seat. This is what is called a "change of venue". As the officer is giving you the ticket, tell him you would like your court appearance to be moved to a more convenient location (the county seat). If you can manage to do this, you greatly increase the chances of the officer not showing up. For example, let's say you we're out visiting friends some miles away from where you live. While there, you were issued a speeding ticket. This would give you a great reason to have your court appearance moved closer to home. Another case in point would be getting ticketed near your place of work. You might be able to have it moved to the county seat. Or, you may feel the judge presiding over your case will be biased when making his decision, yet another reason to request a "change of venue" to the county seat. The county seat is nothing more than the capitol of your county. It usually has a municipal or justice court. In larger cities, it's usually in the downtown area. Changing the courthouse in which to have your trial will greatly reduce the chances the officer will show up. Normally he won't show if the other courthouse is a far distance away. Also, if he does show, chances are good that he won't know the judge and prosecutor as opposed to going to court in his own jurisdiction.

Points to remember:

1. Ask the officer to have your trial moved immediately before getting the ticket. Waiting to do so right before the trial will be fruitless. Your request may be denied.

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2. If the officer refuses or doesn't know what the hell you're talking about (some won't), ask him to write that your request was denied somewhere on the ticket. If you call the court later, you can use that as proof that you did ask the officer when you try to motion to have your trial relocated. 3. If you're reading this and already have a speeding ticket, then call the court house right NOW and have your trial moved to the county seat. It's best to do this within 7 to 10 days after receiving your ticket. The longer you wait, the harder it becomes. 4. Every state has their own rule for if and how to change the location of the trial. You may be required to fill out some type of form in order for the change to take place. Also, there may be a fee attached with doing so, usually less than $50, but it is a small price to pay to increase the chances the officer won't show up. Basically, in order for the courts to grant your request you will have to show the location of the court trial is at a great inconvenience to you. Tell them the county seat is much closer to you. Think of a good excuse to use like you will be visiting a loved one in a hospital that happens to be near the county seat. Tell them that you live or work closer to the county seat. Anything that sounds reasonable will more than likely be accepted. Or, just tell them you feel you won't get a fair trial and therefore wish to have the trial moved outside of the officer's jurisdiction.

Note: Changing county seats is not allowed if you get a ticket in another county. It has to be within the same county. Most states allow for a change of venue to the county seat, but some don't.

Just remember to come to court prepared with a solid defense - just in case. Prepare the night before and have your defense strategy all planned out. You don't want to go to court defenseless. What if the officer does shows up? By the way, here's a good way to have your case quickly dismissed. This one does somewhat rely on luck, but I have heard of it working on a number of occasions.

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First, try to be the first one in the courtroom. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes by being the first one in you will be the first case to be called. If that happens, there's a good possibility the officer won't be there. When you're one of the first cases to be called and the officer is not present, I would quickly motion to the judge to have your case dismissed. If you don't, the judge may have you waiting there until the last case is called so the officer can have additional time to show up. Also, the prosecutor may tell the judge the officer hasn't arrived but is on his way. He may try and bump your case up a little later in the day until the officer has arrived. Definitely object by telling the judge your case has been called NOW and the prosecution's witness is not here and you should not be held accountable for his lateness. You are ON TIME and prepared unlike the prosecution. It's possible the officer may be running a little late and has contacted the courts and advised them to "stall" any defendants he is supposed to testify against. The judge will then call all the other cases and postpone the late officer's cases until the very end. If you don't speak up, you stand the chance of waiting in court for hours or at least until the other cases have finished. But, if you motion for a dismissal, then more than likely the judge will grant it.

Very Important: If you were pulled over and there were two officers present during the stop, then BOTH officers must be in court to testify. If one is not, then motion for a dismissal. If it is not granted, ask to cross examine the second officer who was present during the stop. When they say he is not in court, then motion for a second dismissal. I guarantee you will get it this time. By law you have a right to face your accuser in court. If he is not present, then your legal rights are being violated and a dismissal must be granted.

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Standards of Proof

The standard of proof in a courtroom is the amount of evidence required to find a defendant guilty. The higher the standard of proof, the more evidence needed to convict the person. In traffic court, it all depends on which state you received your speeding ticket as to how much evidence the plaintiff (or prosecution in a criminal trial) must submit. Some states require a high level of proof whereas other states (those which have decriminalized speeding tickets and consider it a civil matter) require basically no proof at all to convict a person. Three Standards of Proof: 1) Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 2) Clear and Convincing Evidence 3) Preponderance of the Evidence We won't concern ourselves with number 2 (clear and convincing evidence) because more than likely you won't have to deal with this one in court. The next few pages will deal with the other two standards of proof you are more likely to encounter. It is essential you at least have a general idea of how certain states regard the evidence to be presented in a court of law. You may be going to court with a solid defense, only to get there and find out that your particular court's standard of proof is very low. Most books on the subject of beating speeding tickets are worthless to those who are in a state which has decriminalized speeding tickets and regard them as a civil matter. The reason is simple: there is no "beyond a reasonable doubt" in states that have decriminalized speeding tickets. In these states, all the officer really has to do is testify that you were speeding and he clocked you with a reliable method of speed enforcement. Unfortunately, your rights may be denied to challenge any of the evidence (or the officer's testimony) in these states. But never fear, I've thought of everything and have also included a separate defense for you to use if you happen to be in a state which uses the lowest standard of proof.

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

About half the states in this country consider speeding tickets a criminal offense (AKA a "misdemeanor"). There are three issues at hand when it comes to labeling a ticket as a criminal offense or misdemeanor. 1) There is the possibility of jail time 2) You have the right to a jury trial 3) The standard of proof is the highest, "beyond a reasonable doubt" In states which label speeding tickets a criminal offense, the burden is on the prosecution to provide substantial evidence to the crime. The following states currently label speeding tickets as a criminal offense: Alabama Arkansas Colorado (25 mph over the limit) Delaware Georgia Illinois (Third ticket in one year) Kentucky Maryland Minnesota (Third violation in one year) Mississippi Missouri (20 mph over the limit) Montana Nebraska Nevada New Mexico North Carolina (15 mph over the limit) Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia West Virginia Wyoming If you happened to get a speeding ticket in any of these states, then you will be happy to know that beating your ticket is much easier in these places. Since the standard of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt", you have every

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right to request more evidence of your guilt and contest any evidence being presented. On the other hand, for the rest of the states which have lowered the standard of proof to a preponderance of the evidence, you sometimes have to follow a different defense as explained below.

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Preponderance of the Evidence

In states which have decriminalized speeding tickets, the standard of proof is by "preponderance of the evidence". This basically means if it is more likely than not that you committed the offense, you can be found guilty. In other words you have to have more evidence of your innocence than he (the officer) has of your guilt. If you successfully attack the radar unit's calibration and scrutinize all paper work presented, then he has no case. But, in states that use this low standard of proof, all the officer has to do is take the stand and testify you were speeding and that he calibrated his radar/laser gun and in the eyes of the judge that should be enough to convict you. It is if you just sit there and have the "I didn't do it" defense. This should not be your plan. The preponderance of evidence with a properly prepared Beat the System defense including the appropriate case laws should lean more toward you. The following states currently label speeding tickets as a civil infraction: Alaska Arizona California Colorado (Speeds in excess of 25mph over the limit are criminal offenses) Connecticut D.C. Florida Hawaii Idaho Illinois (Third ticket in one year is a criminal offense) Indiana Iowa Kansas Louisiana Maine Massachusetts Michigan (Speeding through a school zone is a criminal offense) Minnesota (Third ticket in one year is a criminal offense) Missouri (Speeds in excess of 25 mph over the limit are criminal offenses) New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina (Speeds in excess of 15 mph are criminal offenses) North Dakota Oregon Rhode Island

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Vermont Washington Wisconsin States who do the civil complaint route are doing it to win most ticket cases. This means they are less interested in being fair and more interested in getting your money. Not a very good scenario of justice, but you must still do your best. The reason a state decriminalizes speeding tickets is to strip you of your constitutional rights to things such as a jury trial and to relieve themselves of the higher burden of poof (beyond a reasonable doubt). It is unfortunate, but that's the way our judicial system gets to weasel their way out of a tight spot. Do not let this deter you from fighting your ticket. Remember, the legal system has given you many rights to defend yourself in a court of law. If the standard of proof is by "preponderance of the evidence", then all you have to do is weigh things in your favor. Think about it, what is their evidence against you? It is the radar/laser gun. But, how can this evidence weigh more towards the officer if it were inaccurate? By law, a defendant has the right to contest the radar/laser calibration evidence. I don't care if the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, clear and convincing evidence, or by preponderance of the evidence, you still have a legal right to defend yourself. Now granted, if you question the radar gun's accuracy, you may receive some resistance from the judge or even the police officer for that matter. They may say something to the effect that this is a civil trial and the officer's testimony will suffice. This seems to me to violate the fundamental principles of fairness and potentially violates the constitutional presumption of innocence. But that is why you bring in your case law. These were handed down by the highest courts (usually State Supreme Courts) which dictate to the lower courts that such evidence is essential in establishing a defendant's guilt. But, the judge ultimately has the last word and if he says he will accept the officer's testimony as evidence, then there is not much you can do there. My first version of Beat the System only contained defense strategies that were more geared towards those states which label speeding tickets as a criminal offense and as such the burden of proof is "beyond a reasonable doubt".

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I knew I had to think of something fast, so I began consulting with a few of my close friends and found out something very interesting. In states which have lowered the standard of proof, there is a very powerful defense strategy one can implement that falls within the realms of "preponderance of the evidence". The wonderful thing about this new defense is that anyone (regardless of what state they are in) can use this strategy to beat their speeding ticket. I won't go into too much detail about this defense right now. I have included it in the second part of this book. I call it the MUTCD Defense. It's based on a little known federal law that is applicable in all 50 states. For now, it is enough to know that you can very well implement the strategies you read in this book, but those of you in the states just mentioned which use "preponderance of the evidence" as the standard of proof now have a totally separate defense at your disposal. To make things simple, the remainder of this book will be focused towards the highest standard of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt). If you are not in any of these states, you can still implement any one of my defense strategies, but bear in mind that your backup will be the MUTCD Defense. You can use it as your main defense or as a backup. Either way, you'll have enough to get the judge to find you not guilty.

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How to Throw Out the Prosecution's Evidence

Best Evidence Rule

The Best Evidence Rule basically states that if evidence is presented, it must be in the form of an original document, if one exists. The good news is that in our case, the original always exists. You're asking to see the actual log book the officer documented his testing in, the actual calibration documents or the actual speed survey for the road you were caught speeding on. More times than not, the prosecution will submit copies of the originals instead of the originals themselves. This is only done because the prosecution thinks that you don't know any better (99.9% of people won't). It's very easy to have these documents (photocopied log book pages or speed survey pages) thrown out of court by requesting for the originals, which the prosecution doesn't have and can't get. The Best Evidence Rule was originally developed to make sure the courts accepted the best and only the best evidence related for a particular matter. In the event an original is not presented, by law the prosecution must prove the originals are not readily available. This also means if the prosecution is to use photocopies, they must submit a notarized copy stating that these are exact replicas. I can assure you they won't. By stating the Best Evidence Rule, your case becomes much easier to win since more than likely the judge won't allow these documents to be entered into evidence. When you force these copied documents to be inadmissible, the police officer and prosecutor are left without the proof they so desperately need in order to make a strong case against you. But you must take the first step and make an effort to have them thrown out by stating the Best Evidence Rule.

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The Defense Strategy

When it comes to establishing a solid case in any court system, the prosecution must submit forth evidence to support their claim against the accused. In a typical traffic case, this evidence is as simple as the officer's testimony. Remember, the cop is an "officer of the court" and everything he says will be accepted as being the truth. If he says you were speeding, then in the judge's eyes you were speeding. Now, you may be wondering how to defend against such a seemingly solid testimony from the officer. He could (and will) be lying out his teeth, but if whatever he says is accepted as the truth - it may seem like you're fighting a losing battle. Bear in mind that it takes more than just "he did it" from the officer. Although in the eyes of the judge and prosecutor that is good enough - it's not good enough in the eyes of the law. The officer will testify to the fact you were caught committing the alleged violation with a reliable and accurate method. This reliability is usually established by stating that he clocked you with a calibrated method of speed capture, i.e. radar, pacing, laser, VASCAR, etc. Plus the officer will testify as to his training and as to the way he tested the mechanism. This is usually all the prosecution has against you. More times than not, it's also enough to establish your guilt. In almost every traffic ticket case, the officer's testimony is often enough to convince the judge you are guilty. But here's the secret... ... you ask for more proof than just a testimony. You want hard physical evidence in the form of an acceptable document... something they DON'T have! It will be up to you to show the court that everything the officer has just testified to (or at least the more important points) may not be exactly the way it seems. During your cross examination, the officer's testimony will be "attacked". The testimony is not as strong as you think - when you know what to ask the officer during cross examination.

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Courts have taken judicial notice on radar guns and speedometers. They accept them as accurate speed measurement devices, without proof. However, if you ask for proof - they have to show it! By asking for more proof, you destroy the judge's notion the radar gun was accurate. Now, since you requested hard physical proof of what the officer is testifying to, the judge CAN NOT say he accepts the fact the speed mechanism was calibrated properly. You have to take that first step and ask for actual concrete evidence! As you should know by now, the evidence against you is only as good as the prosecution makes it out to be. The evidence is what will make or break you. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty. Remember these two words, "reasonable doubt", because your whole defense strategy will be based on this. Establishing reasonable doubt is your main defense against speeding tickets. No other defense you can concoct will have the certainty this one has. You can cry, beg, and plead all day long, but nothing will have the judge dismiss your case like this strategy will. As long as you can show the evidence the prosecution has submitted (or testified to) may be faulty, you will win your case. Not that it was faulty, but that it `may' have been. Even a hint of reasonable doubt is enough to have your case dismissed. And this also applies to those of you in states where the burden of proof is by "preponderance of the evidence". You still can create "reasonable doubt" if you do it the right way. Proving to the judge the evidence against you is not acceptable, may seem difficult to do. It is when you don't know where to start, but that's why you're reading this book. You are about to find out exactly how to discredit any and all the evidence against you - to have your case dismissed.

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Reasonable Doubt

Our whole judicial system requires substantial evidence to a crime, before a suspect can be found guilty. In court, the evidence to the "crime" you have committed must be presented. Radar guns must be tested and calibrated to be considered accurate in the eyes of the law. It's written down in black and white. When the testing and calibration of the radar gun is questioned, the prosecution is put on the defensive and is obligated to provide whatever you request. If they don't have what you request, you will quickly ask for a dismissal based on the fact that proper evidence as to the testing and calibration has not been established and the prosecution has not proven, "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you were caught committing the "crime" with a calibrated form of speed capture. Before I begin to show you how to attack the prosecution's evidence, it is essential to know what will establish reasonable doubt. Basically, the police officer will testify that the speed detection method used to calculate your speed was functioning properly and accurately at the time the violation occurred. To establish reasonable doubt, you will contest the officer's claim that the evidence was in fact working "properly and accurately." If the prosecution's evidence is not contested by you, it will be accepted as valid and you will be found guilty. Not until you practice your right to cross examine the witness will you have a fighting chance to win. Creating reasonable doubt is very easy. What you will want to do is ask the witness (the police officer) to provide proof, acceptable to the court, that the device he/she used to measure your speed was tested, calibrated and working properly. If the officer or prosecutor fails to bring forth evidence that you request, it will be assumed that unless this evidence is provided, there will be doubt as to whether the device was actually working properly. And you know what happens next... Case Dismissed! Yes, it's as simple as that. As you can see, you don't prove the device was

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not working properly, just that it could have been. Reasonable doubt has clearly been established because the prosecution can not prove the device was working properly (they don`t have the evidence you're asking for). Believe me when I say that 75% of the time the prosecution will not have what you ask for!

Very Important: I would suggest if you are in a state that uses the "preponderance of the evidence" standard of proof to NEVER mention the words "beyond a reasonable doubt" in court. Instead, when the officer tells you he does not have the evidence you request, motion for a dismissal by saying the officer has not proven "to a legal degree of certainty" his radar/laser gun was calibrated. DO NOT say he has not proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" because then the judge will say that is not applicable in his courtroom.

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Case Law

When a particular court decision gets appealed it sometimes makes its way to the highest court - usually a State Supreme Court. When that court overturns the original decision made by the lower court, it then becomes case law. It's not actually a law, but rather a decision a higher court has ruled upon and lower courts must agree and abide by it. It gets published in writing and is used as a "guide" for the lower courts to follow. They MUST accept and follow the higher courts rulings. For example: Let's say there are case laws (which by the way there are) that mandates further evidence other than the officer's testimony be presented in court if the defense (you) request it. Let's also say that after you have requested further proof from the officer, the judge denied your request by stating it is not important and the officer's testimony will suffice. Now all you do is remind the judge of the case laws you have brought with you. You will go on to say that higher courts have already ruled that further proof must be brought forth if requested. This will quickly shut him up and he will have no choice but to allow you to continue. That's just how powerful case law can be in court. For our purposes the case law we are interested in have to deal with the calibration of a speed measuring device. In each case the higher courts have ruled it is essential, if brought up by the defense, the accuracy of the device used whether it be radar, laser, photo radar or speedometer must be proven to be functioning properly. This means bringing concrete evidence to court with them. The case law you bring with you to court (if you have any to bring) dictate this very clearly in black and white and the lower courts must concur (agree).

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When you bring case law to court with you, it should be from the state you are going to court in. However, being that not each state has case law pertaining to the calibration of a speed measuring device - your court should (but not always) accept an out of state case law because the ruling was from a higher court. It's best to have an out of state case law from a state bordering your state. Just remember it may not be accepted though. When you step into that courtroom, you will want to have three copies of a particular case law to hand in. One will be for the judge presiding over the case, the second to the prosecutor and the last one is your copy. It's important they both get one. You want to hand them in as soon as your case is called. You say this... Your Honor, may I approach the bench? When he says yes give the judge his copy and then the prosecutor his and say... Your Honor, these are copies of case laws brought down by some of the highest levels of court in (name your state) on the permissibility of evidence. I wish to submit them for your consideration. Or, if your state doesn't have any case law, bring in an out of state case law(s) and say the following... Your Honor, the state of (your state) at the present time doesn't have any case law pertaining to the issue at hand. I ask that you accept these case laws from sister states since they were handed down by some of the highest levels of court in these states. Once they have the case law in their hands, it is a very powerful tool that will give your defense tremendous control. If the judge or prosecutor says something to the effect the evidence you are requesting is not important or judicial notice has taken precedence, you will always refer back to the case law brought with you. It acts as a reminder and a good slap in the face to the judge and prosecutor of who's really boss... the higher courts. No lowly traffic court judge will go against a ruling made by a much higher court especially a State Supreme Court, but if they do, you can be sure that an appeal is highly likely.

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Case law will be an important aspect to winning your case, but not a crucial one. If you don't bring any case law with you or if the courts reject yours because it is from another state, it is not damaging to your case. It only acts as a reminder for the judge and prosecutor. Most of the time the judge and prosecutor will not read the case law that you give them. They'll quickly glance over it and give you a dirty look because now they know they are limited in what they can say or do. The case law should be brought in its entirety. The following lists of case law are the ones you will choose from, but they are NOT all of the case laws available to you. These are some of the more notable ones. What I suggest you do is take a look at the Case Laws I have listed here and read through the ones that are from your state (if available). In my opinion they are very easy to understand and will give you a better idea of which ones pertain to your case and which ones to bring to court with you. Pick whichever one you think to be applicable. You can pick more than one, but only pick the relevant ones. Important case law to choose from: ALASKA (Photo radar) MUNICIPALITY OF ANCHORAGE v. Clyde BAXLEY This says that if a photo radar device is used as a means of speed measurement, an eye witness to the violation must give testimony. CALIFORNIA The PEOPLE v. Robert Anthony DiFIORE This one states that in cases in which a defendant is charged with violating the basic speed law, based on evidence that the defendant exceeded a prima facie or posted speed, and evidence of that speed is obtained through radar, the People are required to produce a current engineering and traffic survey, even without the defendant's request.

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COLORADO (Tuning fork calibration) The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, v. Raymond L. WALKER This one states that although an officer may perform the tuning fork test both before and after issuing a citation to the defendant, the officer must have knowledge and supply proof as to the accuracy of the tuning forks. CONNECTICUT (Speedometer calibration) STATE of Connecticut v. George W. LANE. This one states that the speedometer of the vehicle used to calibrate a speed measuring device must be calibrated and the testimony of this evidence must be given by the person driving the vehicle. CONNECTICUT continued (Reasonable speed) Only use for states with "presumed" speed limit laws. STATE of Connecticut v. Norman SIVIN. This one states that if a person exceeds the posted speed limit at a reasonable and safe speed it is not a violation of the speed law. CONNECTICUT continued (Tuning fork calibration) STATE of Connecticut v. Michael R. TOMANELLI. This one states that the tuning forks themselves must be shown to be accurate if they are to be accepted as a valid test of the accuracy of the radar instrument.

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GEORGIA (Radar Calibration) State of Georgia v. Gamble This one states that the court must show proof that the radar gun had undergone the mandatory yearly calibrations if brought up by the defendant. ILLINOIS (Laser) People v. Canulli This appeal ruled that a laser device does not have judicial notice and as such the prosecution must hold a Frye evidentiary hearing (expert testimony) in order to prove its accuracy. ILLINOIS (Radar + Speed limit) People v. John Russell This one states that a police officer can not conduct electronic speed enforcement within 500 feet of a speed limit that is the first speed limit lower than the previous. For instance, if the speed limit on a highway is 65mph and all of a sudden the speed changes to 55mph, no police officer can conduct speed enforcement within 500 feet of the first 55mph speed limit. This is to give the driver ample time to slow down. ILLINOIS (Radar + Judicial Notice) People v. William F Scmidt This one states that during a jury trial the judge must take precautions in handling the case so not to prejudice the defendant. The trial judge in this case told the jury that he will take judicial notice that radar is an accurate means of speed detection and in doing so the appellate court ruled that this gave the jury the notion that the radar device could not be challenged.

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KENTUCKY (Radar calibration) Erna Elijah HONEYCUTT v. COMMONWEALTH of Kentucky This one states that the radars accuracy must be proven, if brought up by the defendant. MINNESOTA (Radar calibration) STATE of Minnesota v. David Arnold GERDES This one states... 1. Courts may take judicial notice of the underlying principles and reliability of properly tested and operated radar devices for determining the speed of motor vehicles without requiring expert testimony concerning the theory and mechanics of a particular unit. 2. Where the only means of testing the accuracy of a radar device is an internal mechanism which is an integral part of the unit, and there is no evidence other than the radar reading that a motorist was driving at a speed in excess of the limit, his conviction cannot be sustained. MISSOURI (Radar calibration) CITY OF JACKSON v. Robert LANGFORD This one states that a radar unit must be tested both prior and after an arrest is made and proof of this time must be given, if asked for by the defendant. MISSOURI (Tuning fork calibration and speedometer calibration) CITY OF ST. LOUIS v. Forrest BOECKER This one states that it is the obligation of the officer who uses the radar speed meter to establish prima facie that the machine was accurate and

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functioning properly at the time the accused's speed was checked. It also gives reference that speedometers must also be calibrated. LASER (Most states) In the MATTER of the ADMISSIBILITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE SPEED READINGS PRODUCED BY the LTI MARKSMAN 20-20 LASER SPEED DETECTION SYSTEM This one establishes the mistakes that can happen with laser, as a result expert testimony must be given. NEW JERSEY (Speed limit) State of New Jersey v. Russell E. Tropea This one states that a police officer must give the speed limit where the person was pulled over during direct testimony. NEW YORK (Radar calibration) The PEOPLE of the State of New York, v. Irving PERLMAN This one states... in fairness to the defendant, where he has been charged with speeding by means of radar detection, which is accepted by many as being tantamount to conclusive proof of guilt, there should be a showing of testing of the instrument before and after each setup, including at least one test by an outside source to insure that 'simple comparative analyses' can be made, and there should be proof of expert technical testing of the machine periodically, within a reasonable proximity of the date of violation. To accept less, and to rely solely upon the internal calibration by the machine itself, without the testimony of an expert witness, is to render an injustice to the accused. OHIO (Radar calibration) The STATE of Ohio v. BONAR This one states that in a prosecution involving speed, where the sole

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evidence is a reading secured by the use of a radar type speed meter, it is the obligation of the prosecution to establish prima facie that the radar type speed meter was accurate and functioning properly at the time the accused's speed was checked and a failure of such proof shall cause an insufficiency of evidence to support conviction. OHIO (Testimony of calibration) The STATE of Ohio v. COLBY This one states where there is no testimony as to the construction and method of operation of a speed measuring device not the subject of judicial notice, the testimony of the user, standing alone, is insufficient to sustain a conviction for speeding. OHIO (Radar calibration) The STATE of Ohio v. FREEMAN. This one states... 1. The reliability of radar-speed detection devices may be generally attacked by a properly qualified expert witness, and such testimony is relevant and goes to the proper weight to be given to the radar evidence. 2. Judicial notice of the accuracy or dependability of a K-55 radar device may not be taken when the trial court has never in any case previously before it received expert evidence and determined that the device is dependable and accurate, and such issue has not been passed upon by the appellate court. OREGON (Photo radar) STATE OF OREGON v. SARA CLAY This one states... By its terms, proof that a particular person was speeding. Because the state had no direct witness who could testify that defendant was driving the car at the time that the violation was committed, the state had to rely on the rebuttable presumption provided in paragraph that the driver of the car was its registered owner. To be entitled to use that presumption, the state is required to prove the predicate fact that defendant was the registered

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owner of the car. PENSYLVANIA (Original documents) COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Lewis G. CUMMINGS This one states that the requirement on which an issue exists is that of the identification of the copy. The state allows reproductions to be admitted only "when satisfactorily identified." "Satisfactory identification" need not be actual testimony that the copy is a true and correct copy. The procedures must provide an appropriate link between the original document and the photocopy. Pennsylvania (Testing facility) COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania v. Gail DENNY This one states... We consider the following question on appeal: whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence a Certificate of Accuracy of a radar speed timing device, where the Commonwealth failed to introduce competent evidence that the issuer of the Certificate was a testing station approved by the Department of Transportation at the time it allegedly tested the radar device in question? All mechanical, electrical or electronic devices shall be of a type approved by the department, which shall appoint stations for calibrating and testing the devices and may prescribe regulations as to the manner in which calibrations and tests shall be made. A certificate from the station showing that the calibration and test were made within the appropriate time frame. WISCONSIN (Speedometer calibration) WASHINGTON COUNTY v. Allen R. LUEDTKE This one states that the vehicle's speedometer must be checked and proof shown of accuracy if requested by the defendant.

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WISCONSIN (Proof of calibration) STATE of Wisconsin v. Lawrence I. HANSON This one states that accuracy of speed detection must be proved if requested by the defendant.

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PART 2

The Defenses

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Fatal Flaws

Before you do anything, take a quick look at your ticket and make sure all of the specifics are correct. What you will be looking for are fatal flaws on your ticket. Things like your name, license plate number, make of car, or even the color of your car should be checked for accuracy. It may be a long shot, but this is your first line of defense. It's been said that one in every 25 tickets has some sort of mistake on it that can render the ticket invalid in court. The only problem is that most people fail to catch on to these errors and end up paying the fine when legally they didn't have to. If you can show the judge the officer wrote down the color of your car as white when in reality it is red, you should be granted a dismissal. If the officer mistakenly wrote down the wrong street (or highway) you were on, that would definitely be grounds for a dismissal. Police officers are human beings (surprise) and do make mistakes. Sometimes a Toyota Camry may be written down as a Ford Taurus on the ticket. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. A quick check won't hurt. Keep in mind, the mistake must be an important one in order to have the ticket dismissed. A wrong shade of color (light blue instead of dark blue) usually doesn't work. Neither does the officer writing down Tommy for Thomas make a difference. These are petty mistakes the judge will overlook. However if your ticket has any of the following errors, you may be able to have your case dismissed: Wrong name (Jeff instead of Greg) but not (Tony instead of Antonio). Wrong license plate number (176WHQ instead of 093PLO or 123MNH instead of 124MNH).

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Wrong vehicle description (sedan instead of a pickup truck). Wrong street or highway. Officer forgets to sign the ticket (except in some cities). Wrong gender (you're a male but the ticket says you're a female).

It's a wise choice to check. You never know ­ yours could be that 25th ticket!

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The Testimony Attack

How to Use the Officer's Testimony Against Him

This next defense tactic is your first attempt at victory because you are going to manipulate the many mistakes the police officer will make on the witness stand. These mistakes stem from the fact that this is only traffic court (as opposed to a murder trial) and the officer will quickly and sloppily give his testimony, without regards to detail. In doing so, he will make numerous legal errors that are serious enough to have your ticket thrown out. You see, police officers (and prosecutors) don't take traffic ticket cases seriously. They come ill prepared and still expect to win. But you are going to expose these legal errors. The only way to do this is to listen carefully to what the officer says. He has to follow proper procedure. To him, this is a meaningless speeding ticket. However, no matter how meaningless or insignificant he thinks it is, it's still a court of law and rules do apply just like any other courtroom in the country. If he is required by law to say or do something, then he HAS to do it. There's no other alternative. From past experience however, the officer knows he will be able to get away with a lot. The judge will never correct him or ask him to follow standard procedure. The defendant he is testifying against won't have the slightest clue the officer is making crucial mistakes that could ultimately help him/her beat their ticket. This is why the officer does what he does... ...because he can get away with it! He's gotten away with it so many times in the past that he will continue to do it when he faces you. Only this time, you will be prepared. This particular defense is your very first means to fight your ticket. You employ this defense BEFORE your cross examination. If used properly, you

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can have your whole case dismissed without cross examining the officer. It works by strategically listening to what the officer is supposed to testify to and then counterattacking if and when he leaves anything out. In a speeding ticket trial, the officer must establish a few things during his testimony. It is extremely important that you listen to what he says. In the event he leaves one single thing out, you will mention this to the judge and ask to have your case dismissed. Let's see how this works... In a traffic court of law, the officer is required to testify to the following: 1. The speed limit where the offense took place. 2. Must describe you as the driver of the vehicle which was pulled over. 3. The officer was properly trained and knows how to use the radar/laser gun. 4. The radar/laser gun was used as directed by the manufacturer. 5. The officer tested the device both before and after it was used on you. 6. The officer tested the device to make sure that no outside interference could have altered the reading. (radar only) 7. Your car and only your car was the one clocked by his radar/laser gun. Before I go any further, it's important that you create a checklist of the above. Write down each one and as the officer is giving his testimony, put a check by each item he testifies to. If he skips one, place a big circle around it so you'll know which one to attack. Okay, the officer will be sworn in and take the stand. Allow the officer to give his testimony from beginning to end. Make no objections and absolutely under no circumstances should you give indication that he missed one of the required testimonies. Just keep quiet and wait till he finishes. Once the officer has finished with his testimony wait until you hear the prosecution say "the prosecution rests your honor" or something along those

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lines. You must wait until the prosecutor rests in order for this to work. By resting his case, this means that neither the prosecutor nor the officer can add anything to the original testimony given.

Very Important: Sometimes the prosecutor won't rest his case after the officer's testimony. If he doesn't, then you CAN NOT use this particular defense because all the officer has to do is go back and testify all over again and fill in the stuff he originally left out. You must wait for the prosecutor to rest his case!

Officer Does Not Testify to the Speed Limit

Let's say during his testimony the officer failed to give the speed limit on the particular stretch of road you were clocked speeding (a very common error). I would turn to the judge and say, Your Honor, the prosecution has rested its case. The officer has failed to give the speed limit on the particular stretch of road I was allegedly clocked speeding. As a result he has not proven what speed I am accused of violating. I request a dismissal based on this fact. The judge will then have no choice but to dismiss the case against you. The officer MUST give the speed limit you are accused of violating. Remember you are being charged with exceeding a certain speed limit. If the officer does not give the speed limit you have exceeded, then he has not proven you did in fact exceed any speed limit. This is very similar to someone being tried for murder. They can say he murdered someone, but unless they know who that person is he has murdered, the defendant is cleared of any charges.

Officer Does Not Personally Identify You as the Driver

Here's another very common error. In court, the officer MUST legally identify you as the driver of the vehicle he pulled over. Here's what I mean: Many times an officer's testimony will go a little like this... "I clocked the defendant traveling at 72 mph..." However, in a court of law he must be more specific and detailed when giving his identification of you. He's required to say something like... "I clocked the defendant, Shirley McMillan, seated at the defendants table traveling at 72 mph..."

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Do you see the difference in the two testimonies? In the first one he merely states that you are the defendant. In the second one he follows up by saying your name and pointing your location out in the courtroom. Now he's more specific. If you've ever seen a courtroom drama on TV, then you've probably noticed that whenever a witness gives testimony against a defendant, the lawyer will always ask the witness to say the defendant's name and point them out in the courtroom. If he doesn't do this, the lawyer is taking a big risk because the defense lawyer can easily have the witness's testimony thrown out of court for lack of proper identification. In the event the officer doesn't say your name and point you out in the courtroom, I would give the following motion... Your Honor, the prosecution has rested its case. The officer has failed to legally identify me as the driver of the vehicle which was pulled over. Since he hasn't proven it was in fact me who was pulled over I motion for a dismissal. Now, no matter what the officer says you've given the judge a valid reason to dismiss your case.

Note: Courts will have their own discretionary policy in effect as to what constitutes legal identification. If the officer doesn't state your location in the court the judge may let it pass. But, no traffic court system in the country will allow the officer to get away with not stating your name. He must state your name for the record.

The Officer Did Not Testify as to His Training with the Radar/Laser Gun

If the officer gave no indication as to his training with the device being used, I would give the following motion... Your Honor, the prosecution has rested its case. At no time during the officer's testimony did he mention having had training on the radar/laser gun that he used to clock my speed. The officer can not testify as to the accuracy or workings of a radar/laser gun which he has not testified to having been trained on. I motion for a dismissal since his testimony is inadmissible. A very important point to mention here would be to never attack the officer's - 78 Copyright © ­ Beat the System ­ All Rights Reserved

training with the radar/laser gun. Only go this route if he fails to testify as to having had training. If he does testify to having had training, move on because he is NOT required to prove he has had training. He only has to testify to it.

The Officer Failed to Testify That He Used the Radar/Laser Gun Per Manufacturer's Instructions

By law, in order for the radar/laser gun to be used it must be used according to the manufacturer's instructions. As a result, the officer must testify to having done so. If the officer made no mention of using the radar/laser gun as instructed by the manufacturer, I would use this motion... Your Honor, the prosecution has rested. At no time during the officer's testimony did he testify as to using the radar/laser gun as instructed by the manufacturer. The officer can only use the device as instructed by the manufacturer and if he didn't, then he can not give testimony as to its accuracy. I motion for a dismissal. You'll find that with most officers giving testimony, they will fail to include this very important part. They are assuming that as an officer of the law, everyone knows he did operate the device as instructed. But you could care less about what he assumes. You are in a court of law and he must follow the rules when it comes to giving testimony. And those rules are that he verbally testifies to using the device as instructed by the manufacturer.

The Officer Failed to Mention He Tested the Device Both Before and After it Was Used

Many times the officer will only testify as to having tested the unit. But in court he must be specific and give the exact times when he did these tests. If and when the officer does not testify to the exact time he tested the unit, I would give the following motion... Your Honor, the prosecution has rested. At no time during the officer's testimony did he mention exactly when he tested the radar/laser unit. Having only testified to testing the radar/laser unit is no indication that he conformed to the law and tested this device in a reasonable amount of time. Since there is no testimony of the device being accurate, I motion for a dismissal. In some cases the officer may testify to only calibrating the unit before or after it was used. If he testifies to calibrating it before using it, motion for a dismissal since he gave no mention of calibrating it after it was used. If he testifies to calibrating it after it was used but makes no mention of calibrating it before use, motion for a dismissal.

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The Officer Did Not Testify to Checking for Outside Interference

Most officers will testify to having had checked for outside interference. In the event that yours doesn't, I would give the following motion... Your Honor the prosecution has rested. At no time during his testimony did the officer give mention to having tested the radar gun for outside interference. It's a known fact that many external forces can alter a radar gun's accuracy. Since no testimony was given to disclaim this possibility, the officer has failed to prove to a legal degree of certainty, his reading was one which had no external forces contributing to it. I motion for a dismissal.

Note: The officer need only testify that he checked for outside interference when it comes to radar guns. Laser guns do not have to be checked for outside interference.

The Officer Fails to Testify That Only Your Vehicle Was the One Clocked With His Radar/Laser Gun

It's a known fact that at certain distances, a radar or laser gun's beam will widen. Due to this, the officer has to give testimony that only your vehicle produced the reading on his device. If he fails to give testimony to this fact, I would use the following motion... Your Honor, the prosecution has rested. At no time during the officer's testimony did he testify as to my vehicle being the only one which could have caused the reading on his radar/laser gun. I'm sure as this court is aware, a radar/laser guns beam will widen as it travels. Due to this basic fact of physics and since no testimony was given to disclaim this theory, the officer has failed to prove to a legal degree of certainty that his reading was as a direct result of my speed and no one else's. I motion for a dismissal. Important: DO NOT allow the officer or prosecutor to give testimony as to anything they have omitted during the initial testimony. This is why, if you've noticed, throughout the previous motions for dismissal I kept reiterating the fact that the "prosecution has rested". This is just to make the judge and prosecutor aware that you know they are not allowed to add anything after they have rested.

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The police officer is only human and does make mistakes. Many times, due to the fact he has given testimony hundreds of times in the past, he will inadvertently forget to say or do certain required procedures during his testimony. Not only that, but it's very probable the officer has made this same mistake hundreds of times before in the past. The only problem is that no one has ever managed to catch it, because they didn't have the education to expose these mistakes. It's important you allow him to make these errors without the slightest indication from you. Keep quiet and wait for the prosecution to rest its' case. In any court of law, everything has to be precise. The same goes for traffic court. If the police officer or prosecutor are not following the rules, then you should have no problem beating your ticket. You just have to listen closely, take notes and when the prosecution rests its' case, turn to the judge and let it rip. As you can see, the process is fairly simple. Keep your ears open and make sure the officer testifies to everything. But never forget that this should NOT be your only defense strategy. This is merely a precursor, to the defenses given in the pages that follow. Always have a plan of attack laid out just in case the officer does happen to give a detailed testimony.

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Stationary Radar Defense

Please Read: I've given you seven separate scenarios for a

radar defense. However, the likelihood of you having to go through all seven scenarios is extremely small. I have yet to hear of anyone having to do so. In all probability, it will only take one or two of them in order to win your case. There are seven scenarios because everyone's individual case will be different. You don't have to start with the first one. Depending on what the officer says during his testimony and what evidence is presented you may start with any scenario that best suits your particular situation. It's best you familiarize yourself with all seven. They aren't in any particular order, because like I said, it all depends on what the officer says during his testimony as to which one you will use first.

For radar defenses, you will want to bring one (or more than one that pertain to your case) of Case Law. There are many Case Laws to choose from. Okay, here we go. You're in court and the judge calls your case. You hand the judge and prosecutor a copy of the relevant case law(s) you have brought (if applicable). Remember to make three copies of each one. Your Honor, these are copies of case laws brought down by some of the highest levels of court in (name your state) on the permissibility of evidence. I wish to submit them for your consideration. Or, if your state doesn't have any case law, bring in an out of state case law(s) and say the following... Your Honor, the state of (your state) at the present time doesn't have any case law pertaining to the issue at hand. I ask that you accept these case laws from sister states since they were handed down by some of the highest levels of court in these states. The prosecution will make a short opening statement and present its star witness. The police officer will take the witness stand and begin to testify.

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Officer Takes the Stand:

The prosecution's direct examination will go something like this: PROSECUTOR ­ Please state your name and number of years on the force. OFFICER ­ My name is Officer Griffith and I have been on the force for 15 years. PROSECUTOR ­ Would you please tell the court how you observed the defendant speeding?" OFFICER ­ On Jan 21, I was situated in the median of the highway on I-95 facing south in-between mile marker 26 and 27 when I clocked the defendant traveling at 72 mph, 12 miles above the posted speed limit in his white 99 Pontiac Grand Am, license plate number HHT-810. I clocked him speeding with my hand held radar unit. Before using it, I checked the unit for any outside interference and concluded there was none substantial that could have altered the reading in any way. PROSECUTOR ­ Did you have a clear look at the defendant's vehicle? OFFICER ­ Yes I did, traffic was light that day and no barriers or obstructions between our paths. PROSECUTOR ­ This radar unit used to measure the defendants speed, was it functioning properly? If so, how do you know? OFFICER - Yes, the radar gun was functioning properly at the time the violation occurred. Earlier that day, I tested the unit by pushing the internal check button. The preprogrammed speed showed on the screen. I then checked the device using special tuning forks set at different speeds. Later, after the ticket was issued, I went back to my vehicle and conducted a second test with the tuning forks. Everything was working just fine. PROSECUTOR - With regards to the radar gun, what kind of training do you have? The officer will go on and on about his training and certifications and how he's the best and he's been working with radar guns for 15 years and how he recently finished mandatory training school and blah blah blah. He will do a very good job at convincing you and everyone in the courtroom how much of a "professional" he is on radar guns. Now the prosecutor will emphasize the fact the radar gun was in working order. PROSECUTOR ­ In your professional judgment, was there anything wrong

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with the radar gun prior to stopping the defendant that could have altered the reading? Has the radar gun undergone any major repairs? OFFICER ­ No, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the unit. It is only several months old. I conducted all required procedures to ensure an accurate reading. I also checked for any outside interferences. PROSECUTOR ­ Prosecution rests its case Your Honor. Now, the prosecution thinks it's got you right where it wants you. The prosecution will sit down and the judge will ask you if you would like to cross examine the witness. Now it is your turn to ask the questions. Make it short and sweet. The fewer questions you ask the better. Get this over with as soon as possible. Attack with your very first question and take him down from there. Stick to the objective and don't get side tracked. You're only here to attack the prosecution's evidence and not prove your innocence.

Special Note: It is assumed you have thoroughly listened to the officer's testimony for any required steps he may have omitted. For the sake of simplicity we will also assume the officer testified to everything he was supposed to testify to. If he didn't, refer back to The Testimony Attack.

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SCENARIO #1

Officer Testifies to Testing the Radar Gun

DEFENDANT ­ Officer, who conducted the testing on the radar gun? Many times a first shift officer will test the radar gun and hand it over to the second shift which in turn will hand it over to the third shift officers. Other times there are two officers in the squad car and only one of them tested the unit. If the officer on the stand is not the same officer who conducted the test, I would motion for a dismissal if the officer that performed the actual test is not present in court. Remember, only the officer who actually performed the test can testify to doing so. OFFICER ­ Officer Dugan performed the test. DEFENDANT - Is Officer Dugan in the courtroom today? OFFICER ­ No he is not. DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the officer has testified he was not the one who performed the accuracy test on the radar gun. He also testified that the officer who performed these tests is currently not in the courtroom today. Unless the officer who performed these tests is in court to testify right now as to performing the tests, I motion for a dismissal. If the officer on the stand is the same one who performed the test on the radar unit continue with the next question... DEFENDANT ­ Officer, you claim that you tested the radar gun on the day I was ticketed. Can you provide an arrest log or activity log showing the time and date you performed this test? (It's important that he show you BOTH before and after the arrest). If the officer can not provide an arrest log (or activity log) that documents these tests being performed I would ask for a dismissal. If he does provide a log, check for these things: 1. Original document (Best Evidence Rule). When in doubt, always ask. 2. The arrest log is for the exact radar gun being used (match

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serial numbers). 3. Performed the test before and after the ticket was written. 4. The radar gun was checked out that day by the same officer. (Police officers must sign for the radar gun they will be using that day. The arrest log will show who the radar gun was issued to. Match up the names). 5. The arrest log is for the exact date and time you were ticketed. Okay, let's handle each one separately: Let's say the officer does provide an activity log. Make sure it is not a photocopy. Ask when you are in doubt. If it is... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, this activity log the officer has provided is not the original. I ask that an original copy be presented if available as stated in the Best Evidence Rule. If an original is not available please have the prosecution submit evidence that the original activity log is not available and prove this is a genuine copy of the original. If they fail to do so, I object to a photocopy being introduced as evidence. OR Let's say the activity log the prosecution has presented is an original document. Next you will want to match the serial number of the gun being used that day with the one in the activity log. Make sure they match! DEFENDANT- Officer, what is the serial number of the radar gun used to clock my speed? If he says he doesn't know, I would request the activity log be inadmissible as evidence: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the police officer doesn't know the serial number of the radar gun he used to clock my speed. Since he does not know this crucial piece of information he can not, to a legal degree of certainty, say that this activity log the prosecution has furnished is for the exact radar gun he used. I motion for the court to reject this activity log as evidence.

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If the officer does know and the activity log shows a different serial number: OFFICER - The Serial # is 12302. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the radar gun I was clocked with is serial number 12302. The activity log the prosecution has presented is for radar gun 23450. Since these are not one in the same radar guns, I motion to the court for a dismissal. (Paper work always gets mixed up.) OR Check to see the officer performed the test before and after the arrest. If it shows the officer only performed the test before the arrest, I would ask for a dismissal. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, this activity log only shows a test before the officer ticketed me. There is nothing in here that shows a test being performed after the arrest was made, as every radar manual suggests and as dictated by higher courts. Since this vital test was not done, the radar gun can not be considered accurate in the eyes of the law. I motion for a dismissal. OR While looking at the activity log, make sure the officer testifying is the same one on the log. Before the officer goes to court someone else will usually give him the log to bring with him. It's very possible this other person gave the officer the wrong log book. Actually, from my experience this happens about 30% of the time. If that's the case... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the prosecution has presented an activity log which has a different officer's name on it. Since this is not the same officer who administered the traffic stop and is not here to testify, I motion for a dismissal. (Again, paper work gets mixed up.) OR Compare dates and times on the activity log with the exact date and time you were ticketed. If they don't match up, ask for a dismissal. As you can see, it's pretty straight forward. Just look for certain things that must be present and if they are not or if things don't match up, simply ask for a dismissal.

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SCENARIO #2

The Officer Supplies the Activity Log Showing That He Did the Radar Test

After the officer supplies the activity log and you have scrutinized it for any discrepancies and have found none, I would continue with this next defense. DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, when was the last time the radar gun in question was serviced by a certified facility? If he says he doesn't know, I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the law requires a radar gun must be calibrated regularly by a certified person to establish its accuracy. The officer on the stand doesn't even know whether or not this crucial calibration was done. I ask they submit the proper calibration documents to prove this required procedure was conducted. If they can't, I motion for a dismissal. If the officer does happen to give you a time when the radar gun was last calibrated: DEFENDANT ­ Would you submit the proper documents that prove this? If he can't (which is usually the case), I would motion for a dismissal similar to above. If he does provide the calibration documents, I would ask to see it and check for the following items: 1. Original Document (Best Evidence Rule). 2. The calibration document is for the exact radar gun in question (match serial numbers). 3. The facility or person who conducted the calibration is certified by the state to do so. You already know how to handle numbers one and two. However, number three is a new factor which we haven't covered yet. With the document in hand, look to see who conducted the test, then you might want to ask this question: DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, the person who conducted the test... was he certified by the state to do such calibrations? OFFICER ­ I guess so. (Or he may give a definite answer such as "Yes he

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was".) If he gives a vague answer such as, "I guess so", I would continue with: DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, I'm not asking for your speculations or beliefs. Do you have first hand knowledge the person who conducted the test was certified to do so? Now it doesn't matter what he says. DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, can you prove to the court this person was certified by the state to conduct these calibrations? If he says "No"... DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the state of (name your state) requires anyone calibrating a radar gun to be certified to do so. Anyone at this facility had access to the radar gun and could have supposedly calibrated the radar unit without permission. Unless it is proven, by way of a certification document, that the person who conducted the calibration was certified by the state to do so, I motion for a dismissal. The likelihood of the prosecutor or police officer bringing the annual or semiannual calibration documentation is small. The likelihood that they can prove the person who conducted the calibration was certified to do so is even smaller. By law (and this law applies to all 50 states) if they don't prove both, then your case should be dismissed.

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SCENARIO #3

Officer Testifies He Used Tuning Forks to Calibrate the Radar Gun

DEFENDANT- Officer, do you agree that in order to properly test the radar gun as you did with the tuning forks, the tuning forks themselves must be functioning properly? OFFICER ­ Yes DEFENDANT- Then, would you submit evidence to the court the tuning forks used to test the gun were themselves calibrated? OFFICER ­ No, but the tuning forks were.... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, I motion for a dismissal. The prosecution has failed to provide substantial proof the tuning forks used to test the gun were actually functioning correctly themselves. Without this knowledge we can not be sure if the radar gun after being tested was tested properly. Believe it or not, 90% of the time, your case would end right here. The prosecution will rarely, if ever, bring the tuning fork calibration documents with them to court. They have no reason to. No one ever asks to see it, but you will. Important: If the judge says he will take judicial notice that the tuning forks were in working order or the prosecution need not present evidence, I would say... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, I am aware judicial notice exists as to the reliability of radar. However, I am requesting the prosecution to provide evidence as to the calibration of the tuning forks. The prosecution has an obligation to provide this evidence. If the officer can provide evidence as to the calibration of the tuning forks, make sure it is an original document, if not.... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, due to the Best Evidence Rule I motion for the court to have the prosecution submit an original document and not a photocopy. If the original document is not available please have them prove this is an exact copy of the original. If they can not, I object to a photocopy being used as evidence and motion to have it inadmissible. If the judge accepts your objection, the prosecution is left naked without

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anything to prove the tuning fork's calibration. I would immediately ask for a dismissal once the objection is granted. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, since the prosecution's evidence is inadmissible and they do not have the individual who performed the calibration here in court today to testify as to its' accuracy, I motion for a dismissal. If the prosecution does present an original copy or the judge denies your request, don't fret just yet. You have many more avenues to turn to. Now, with the documentation in hand, you will want the prosecution to prove the tuning forks listed on the certification are the same ones used by the officer that day. This is your next line of attack. Now ask the officer, who by now thinks you're done for, to prove by serial number that the tuning forks he has submitted evidence on are the same ones used to calibrate the gun. Very difficult to do, almost impossible! Remember, each tuning fork is issued to a specific radar gun and is stamped with a serial number. The officer can not interchange tuning forks with outside radar guns. DEFENDANT- What is the serial number of the radar gun used to calculate my speed? OFFICER ­ The serial number is 91275. DEFENDANT- Can you point out by serial number that these tuning forks were the same ones used to test radar gun # 91275? If and when the officer can not fulfill your request, I would ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, these documents are worthless unless they show the tuning forks in question, are the same ones used by the officer that day. The prosecution can not prove they are, so I motion for a dismissal. If you've made it this far, (highly unlikely) and the prosecution has provided everything you've asked for, check and make sure the calibration on the tuning fork was not performed more than 6 months prior to the alleged violation. If so, ask for dismissal:

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DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the law states that tuning forks be calibrated within a certain time frame prior to the alleged violation. This time is no longer than 6 months. The prosecution has submitted evidence that shows the tuning forks were last calibrated 9 months before my arrest. As a result, the evidence is inadmissible and I motion for a dismissal. Some areas require tuning forks be calibrated once a year. Just go ahead and say 6 months and if you are corrected, simply apologize and say you were mistaken and move on. One year is the absolute maximum in all states, so if the tuning fork calibration is over one year old, you know for sure that it is too old. Or continue with the next question: DEFENDANT- Officer, if one were to drop the tuning forks or if they were exposed to excessive heat after being calibrated would they still function properly? If he says yes, correct him and ask for a dismissal: If he says no.... DEFENDANT- Then can you submit proof the tuning forks were not dropped or damaged in any way after it was calibrated? If he says no (and he will) I would ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, many factors can occur after the tuning forks are calibrated to make them faulty. The tuning forks are a very essential piece to the prosecution's case. However, they have failed to prove, to any legal degree of certainty the tuning forks were working properly. I motion for a dismissal.

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SCENARIO #4

Officer Testifies He Checked the Accuracy of the Radar Gun by Clocking a Fellow Officer Traveling at a PreDetermined Speed and They Both Came Up Equal

DEFENDANT- Officer, what is the name of the officer who conducted this test with you? OFFICER ­ Officer Bolden. DEFENDANT- Is Officer Bolden in the courtroom today? OFFICER ­ No he is not. Before saying anything else, I would ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, since two people conducted the test and only one is here to testify today I motion for a dismissal. Only Officer Bolden can testify as to the reading in his car's speedometer that day. And only Officer Bolden can testify as to the calibration of his vehicle's speedometer that day. IMPORTANT: If the judge says the other officer need not be present, I would say.... DEFENDANT - If Officer (name) is going to testify as to what the speedometer reading was in the other officer's car, that is strictly based on hearsay. Unless this court allows hearsay to be admitted into evidence I motion for the court to strike Officer Griffith's testimony that the radar gun read the exact speedometer reading in Officer Bolden's car. Only Officer Bolden was an eye witness to the speedometer reading. If bad luck is your middle name and both officers show up for court that day (1 in a million chance) just question the other officer using the speedometer defense below. DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, I call Officer Bolden to the witness stand. Now, I would question Officer Bolden with the speedometer defense given further below.

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Very Important: If there are two officers who will be giving testimonies in the courtroom it may be a wise decision on your part to motion to have one excluded from the room while the other is on the stand. This will prevent him from listening in on the witness's testimony which may allow him to refresh his memory or remember details he may have forgotten. This will ensure that each testimony given is not based on what one heard the other say. It's very possible that one officer will assume a testimony based on what the other officer has said. The more similar their testimonies become, the more believable. By having them separated, it's possible to have many discrepancies and contradictions in their testimonies, which will greatly help you beat your ticket.

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SCENARIO #5

Officer Testifies That He Pushed the Internal Check Button, but Makes No Mention of the Tuning Forks

DEFENDANT- Officer, the manual that comes with the radar gun clearly states that in order for the gun to be considered accurate it must be tested using the tuning forks issued with it, correct? If he says no, correct him and ask for a dismissal. If he says yes.... DEFENDANT- Did you perform these tests with the tuning forks prior to pulling me over? If answer is no, go at him hard. I would motion for a dismissal at this point: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, either the officer doesn't know the proper procedure to test a radar gun or he was just lazy in his police duties. In either case, the officer can't say, with a legal degree of certainty, his radar gun was accurate at the time I was clocked. I motion for a dismissal. Or if you don't like that one.... DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the tuning forks the manufacturer recommends be used when testing the unit were not used. Therefore, we do not have concrete evidence the radar gun was working properly. Merely using the internal check button is not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the radar gun was functioning properly and I motion for a dismissal. If he answers yes... DEFENDANT- Can you submit to the court the arrest log or activity log that shows the date and time you performed this test? If he can not, I would motion for a dismissal. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the prosecution has failed to submit an arrest log to substantiate their claim the radar gun was actually tested and functioning properly. Based on this fact I motion for a dismissal. If he does provide an arrest log you will want to look for 5 things:

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1. Original document (Best Evidence Rule). 2. The arrest log is for the exact radar gun being used (match serial numbers). 3. Performed the test before and after the ticket was written. 4. The radar gun was checked out that day by the same officer. (Police officers must sign for the radar gun they will be using that day. The arrest log will show who the radar gun was issued to. Match up the names). 5. The arrest log is for the exact date and time you were ticketed. If something doesn't seem right, ask for a dismissal. The prosecution does and WILL make mistakes. Continue as you would for scenario #1. A. Your Honor, I was ticketed on Jan. 21. This arrest log is for Jan 23. I motion for a dismissal. OR B. Your Honor, the radar gun used to measure my speed is gun # 91275. This document the prosecution has submitted is for radar gun # 94448. They are not one in the same. I motion for a dismissal.

OR

C. Your Honor, the manual that comes with every radar gun manufactured in this country clearly states that in order for the gun to be considered accurate, it must be checked prior and after the arrest. This arrest log makes no mention of a test being performed AFTER the arrest. I motion for a dismissal. And so on...

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SCENARIO #6

Attacking the Credibility of the Tuning Fork Check

DEFENDANT- Officer, is it true that in order for a radar gun to be tested correctly it must be tested with specific tuning forks issued with the unit, or will any tuning fork do? If he says any tuning fork will do, I would correct him then ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the officer has made a false statement regarding the use of tuning forks. Tuning forks are specific to the unit they were issued with. One tuning fork can not be used with a radar gun it was not issued with. I motion for a dismissal. If while questioning the officer about the tuning forks, he mentions that he calibrated the tuning forks himself.... DEFENDANT- Are you licensed or certified in the field of tuning fork calibration? Almost every cop should answer NO to this question. OFFICER ­ No. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the witness has testified he conducted the tuning fork calibration himself, yet he is not certified to do so. I motion that his testimony be stricken from the record and ask the court for a dismissal.

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SCENARIO #7

Officer Testifies to Having Used Tuning Forks to Test the Radar Unit and Has Testified the Tuning Forks Were Calibrated and Has Proper Documentation

Now we are going to try and have the tuning fork calibration thrown out as evidence. When the prosecutor hands the document to the officer or when the officer hands the document to the judge (when there is no prosecutor), ask to see it. They have to let you see it. We will assume the document is an original. We will also assume you have checked to make sure the tuning forks were the same ones issued to the radar gun by matching the serial numbers. The next series of questions are similar to Scenario #2. DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, was the person who conducted the tuning fork calibration certified to do so? DEFENDANT ­ Can you submit a certification document which proves the person who conducted this calibration was certified by the state? If he can not, I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the state of (name your state) requires that anyone calibrating the tuning forks is required to be certified to do so. Anyone at this facility had access to the tuning forks and could have supposedly calibrated the radar unit without permission. Unless it is proven, by way of a certification document, that the person who conducted the calibration was certified to do so, I motion for a dismissal.

Final Remarks:

You may use the Radar Defense in conjunction with the MUTCD Defense further below. Ask for a traffic survey if all else fails. You may begin your line of defense with the MUTCD Defense or you may start with the defense you see here and if the judge still has not dismissed the case you can start asking for a traffic survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding.

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Moving Radar Defense

Police radar works in two modes, stationary and moving. As the names suggest, stationary only works when the unit (or patrol car) is not moving whereas, moving radar can be used while the police car is in motion. Moving radar is most often used by the highway patrol. And unlike stationary radar, moving radar requires a greater amount of expertise in implementing it to ensure that the right target vehicle is being clocked. Before I show you how to tackle a moving radar speeding ticket in court, it is first logical for you to have a basic understanding of how it works and more importantly... how it fails.

How It Works

Most radar units issued today have the ability of working in two modes (moving and stationary). The mode can be changed simply by flicking a switch. There is an indicator light which tells the officer what mode the gun is currently operating in. When it comes to dealing with the technical aspects of moving radar, things can get quite confusing pretty fast. I'm sure you're not too interested in all of the specifics and are more concerned about how to beat your ticket. Therefore, I'll do my best to explain things as quickly and simply as possible. Unlike stationary radar which uses one radar beam, moving radar uses two beams. One is used the same exact way it is used in stationary mode (aimed at target vehicle, bounces off of target vehicle and returns back to the receiving end of the unit to calculate target vehicle's speed). The second radar beam is used to establish the moving patrol car's speed relative to the earth. It can either target objects to the front or side of the patrol car. One beam is called the low doppler shift (patrol car's speed) and the other is called the high doppler shift (your vehicle's speed). The radar unit will have two screens to allow the officer to see the two different speed readings. When these two speeds are added together you get what is called a "closing speed".

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For example: Officer's speed + Your speed = Closing speed Or Low doppler shift + High doppler shift = Closing speed The closing speed minus the low doppler shift equals your speed. For instance, if the officer is traveling at 55 mph and you are approaching at 85 mph the closing speed is 140 mph (55 + 85 = 140). The closing speed minus the officer's speed equals your speed (140 ­ 55 = 85). That's basically the mathematics of it all in a nutshell. Now, let's go back for a moment and discuss the beams being used in moving radar. As I mentioned, it uses two radar beams. One targets the approaching vehicle (high doppler shift) and one targets the surrounding terrain of the patrol car (low doppler shift) to establish the patrol car's speed. It is with the low doppler shift that mistakes often occur.

Batching

One common error is called "batching". Batching occurs when the patrol car suddenly speeds up and slows down. The radar unit can not adjust for these inconsistent speeds. As a result, this will cause the radar unit to alter the actual speed the target vehicle is actually traveling. A police officer is trained to keep his vehicle at a constant speed (usually within 5 mph or so) when using moving radar to avoid batching (among other errors) from occurring.

Cosine Error

Another all too common error involved with moving radar is called the "cosine error". As you know by now, one of the two beams from the radar unit is used to establish the patrol car's speed. It does this by targeting objects on the ground near the patrol car. The cosine error occurs when the relative angle of these objects to the officer's motion are too high. In other words, if they are at great distances from the moving patrol car, their angles will be too high and his patrol car's

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speed will be computed less than what it actually is. When this happens, his lower calculated speed will in turn give your vehicle a greater overall speed. (Remember our mathematical formulas above.) These are but two of the errors that can occur with moving radar. Also, bear in mind that with stationary radar the officer can look down a scope and target individual vehicles. He can't do this with moving radar because the unit is usually fixed to his dash. He can not drive with one hand and operate the unit with the other. Because of these errors there are VERY FEW states in the nation which have taken judicial notice on the workings of moving radar (I'm not sure of the exact number or which states have taken judicial notice, but I think there are currently only 5 states). There are just too many issues at hand that have to be overcome before more states will take judicial notice on the accuracy of moving radar. It is with this that we begin our defense. Allow the officer to take the stand and begin to give his testimony. As soon as he says the words "moving radar" I would OBJECT IMMEDIATELY! Objection: Your Honor, I object. The police officer is introducing evidence which this state has not taken judicial notice that moving radar is an accurate and reliable means of speed detection. Unless the prosecution plans to introduce a qualified expert to testify as to the workings and accuracy of the moving radar unit as required by law, I motion to have this case dismissed. In all probability the judge will dismiss the case right there. However, he may not and instead will say one of the following: He will ask you to prove that no judicial notice exists. If he does, I would say: Your Honor with all due respect, it is impossible for me to try to prove the nonexistence of something that doesn't exist. If it doesn't exist, then how can I prove it? This is the prosecution's case and if they wish to continue then the burden lies on them to prove to this court that judicial notice does in fact exist. He may say that he will take judicial notice. If he does, I would say: Your Honor, I would like the record to show you are personally taking judicial notice on a matter when there has not been a single study, experiment or case in this state that has shown moving radar to be a reliable and accurate means of

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He may say he will allow the case to continue regardless of judicial notice. If he does, I would say: Your Honor please let the record reflect my objection to this case continuing without a qualified expert to testify as to the workings and accuracy of moving radar since this state has never found, to a scientific degree of accuracy, moving radar to be a competent form of speed detection.

If the judge allows the case to proceed, then you really have no choice but to continue fighting your ticket. If you happen to lose, an appeal is almost guaranteed to reverse the judge's decision. The following defense tactics should help you further. Now that the officer has finished testifying it is now your turn to cross examine him. Your objective during cross examination is to create as much legal doubt as possible as to the accuracy of the moving radar unit. The only way to accomplish this is to follow the stationary radar defenses given earlier. Like stationary radar, moving radar also has to be calibrated within a relatively short time frame. Tuning forks are used to calibrate moving radar. Also, any documentation being presented should be checked to make sure they are original documents. You can also take it one step further (if your case is still not dismissed by this point) and really expose the radar unit of its many inaccuracies. These next cross examination techniques should allow you to do just that. DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, when you target vehicles using a stationary radar unit, that is when you are situated on the side of the road, is there a scope for you to look through so you can clearly aim at specific vehicles to ensure you are targeting the right vehicle? OFFICER ­ Yes. DEFENDANT ­ Being that you used moving radar, did you use this scope to target my vehicle? OFFICER ­ No. (He will say no because it is impossible and not to mention dangerous for him to look through the scope of the radar unit while it is fixed to his dash and drive his vehicle at the same time.) DEFENDANT ­ Then officer, how did you determine that my vehicle and only

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my vehicle was the one that gave the speed reading on your radar unit? Now it really doesn't matter what he says. You have damaged his testimony enough to have your case dismissed. DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the laws of physics prove that as a radar beam travels it also widens. This width can be as wide as 400 feet. As such, since the officer did not specifically target my vehicle, he can not to a legal degree of certainty say that my vehicle and only my vehicle caused the reading on his radar unit. I motion for a dismissal. If you've made it this far and the judge has still not dismissed the case, your last recourse is to make known the numerous errors that can occur with moving radar. The more you can give... the better. The objective here is to reiterate the fact that some or all of these errors could have occurred while the officer was attempting to calculate your speed.

Shadow Effect:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is a shadow effect and how can it contribute to a false speed reading? A shadow effect error occurs when the second beam used to calculate the officer's patrol car speed - by locking on to nearby objects on the road instead locks on to a nearby vehicle in front of the patrol car (usually a large truck). For example, a patrol car is traveling at 50 mph. It is approaching a large truck directly in front traveling at 40 mph. The low doppler shift beam of the radar unit locks onto the back of the large moving truck and returns a strong low doppler shift back to the receiving end of the radar unit. The radar gun will then read the closing speed of the patrol car on the truck. This will make the radar unit think the patrol car is only traveling at 10 mph (50 ­ 40 = 10). When a vehicle approaches from the opposite direction, at let's say 60 mph, the radar unit will actually calculate this vehicle's speed as 100 mph. Because the radar unit has calculated the officer's speed as 10 mph and is closing in on the approaching car at 110 mph (vehicle's actual speed + patrol's actual speed). As a result, the radar unit calculates the approaching vehicle's speed as 100 mph (110 ­ 10 = 100) or (closing speed ­ officer's speed = vehicle's speed). This inaccurate speed is 40 mph over the actual speed of the target vehicle!

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Look Past Error:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is a look past error and how can it contribute to a false reading? A look past error is when the radar "overlooks" the target vehicle and instead bounces off of a different vehicle. This is especially true with moving radar since the officer doesn't scope out an individual vehicle and the radar gun bypasses a small reflection in exchange for a larger one further down the road (as with a large truck). Studies have shown that the readings from a radar unit can often be from a larger vehicle as far as ¾ miles down the road!

Fan Interference Error:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is fan interference error and how can it contribute to a false reading? A fan interference error is when a radar unit mounted inside the patrol car will have the tendency to read the pulse of the fan motor (a/c, heater, or defroster). This will override patrol car speed reflected from the roadway. When this happens the false speed reading produced from the fan will be substituted for patrol speed in the moving radar's calculation of target speed. Since the fan speed is considerably less than the patrol's speed, this will calculate the approaching vehicle's speed as being higher than what it actually is.

Batching:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is batching and how can it contribute to a false reading? Already discussed above.

Bumping Error:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is bumping error and how can it contribute to a false reading? Bumping error is when the officer slows down, as when to turn around and give chase in the opposite direction. The turn around lessens the patrol car's speed and increases or "bumps" the target vehicle's speed.

Cosine Error:

DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, what is cosine error and how can it contribute to

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a false reading? Already discussed above. If at any time, the officer says that he does not know a particular error, ask him when was the last time he read his radar manual. Tell him that these errors are clearly listed in his manual and that a properly trained person should at least be familiar with such errors in order to prevent them from happening. This will also be a good time to motion for a dismissal. If at any time the officer says he is not supposed to know the technical workings of the radar unit I would ask him if these errors are listed in his handbook. If he says they are, then I would ask him when was the last time he read it and why he's not required to know them. This is also a good time to motion for a dismissal.

Closing Argument

It is highly unlikely that you will have to give a closing argument. More than likely your case will be dismissed by then. But it is still a good idea to have one ready just in case. It's not possible for me to write one for you here because there are just too many factors involved and each particular case is different. However, I can give you a couple of pointers. First, you will want to mention the fact that no judicial notice exists in your state and the judge still allowed the case to continue without expert testimony and the prosecutor failed to prove judicial notice does exist. Also, remind the judge of all of the different errors you brought up during cross examination that could have occurred and that the police officer has not proven they didn't. Finish off by saying the police officer has not proven, to any legal degree of certainty, that he clocked your vehicle with a reliable method of speed enforcement and that you ask for a verdict of not guilty.

Final Remarks:

You may use this Moving Radar Defense in conjunction with the MUTCD Defense further below. Ask for a traffic survey if all else fails. You may begin your line of defense with the MUTCD Defense or you may start with the defense you see here and if the judge still hasn't dismissed the case you can start asking for a traffic survey for the stretch of road you were caught speeding.

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Construction Zone Defense

Stipulations

In order for this defense to work there are certain stipulations (or conditions) which must be met. With construction work zone tickets it's important that no workers were present at the time the offense occurred. The same holds true with school zone speeding tickets; it must have been before or after school hours.

What the Law Says

MUTCD = Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices The MUTCD is a US government publication which contains standards for traffic control devices that regulate, warn, and guide road users along the highways and byways in all 50 States. Every state in the nation must abide by the codes and regulations within this manual. Address: http://www.mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1r2/pdf_index.htm 1) MUTCD Page 6B-01 Letter D

When warranted, an engineering study should be made (in cooperation with law enforcement officials) of reported crashes occurring within the temporary traffic control zone. Crash records in temporary traffic control zones should be monitored to identify the need for changes in the temporary traffic control zone. Translation: This law states that before a reduced speed in a construction zone can be placed, an engineering and traffic survey must first be conducted. Simply reducing the speed just because workers are present is not enough. They must determine the correct speed to put and not just pick one they think is right. If they can not produce this survey upon request, your ticket should be dismissed.

2) MUTCD Page 6B-2 Standard:

All temporary traffic control devices shall be removed as soon as practical when they are no longer needed. When work is suspended for short periods of time, temporary traffic control devices that are no longer appropriate shall be removed or covered.

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Translation: When all of the construction workers have gone home for the day this law states that ALL temporary traffic control devices shall be removed or covered. This includes ALL work zone and reduced speed limit signage. The idea behind this law is that since no workers are present, there is no reason to continue restricting drivers to the lower speed limit. This rule applies whenever work has ceased for a "short period of time". So, during a 24 hour day if the construction company only works for 12 hours, then the remaining 12 hours would be considered a "short period of time" and all of the lowered speed limits should be at least covered for these 12 hours and normal driving speeds continued until the following work day has begun. This also includes weekends and holidays. The only exception to this rule is if the construction zone area still poses a threat to drivers even after workers have left for the day (ex. open trenches, narrowed lanes, etc.).

3) MUTCD Page 6C-1 Section 6C.01

Temporary traffic control plans should be prepared by persons knowledgeable (for example, trained and/or certified) about the fundamental principles of temporary traffic control and work activities to be performed. The design, selection and placement of temporary traffic control devices for a temporary traffic control plan should be based on engineering judgment. Translation: This one is somewhat similar to the first one. It states that not just anyone can post signs or create speed limits. Not the construction workers and not even the cops for that matter. It must be done by a "trained and/or certified" person. If anyone else other than a "trained and/or certified" person has placed or calculated the reduced speed limit then these signs and speed limits are NOT legal. Ask for the name and qualifications of the person who conducted this research. If it can not be presented I would motion to have the ticket dismissed.

4) MUTCD Page 6C-1 Section 6C.01 14th Paragaph

Reduced speed limits should be used only in the specific portion of the temporary traffic control zone where conditions or restrictive features are present. However, frequent changes in the speed limit should be avoided. A temporary traffic control plan should be designed so that vehicles can safely travel through the temporary traffic control zone with a speed limit reduction of no more than 16km/h (10 mph).

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Translation: Here is one of the most widely disregarded traffic control laws. First, it states that the reduced speeds should be limited to the "specific portion of the traffic control zone". This means that only the specific area which needs the reduced speed limit should be considered. However, as you may already know, construction zone speed limits can begin and end hundreds of feet from the "specific portion" which needs reduced speed limits.

By doing so, they have essentially broken the law. The reduced speed limits can only be posted within the "specific portion" of the construction zone. It also states that the reduction of speeds should not be more than 10 mph. 5) MUTCD Page 6C-1 Section 6C.01 15th Paragraph

A reduction of more than 16km/h (10mph) in the speed limit should be used only when required by restrictive features in the temporary traffic control zone. Where restrictive features justify a speed reduction of more than 16km/h (10 mph) additional driver notification should be provided. The speed limit should be stepped down in advance of the location requiring the lowest speed, and additional temporary traffic control warning devices should be used. Translation: This law states that reductions in speeds of more than 10 mph are allowed provided that the situation warrants it and significant warnings are in place to give motorists advanced notice. As rule number 1 states above, this extra reduction in speed can only be created when an engineering and traffic survey has been conducted. Again, you may want to ask the officer for this engineering survey.

6) MUTCD Page 6C-1 Section 6C.01 16th Paragraph

Reduced speed zoning (lowering the regulatory speed limit) should be avoided as much as practical because drivers will reduce their speeds only if they clearly perceive a need to do so. Translation: This one and number 7 below go hand in hand and are self explanatory.

7) MUTCD Page 6C-1 Section 6C.01 18th Paragraph

Research has demonstrated that large reductions in the speed limit, such as... (30mph) reduction, increase speed variance increase the potential for

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crashes. Smaller reductions in the speed limit of up to (10 mph) cause smaller changes in speed variance and lessen the potential for increased crashes. A reduction in the regulatory speed limit of only up to (10 mph) from the normal speed limit has been shown to be more effective. These laws are very clear on what is supposed to be done during construction zone work hours. It is from these laws we formulate our defense strategy. The law actually works in your favor and if used correctly you should have no problem beating your ticket. Everyone's particular case is different. I can't go into a detailed defense here, but by having given you the above MUTCD codes you should be able to use whichever ones pertains to your case. Also, I suggest you read this entire section of the manual when you get a chance. There are dozens of other required procedures which must be met and you may just find something to help get your case thrown out. Here's the link again (jump down to chapter 6A-E):

http://www.mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003r1r2/pdf_index.htm

The next section should help you even further: Before I begin to show you how to beat a work zone (or construction) speeding ticket, let me start off by saying that speeding in this location is dangerous for all of the hard working construction workers out there. I do not condone speeding and I definitely do not condone speeding in construction or school zones. With that being said, let's begin...

The Defense

When it comes to construction zone speeding tickets, you may be fighting two battles here. First you have to dismiss the ticket as a "construction zone speeding violation". Next, if you have successfully done that, you then have to beat the speeding part of your ticket. However, in some localities it may very well be possible to dismiss the ticket entirely just by proving that it was labeled wrong to begin with. If you can show the judge that your ticket was not in fact a "construction zone violation", your case will usually end right there without you having to continue with fighting the second speeding charge.

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Here's an example: Let's say that under normal conditions the posted speed limit on a street is 55 mph. During construction times this speed limit has been reduced to 35 mph. If you get pulled over for speeding at 65 mph in this construction zone, you must first contest the charge of it being a "construction zone related speed infraction". After you have had the charge of it being a "construction zone speeding ticket" dismissed (by utilizing the strategies below), then you will have to beat the speed charge of doing 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. (Since you have had it dismissed as a construction zone ticket, the construction zone speed limit is no longer valid). Conversely, if you were only going 50 mph in the construction zone, then there would be no second charge to fight since you were still under the normal posted speed limit. The main objective of first dismissing the charge as a construction zone speed related infraction is obvious. By having done so (even if you get found guilty of speeding), you can easily save yourself hundreds of dollars in extra fines and avoid the double points sometimes assessed to your driving record. If you're like most people, you probably think it is impossible to beat a work zone speeding ticket. With all of the signs warning motorists of increased police activity and speeding fines being doubled, it gives the impression that if given a speeding ticket, you will be found guilty no matter what. You have to hand it to the government; they sure know how to scare us. But, that's all it really is ­ a scare tactic! Here's how to easily beat a work zone speeding ticket: The only way to beat this type of ticket is if there weren't any construction workers present at the time. Now you may be thinking, "Aren't there always construction workers present?" The answer is NO. Ninety nine percent of the time a police officer will set up speed traps in a construction zone area ONLY when there aren't any workers present. It's much too dangerous to give out speeding tickets when the lanes have been narrowed and workers are out doing their job.

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He'd be creating a hazardous situation if he were to pull drivers over during construction time. Also, many police departments have a policy that prohibit officers from conducting speed enforcement during construction work hours. As a result, police officers usually only give out speeding tickets when all the workers have gone home for the day. Since this is the case, many states have laws that specify speeding tickets given in construction zones can be labeled as "work zone traffic infractions" only when workers are present. If there weren't any workers out at the time, then the officer can not label your speeding ticket a "work zone" violation! The following states which have this rule in effect are:

Alabama Arizona Arkansas California Connecticut Florida Georgia Illinois Louisiana Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nevada New Hampshire North Dakota Oklahoma Pennsylvania South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin

Chances are good your construction zone ticket was issued when NO workers were present. If that's the case, check above to see if you are in a state that has a "no construction worker present" law. If you are lucky enough to be in one of these states, do the following:

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Contact the construction company and have them send you a certified letter stating their hours of operation. Make sure it is a certified letter. The courts may not accept it if it is not. Next, look to see if your ticket specifies the time the alleged infraction occurred.

Very Important: If there is no time given, you can easily have your case dismissed by arguing that the officer can not prove you were given a ticket during construction work hours. The judge will then have to find you not guilty without this important information.

Once you are in court, allow the officer to give his testimony and as soon as you hear him say the word "construction" I would OBJECT IMMEDIATELY! Turn to the judge and motion to have the ticket dismissed as a "work zone traffic infraction" based on the fact that no construction workers were present. I would say something like this... I object! Your Honor the State of (give name of state), has laws in effect which specify that in order for someone to be convicted of speeding in a construction zone, there must be workers present at the time of the alleged violation. Your Honor, this piece of paper that I have with me is a certified letter from the construction company that states its' hours of operation in the construction zone. As you can clearly see, my speeding ticket gives a time which falls outside of this time frame. Therefore I request to have the ticket dismissed as a `work zone traffic infraction' based on this fact. The judge will then legally have to dismiss the ticket as a work zone violation. It must be dismissed because it was labeled wrong to begin with. But remember earlier I mentioned you may have to fight two battles here. Even if the judge dismisses the ticket as a work zone violation, if you were still speeding (exceeding the normal posted speed limit) you may have to fight the speeding charge against you. The only way to accomplish this is to follow the strategies I give in this book.

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If the judge denies your motion to dismiss the ticket as a "work zone violation", you can still fight it using the radar/laser techniques inside. If you still lose, you can be assured that at least you have saved yourself hundreds of dollars in fines and at least 2 to 4 extra points on your record.

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School Zone Defense

I love children as much as the next guy. I totally agree with someone receiving a speeding ticket though a flashing school zone or during school hours. If you were caught speeding through a flashing school zone then you absolutely deserve a speeding ticket. However, when local law enforcement uses the speed zone before or after school hours as a means of increasing revenue and not child safety then it becomes obvious that something very wrong is going on. This defense is strictly meant for those of you who received a speeding ticket before or after school, or during the weekend.

Stipulations

The only stipulation here, as mentioned earlier, is that no students can be in the vicinity at the time you were ticketed. So, if you get a school zone speeding ticket at 6:00 PM you should have a fighting chance at beating it. If you were caught speeding through a flashing school zone traffic control signal then nothing here will help you. For the rest of you who have been illegally ticketed after or before school hours for the simple purpose of increasing revenue, then this next piece of information may help you.

What the Law Says

Again, we will be focusing on what the MUTCD has to say in regards to school zone traffic regulations. As a matter of fact, the MUTCD has an entire section devoted to school zone regulations. I urge you to read through this section when you get a chance because it can greatly help and give you new ideas to pursue when fighting your speeding ticket. There are some 40+ codes in this section of the manual in regards to school zones so I won't list them all here. I'll just give you the most important ones and hope that you find the time to read this section of the manual yourself.

1) MUTCD Page 7A-1 Section 7A.01 NEED FOR STANDARDS:

It is important to stress that regardless of the school location, the best way to achieve reasonably safe and effective traffic control is through the uniform application of realistic policies, practices, and standards developed through engineering judgment.

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The type(s) of school area traffic control devices used, either warning or regulatory, should be related to the volume and speed of vehicular traffic, street width, and the number and age of the students using the crossing. School area traffic control devices should be included in a school traffic control plan. Translation: This section basically acts as an introduction as to why the government has regulations in place with regards to school zones. It's been proven that simply lowering the speed limit without evidence that the lowered speed limit is in fact a correct and accurate speed to use does not have the desired effect of creating safety.

2) MUTCD Page 7A-3 Section 7A.04 SCOPE:

Part 7 sets forth basic principles and prescribes standards that shall be followed in the design, application, installation, and maintenance of all traffic control devices (including signs, signals, and markings) and other controls (including adult crossing guards, student patrols, and grade-separated crossings) required for the special pedestrian conditions in school areas. Translation: This basically states that the rules and regulations set forth in the MUTCD must be followed. The MUTCD takes precedence over any and all state or local governments.

3) MUTCD Page 7A-3 Section 7A.06 ENGINEERING STUDY REQUIRED:

Section 1A.09 contains information regarding engineering studies Translation: This section gives reference to section 1A.09 (below) which mandates that before any speed limit (even school zones) is adopted it must first be determined by the use of an engineering and traffic survey.

SECTION 1A.09

The decision to use a particular device at a particular location should be made on the basis of either an engineering study or the application of engineering judgment. Thus, while this Manual provides Standards, Guidance, and Options for design and application of traffic control devices, this Manual should not be considered a substitute for engineering judgment. Engineering judgment should be exercised in the selection and application of traffic control devices, as well as in the location and design of the roads and streets that the devices complement. Jurisdictions with responsibility for traffic control that do not have engineers on their staffs should seek

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engineering assistance from others, such as the State transportation agency, their County, a nearby large City, or a traffic engineering consultant.

4) MUTCD Page 7B-2 Section 7B.08 SCHOOL ADVANCED WARNING ASSEMBLY:

The School Advance Warning assembly (see Figure 7B-1) should be installed in advance of locations where school buildings or grounds are adjacent to the highway, except where a physical barrier such as fencing separates school children from the highway. Standard: The School Advance Warning assembly shall be used in advance of any installation of the School Crosswalk Warning assembly (see Figure 7B-2), or in advance of the first installation of the School Speed Limit assembly (see Figure 7B-3). The School Advance Warning assembly shall be installed not less than 45 m (150 ft) nor more than 210 m (700 ft) in advance of the school grounds or school crossings. Translation: This mandates that an advance warning sign must be in place before the actual reduced speed zone. Take a little drive back to the area of where you were clocked speeding. If no advance warning sign is in place than you have a great defense on your hands. If there is, check and make sure that it is no less than 150ft from the actual reduced speed zone.

5) MUTCD Page 7B-7 Section 7B.11 SCHOOL SPEED LIMIT ASSEMBLY:

A School Speed Limit assembly or a School Speed Limit (S5-1) sign shall be used to indicate the speed limit where a reduced speed zone for a school area has been established (in accordance with law based upon an engineering study) or where a speed limit is specified for such areas by statute. The School Speed Limit assembly or School Speed Limit sign shall be placed at or as near as practical to the point where the reduced speed zone begins. Guidance: The reduced speed zone should begin either at a point 60 m (200 ft) from the crosswalk, or at a point 30 m (100 ft) from the school property line, based on whichever is encountered first as traffic approaches the school. Translation: This section gives the correct usage of any reduced speed limit signs. They must be at least 200ft from the crosswalk and 100ft from the school property line.

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6) MUTCD Page 7B-8 Section 7B.13 END SCHOOL ZONE SIGN:

The end of an authorized and posted school speed zone shall be marked with a standard Speed Limit sign showing the speed limit for the section of highway that follows or with an END SCHOOL ZONE (S5-2) sign (see Figure 7B-1). Translation: This section mandates that an "end school zone" sign be placed where the official school zone ends. You'd be surprised to know that many school zones in the country don't have an "end school zone" sign in place. Again, take a drive back to where you were ticketed and see if such a sign is there. If not, you may be able to beat your ticket. Remember, this is a government regulation that must be done. Local and state governments don't have a say in the matter and must abide by federal rules. These were the main issues from the MUTCD about school zone regulations. There are over 40 of them so it is suggested that you read through the manual yourself. You may find more which pertain to your individual situation. Remember (and I can't state this enough) the MUTCD is a federal guideline which all 50 states must abide by. If you find one or more of these guidelines not being followed then you should not hesitate in using this as a defense in court. By failing to enforce just one of these guidelines your speeding ticket may not be enforceable. Since every situation is different, it would be futile for me to attempt to give any defense strategies. However, with these MUTCD codes given, you should have no problem finding fault in at least one of them and using this as the basis of your defense strategy. If every MUTCD code has been followed correctly, then your only recourse is to use the defense strategies given inside this book. Regardless of what type of speeding ticket you have (construction or school zone) it is still a speeding violation determined by a machine (radar or laser gun) and can be beat by attacking the accuracy of such devices.

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Laser Defense

For laser cases, you will want to bring in case law: In the Matter of the Admissibility of Motor Vehicle Speed Readings Produced by the LTI MARKSMAN 20-20 Laser Speed Detection System Also bring in any case laws from your state. Your Honor, these are copies of case laws brought down by some of the highest levels of court in (name your state) on the permissibility of evidence. I wish to submit them for your consideration. Or, if your state doesn't have any case law, bring in an out of state case law(s) and say the following... Your Honor, the state of (your state) at the present time doesn't have any case law pertaining to the issue at hand. I ask that you accept these case laws from sister states since they were handed down by some of the highest levels of court in these states. Most states in the country have not taken judicial notice on the workings of laser type measuring devices. This means that the state does not accept this type of evidence as being accurate, unless substantial evidence (expert testimony) is submitted.

Exceptions:

Colorado (Boulder)

The city of Boulder does accept laser as a reliable speed measure provided

(1) Proof of annual certification of the device by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, (2) operator was trained and certified and instruction provided by instructor certified to provide such training, (3) proof instrument was operated in accordance with manufacturer's specifications, (4) proof instrument in proper working order on date in question and device checked for accuracy at the beginning and end of shift to include (a) proof of proper sight reticle alignment, (b) proof speed reading maintained for at least 2 seconds, (c) proof of the distance of speed reading, (d) proof that the lidar's instrument's internal check indicated that the instrument was in proper working condition, (e) proof that the officer made a visual estimate of the speed of the vehicle in question to correlate the speed reading indicated by the lidar instrument.

Ohio (Columbus)

The city of Columbus does accept laser as a reliable speed measure provided

1) laser must be pointed so that the red dot on the scope is aligned with a reflective

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areas such as a license plate, on the target vehicle; (2) target vehicle must be moving in a line directly moving toward or away from the laser; and (3) laser must be properly calibrated prior to use. 733 N 2d, 326.

Idaho

The entire state of Idaho does accept laser as a reliable speed measure.

Georgia

The entire state of Georgia does accept laser as a reliable speed measure.

Maryland Virginia

The entire state of Maryland does accept laser as a reliable speed measure. The entire state of Virginia does accept laser as a reliable speed measure. Here's what to do if you are not in any of the above jurisdictions. While the officer is giving his testimony, I would wait till I hear him say the word "laser" and then object and request a dismissal. DEFENDANT - Your Honor, the prosecution is introducing evidence that this state has not taken judicial notice on. If the prosecution does not introduce a QUALIFIED EXPERT on the workings of laser as the law requires, I motion for a dismissal. No Qualified Expert? CASE DISMISSED! In all probability the judge will dismiss the case right there. However, he may not and instead will say one of the following: He will ask you to prove that no judicial notice exists. If he does I would say: Your Honor with all due respect, it is impossible for me to try to prove the nonexistence of something that doesn't exist. If it doesn't exist, then how can I prove it? This is the prosecution's case and if they wish to continue then the burden lies on them to prove to this court that judicial notice does in fact exist. He may say that he will take judicial notice. If he does, I would say: Your Honor, I would like the record to show you are personally taking judicial notice on a matter when there has not been a single study, experiment or case in this state that has shown laser to be a reliable and accurate means of speed detection. The prosecution has failed to present any scientific evidence to disclaim my objection and further let the record reflect my objection to you taking judicial notice to this device.

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He may say that he will allow the case to continue regardless of judicial notice. If he does, I would say: Your Honor please let the record reflect my objection to this case continuing without a qualified expert to testify as to the workings and accuracy of laser based speed devices since this state has never found, to a scientific degree of accuracy, laser to be a competent form of speed detection.

It's likely the judge will grant your request for a dismissal, if not, you will want to continue as you would using the radar defense. Laser guns, like radar guns, must be calibrated within a reasonable time of the offense. If the prosecution can not present evidence as to the accuracy of the device, I would ask for a dismissal. Some important facts regarding laser: Most states DO NOT accept laser as an effective measuring device. (Grounds for immediate dismissal without expert witness). The states and cities given above are an exception (they accept laser as an accurate means of speed detection). You CAN NOT use the judicial notice defense in these cities and states. However, you can still continue to fight it. Laser guns must be calibrated by a certified facility or technician. Laser is affected by the medium in which it passes through. If it passes through open air where the moisture level is high, it will bend. If it passes through a window it will also bend. IMPORTANT: There's a good chance you are in a state that does not recognize laser as an accurate method of speed measurement. In these states the prosecution MUST bring an expert witness to testify on the workings and accuracy of the laser. If the prosecution attempts to bring a witness that is a representative of the manufacturer of the laser gun, OBJECT IMMEDIATELY! Have him disqualified from testifying on the grounds that he has a financial interest in the case and may be impartial.

If you are in the few states that have taken judicial notice on laser, they will have certain requirements in order to be accepted as accurate by the state. These requirements are as follows: 1. The laser was used in open air and not from inside the officer's vehicle where the glass or windshield can bend it and alter the reading.

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2. Moisture in the air is below a certain level. 3. Laser gun was operated by a trained officer. 4. Laser gun was tested and calibrated within a reasonable amount of time. 5. The means used to test the laser gun was done correctly. As you can see, laser is very similar to radar except for the first two points. It is from these first two requirements you will begin your line of questioning. DEFENDANT - Mr. Officer, where were you when you used the laser gun to clock my speed? If he says he was in his car.... DEFENDANT - Were your windows opened or closed? If he says they were closed.... DEFENDANT - Mr. Officer, are you aware that laser bends when going through glass? DEFENDANT - If your windows were closed and the laser beam went through it at an angle, how can you be so sure it targeted the right vehicle? By now it doesn't matter what he says. You have just established enough reasonable doubt. Now is a good time to ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT - Your Honor, the officer has testified he was in his car and the windows were closed at the time he was operating the laser gun. The laws of physics state that laser will bend and refract if passing through a glass. If the laser bends, we can not be sure that the reading the officer obtained was accurate, to a scientific degree of certainty. I motion for a dismissal. If the officer says he was outside his car or shooting through an open window. DEFENDANT - What was the moisture level in the air the day you clocked my speed? DEFENDANT - Do you know that certain levels of moisture in the air will bend and alter a laser beams path? If he does not know what the level of moisture was that day (he won't), I

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would ask for a dismissal. DEFENDANT - Your Honor, a laser beam's path can easily be altered due to moisture in the air. Unless the prosecution can submit evidence that the moisture was at an appropriate level that day, I motion for a dismissal. Important Points: If the officer says the laser was calibrated, have him show proof. If he tested the unit using another officer's help, (clocking the other officer's vehicle) make sure the other officer is present to testify. If he provides documentation, make sure it is an original. Any documentation that is presented must be checked thoroughly. Reasonable time for calibration is the same for radar guns (about 6 months to a year).

The laser defense is very easy to implement. It's similar to radar, so use the radar defense strategy for laser. Just change some of the wording.

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Laser Testing

Unlike radar guns, the laser gun has no tuning forks to test it with. Instead, the officer must perform what is called "time-distance" test. Basically the officer will stand at a predefined position and point the gun at an object that has been specifically measured for distance. You can almost always dispute the laser calibration results by following this next strategy. There's a manual called Prolaser III. In it, the required steps to performing the test on a laser unit are clearly defined. The steps must be followed to a tee if the laser unit is to be considered accurate in the eyes of the law. You can refute the officer's testimony that he "properly" tested the laser unit by following the standard procedures outlined in the Prolaser III manual. The manual states that the laser unit must be fixed to a tripod or other contraption so as to hold it securely in place. The officer must point and shoot the laser gun to an object that has already been measured for distance from the point of the tripod. During your cross examination, I would ask the officer the following questions: DEFENDANT - When you tested the laser unit, where was it situated? In almost every case the officer will say he was holding the laser unit in his hand. If so.... DEFENDANT - Isn't it true, the laser unit must be fixed to a tripod or other similar device to prevent calculation errors? If he says no, correct him by mentioning what the Prolaser III manual states. DEFENDANT - Your Honor the Prolaser III is the most widely used laser gun in the country and the procedures outlined for testing are essentially the same for all laser guns. The officer has testified that he was manually holding the laser gun while conducting the calibration. This is not how to properly test the laser gun. I motion to have the laser gun evidence thrown out based on this fact. If motion denied....

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DEFENDANT ­ Officer, are there any markings on the ground to let you know exactly where to stand while conducting this test? If he says no... DEFENDANT ­ Then how do you know you were standing in the correct position at the correct distance from the target object? He won't have much to say here. If he says he stands in the same spot every time he tests the laser gun, say... DEFENDANT ­ What proof do you have the other tests you have conducted were accurate? He won't have any proof. DEFENDANT ­ Being that you held the laser unit in your hand and did not stand at a predetermined position, how can you say, with a legal degree of certainty the laser gun was properly tested? Again, he won't have much to say here either. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, do you know what the tolerance level is for testing of a laser speed device? He may say no. He may also give you a number. If he doesn't know or gives any other answer other than 1/2 foot, I would continue with... DEFENDANT ­ Officer, the correct tolerance level is one half feet. Can you prove being that you did not use a tripod; you did not deviate past this tolerance level? Of course he CAN NOT prove this. DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, through the officer's own admission, it's obvious the correct procedures to testing the laser gun were not followed. The Prolaser III manual is the standard that all police departments in this country follow in terms of accurate laser testing. The manual states on page 24 the gun must be in a fixed position and the object used must be in a fixed measured distance. It also states the standard deviation to be less than ½ a foot. Since neither was followed and no testimony was given that he did not deviate past the recommended deviation length, the laser gun can not be considered accurate to a legal degree of certainty. I motion for a dismissal. A dismissal at this point is almost guaranteed!

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Final Remarks:

You may use this Laser Defense in conjunction with the MUTCD Defense further below. Ask for a traffic survey if all else fails. You may begin your line of defense with the MUTCD Defense or you may start with the defense you see here and if the judge still has not dismissed the case you can start asking for a traffic survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding.

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Pacing Defense

Bring applicable case laws from your state. Your Honor, these are copies of case laws brought down by some of the highest levels of court in (name your state) on the permissibility of evidence. I wish to submit them for your consideration. Or, if your state doesn't have any case law, bring in an out of state case law(s) and say the following... Your Honor, the state of (your state) at the present time doesn't have any case law pertaining to the issue at hand. I ask that you accept these case laws from sister states since they were handed down by some of the highest levels of court in these states. In the event that you were paced by a police officer, use the following defense strategies: You hand the judge and prosecutor a copy of the relevant case law(s) you have brought. Your case is called, officer makes his statement, and the prosecution rests its case.

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SCENARIO #1

Officer Makes No Mention of Calibrating the Speedometer

DEFENDANT - Officer, are you certain the speedometer in your car was functioning accurately and if so would you present to the court evidence stating the vehicle's speedometer was calibrated within a reasonable amount of time the alleged violation occurred? If he can not, ask for a dismissal. DEFENDANT- Your Honor, the prosecution has failed to prove, by way of sufficient documentation, the speedometer was accurate at the time of the alleged violation. I motion for a dismissal based on this fact. I would venture to say that only 20% of the police departments in this country actually calibrate their squad car speedometers on a regular basis. If he can not produce the evidence, but says he believes the speedometer was functioning correctly, I would ask him the following questions: DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, I'm not asking you for your assumptions or beliefs on the matter. I'm asking for actual proof. DEFENDANT - Officer, are you trained or certified in the field of speedometer calibration? When he says no (and he will say no), ask for dismissal. DEFENDANT - Your Honor, the witness on the stand is not trained or certified in speedometer calibration. His testimony as to the accuracy of the speedometer is not valid and should be stricken from the record. I motion for a dismissal. If he does happen to produce evidence of the speedometer being checked, make sure it is an original document, if not, ask for dismissal. If it is the original or if the judge denies motion, continue on. Check to make sure the evidence he provides matches up with the exact vehicle used by the officer that day. If they don't match, ask for a dismissal. Have him show you the speedometer in his vehicle (license plate # or car #) is the same one being referred to in the document.

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If everything matches (rare), I would ask the officer this question: DEFENDANT - Would you submit forth evidence proving the exact vehicle in question has had no external or internal changes that may affect the speedometer's reading after the calibration was performed. A maintenance report on the vehicle showing no new tires, major mechanical parts, or accidents after the calibration occurred will suffice. If nothing is presented, I would ask for a dismissal: DEFENDANT - Your Honor, there are many factors which can alter a speedometer's reading after it is calibrated. If it is not proven these factors did not occur after the vehicle was calibrated, we will never know just how accurate the speedometer's reading was. Police cars are regularly involved in accidents or have parts repaired and replaced. If a vehicle maintenance record is not presented to extinguish any doubts, then I motion for a dismissal. If a maintenance report on the vehicle is presented, VERY UNLIKELY, you will want to make sure it is an original document and it is for the same vehicle driven by the officer that day. Police officers regularly change vehicles, so it is very possible they may bring in documentation pertaining to another vehicle. This is why it's a very good idea to jot down the officer's car number before leaving the scene of the traffic stop.

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SCENARIO #2

The Officer Claims Another Officer Used a Radar Gun to Clock His Speed and They Both Came Up Even

Only the actual officer who performed the radar test can testify as to what the radar reading was. And only the officer who performed the testing on the radar gun can testify as to its accuracy. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, what is the name of the other officer who performed the test with you? OFFICER - Officer Greene. DEFENDANT - Is Officer Greene in the courtroom today? OFFICER - No, he is not. When he says that he is not present, I would ask for dismissal. DEFENDANT - Your Honor, the defense can not give testimony as to what the other officer's radar reading was. Since the other officer is not present to testify, I motion for a dismissal. Important: If the judge or prosecutor says the other officer need not be present, say..... Your Honor, the prosecution's case against me is based solely on the fact that the speedometer used to measure my speed was accurate at the time the alleged violation occurred. Higher courts have ruled that if the defense request evidence, the prosecution must submit proof. This proof can only be presented, as the law requires, by the other officer who performed the test. Since the other officer is not here, I motion for a dismissal. If by chance the other officer is present, ask the officer to take the witness stand and continue on as you would with the radar defense strategy. Question him about the calibration of the gun and tuning forks and ask for original documentation.

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SCENARIO #3

Your Ticket Shows a Speed Not in Increments of 5mph

For this next scenario you will want to look at your ticket and see what speed the officer has written down. If it is not in increments of 5 (ex. 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40) then I would continue with this next defense. In other words, if your speeding ticket has your speed as 57 mph for example, then this next defense will be extremely useful. Most, if not all speedometers do not give single digits for speeds. They're usually in increments of 5 or 10 mph. Many don't even have hash markings for each single mph. If you were issued a pace ticket and the officer did not write down your speed as an even 5 mph increment I would use the following defense. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, does your speedometer clearly label each and every single mph? OFFICER ­ No. DEFENDANT ­ Then how is it, since your speedometer does not clearly label each mph you are able to give me an exact speed reading of 62 mph (or whatever it is)? More than likely he won't have an answer. However, he may respond by saying something along the lines of him having used estimation or approximating your speed. If he does, I would say... DEFENDANT ­ I see, so in other words you were simply guessing? This court requires your testimony be accurate and based on fact and not your guesses or approximations. Now, I would turn to the judge and motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the officer has just testified my speed reading is in itself not an accurate reading. The officer's speedometer does not clearly label each and every mph and more than likely is labeled every 5 mph. Being such, the officer can not, to a legal degree of certainty, say that my speed is an exact and precise measurement as the law requires. I motion for a dismissal. Final Remarks: You may use this Pace Defense in conjunction with the MUTCD Defense further below. Ask for a traffic survey if all else fails. You may begin your line of defense with the MUTCD Defense or you may start with the defense you

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see here and if the judge still has not dismissed the case you can start asking for a traffic survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding.

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VASCAR Defense

Quick Side Note

VASCAR is illegal in California and Washington. In these states lawmakers have concluded this type of speed measurement falls under the category of a speed trap. Use this defense for aerial (aircraft) speeding tickets also.

Case Laws to Use

For VASCAR use any pertinent case laws from your state if there are any. Tell the judge you have appropriate case laws to hand in for his consideration. Remember to have 3 copies on hand. Your Honor, these are copies of case laws brought down by some of the highest levels of court in (name your state) on the permissibility of evidence. I wish to submit them for your consideration. Or, if your state doesn't have any case law, bring in an out of state case law(s) and say the following... Your Honor, the state of (your state) at the present time doesn't have any case law pertaining to the issue at hand. I ask that you accept these case laws from sister states since they were handed down by some of the highest levels of court in these states. Give one to the judge and one to the prosecutor. If at all possible, the best out of state case laws to use would be from states bordering the state you are in. But since all case laws were handed down from higher courts (usually state supreme courts) most judges will allow you to submit them. If not, it is NOT damaging to your case.

How VASCAR Works

The most common way that VASCAR is implemented is with two defined markers or lines on the road. Once you cross one marker, the officer will start his watch (could be a stop watch or other similar timing device). As you cross the second marker, the officer will stop his watch. The amount of time it took you to get from the first marker to the second is divided by the length between the markers. This will give the officer your speed.

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Sometimes the timing device used is attached to an onboard computer which calculates the speed. Other times the officer will have a chart to calculate your speed.

Basis:

More times than not, when it comes to VASCAR there are usually two officers involved. One to calculate the speed and one officer to pull you over and write up the ticket. As you already know, if two officers were involved in the stop (either directly or indirectly) then BOTH officers must come to court to testify. Remember this for your trial.

Officer Gives His Testimony:

The officer will take the stand and begin to testify as to how you were caught speeding. He must testify to the following things: 1) Identify you as the driver of the car. 2) Testify as to the speed limit. 3) Accurately describe your car (make, color and license plate). 4) Testify that he has had training with VASCAR speed measurement. 5) Testify that he used the VASCAR speed measurement according to proper procedure. 6) Testify that your car and only your car was the one which was caught speeding. Make a list of the above and check off each one he testified to. If he leaves one of the required testimonies out circle it and wait for him to finish his testimony. Also wait for the prosecutor to rest his case. Refer back for the correct way to handle missing testimonies. If the officer happens to testify to all of the above, wait for the judge to ask you if you would like to cross examine the officer. You reply "Yes, Your Honor" and commence with your cross examination.

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SCENARIO #1

The very first thing to do is find out if the officer acted alone or if there was another involved in the traffic stop. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, who conducted the VASCAR speed measurement? If he says that another officer situated down the street or highway did, I would continue with... DEFENDANT ­ What is the name of this officer? OFFICER ­ Officer Johnson. DEFENDANT ­ Is Officer Johnson in the courtroom today? OFFICER ­ No he is not. Now, I would turn to the judge and motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the officer has just testified that another officer was involved in the traffic stop and he is not in the courtroom today. This officer on the stand can not testify to my speed as he was not the one who calculated it and his testimony is strictly based on hearsay evidence. Unless the actual officer who calculated my speed is in court today to testify, I motion for a dismissal. Change it around if the officer who is on the stand is the one who calculated your speed but not the one who pulled you over. There are some instances where the prosecutor will request for a continuance to allow the second officer to show up. More than likely the judge will grant his request unless you object. DEFENDANT ­ I object Your Honor. The trial is today and I have missed work and pay to be here. I also have come prepared to defend myself and had expected the same level of professionalism from the prosecution. If the prosecution has come unprepared then that is their own fault and not mine and I should not be the one to suffer as a result. I object to any more time given to the prosecution and ask that this case continue. The judge will more than likely not allow a continuance, but it is extremely important you object immediately when the prosecutor requests for additional time. If you don't object, your silence will be taken as acceptance of the motion and the judge will grant a new trial.

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SCENARIO #2

The next thing I would attempt to do in the courtroom is to attack the accuracy of the timing device used. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, this VASCAR timing device used to calculate my speed... has it been properly calibrated? If he says he doesn't know, I would continue with a motion for dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, higher courts mandate that if a speed measuring device has been used in the calculation of a defendant's speed then this device must be properly calibrated. Since the officer doesn't even know whether or not this calibration has taken place, I motion for a dismissal as the officer can not testify, to a legal degree of certainty, the VASCAR device used to measure my speed has been recently properly calibrated. If he says yes, I would continue with the next question. DEFENDANT ­ Could you submit forth the proper documentation proving this? If he doesn't have it in court with him I would continue with a motion for dismissal: DEFENDANT - Your Honor, higher courts mandate that if a speed measuring device has been used in the calculation of a defendant's speed then this device must be properly calibrated. Since the officer doesn't have the proper documentation to prove the VASCAR's accuracy, I motion for a dismissal as the officer can not testify, to a legal degree of certainty, that the VASCAR device used to measure my speed has been recently properly calibrated. If he does have calibration documentation, ask to see it and review for the following items: 1. Original Document (Best Evidence Rule) 2. The documentation is for the exact VASCAR unit in question. Match serial numbers. 3. The person who conducted the calibration was certified to do so. 4. The calibration was conducted within a certain time frame. This may differ from state to state. Basically, if it is over a year

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old it is too old and inadmissible. Refer back for the proper way to handle a verification. If everything seems to be okay, continue with the next line of questioning.

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SCENARIO #3

In this scenario, you will challenge the officer's location of where he was standing at the time he clocked your speed. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, where were you situated at the time you calculated my speed? If he says he was in between the two marker posts, skip down to Scenario #4. If he says anywhere else other than directly between the two marker posts I would continue with the next question. OFFICER ­ I was situated parallel to the second marker (or line). He may also say he was parallel to this first marker. It doesn't really matter too much. What you want to establish is that he was not directly between the two markers. DEFENDANT ­ Officer where would be the best position to situate yourself to receive an accurate reading with VASCAR? Hopefully he says directly between the markers. If he does.... DEFENDANT ­ Then why weren't you in this position when you calculated my speed? By now, it doesn't matter what he says. You've just established enough doubt that his calculated speed was not accurate. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, which part of my vehicle did you use as a reference to where I crossed the two markers? It's almost always the front bumper. DEFENDANT ­ Being that you were not situated directly between the two markers on the ground, how can you, to a legal degree of certainty, testify that your calculated speed was accurate? Again, it doesn't matter what he says. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, being that you were not situated between the two markers didn't your angle of where my front bumper crossed the first marker (or second marker depending on his previous answer for question number 1) distort your observation? DEFENDANT ­ How can you be so sure you started the VASCAR device at the exact moment I crossed the marker since you were situated at such an

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extreme angle? DEFENDANT ­ In order to calculate an accurate reading, doesn't VASCAR speed measurement require you to be between the two defined markers on the road? Now he's done for. He won't have much to say, or at least what he says will not be enough to convince the judge he did in fact calculate in accurate speed reading. When he is done fumbling around for the correct answer to give, I would turn to the judge and motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, through the officer's own admission he was not properly situated between the two posted markers. As a result, his angle of where my front bumper and the first (or second) marker met was extremely distorted. Therefore he can not, to a legal degree of certainty, testify that his speed calculations are correct. To operate VASCAR it is essential that his timing be accurate. We do not have clear and convincing evidence to this fact and I motion for a dismissal.

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SCENARIO #4

Let's say the officer happened to be situated between the two markers. Now it is time to attack whether or not the actual distance between the two markers were accurate. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, what is the distance between the two markers on the ground? If he says he doesn't know, I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ You Honor, it is obvious that if the officer does not know the correct distance between the two markers then he could not have accurately calculated my speed. Since the officer's defense is solely based on a timing device which uses a mathematical formula (speed = distance/time) the distance between the two markers is crucial evidence. Since this basic information is not known, I motion for a dismissal. If he does give a distance.... DEFENDANT ­ How was this distance measured? Who measured it? If he says he measured it (which is usually the case) and some type of tape measure was used I would follow up with the next question. DEFENDANT ­ What type of tape measure did you use? Any answer is fine. DEFENDANT ­ Was this tape measure approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT)? If he says yes, have him show proof. If he says he doesn't know for sure but he believes it is. DEFENDANT ­ I'm not asking you what your beliefs are, I want a definitive yes or no answer. And if your answer is yes submit the proper documentation that proves your claim. Since he has already admitted that he is not sure of its certification with the Department of Transportation it would be foolish of him to say yes. If he does say yes I would follow up with this next question. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, didn't you just testify that you were not sure if this tape measure used to measure the distance between the two markers has

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been approved? OFFICER ­ Yes but.... DEFENDANT ­ Now you are testifying that you are sure? DEFENDANT ­ Well, which is it. Either you know or you don't know. DEFENDANT ­ Submit to the court the proper documentation proving that this tape measure is approved by the Department of Transportation. You can bet he doesn't have this documentation handy in court. When he says he doesn't, I would motion for a dismissal. If he says someone else measured the distance I would follow up with this next question: DEFENDANT ­ Officer, what is the name of this person who measured this distance? OFFICER ­ Officer Ramon. DEFENDANT ­ Is Officer Ramon in the courtroom today? You can bet he is not. OFFICER ­ No he is not. When he says this second person is not in the courtroom, I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, since someone else has conducted the measurements between the two markers and that person is not here to testify as to the way they measured it and whether or not the measuring device used was approved by the Department of Transportation, the officer can not testify as to the length between the markers. This is obvious hearsay testimony. I motion for a dismissal. If the officer says the exact measurement between the two markers has been documented, have him produce this document to the court. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, you claim that you know the distance between the two markers because it is documented somewhere. Correct? DEFENDANT ­ Then would you submit this documentation to the court? Again, the officer does not have this documentation with him in court today.

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He's never that prepared and neither is the prosecutor. If and when he can not submit this document to the court, motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the officer claims the exact distance between the two markers are documented in some type of report. His testimony is of little relevance unless he can produce this exact document right now. Since he can not, I motion for a dismissal.

Final Remarks:

You may use this VASCAR Defense in conjunction with the MUTCD Defense further below. Ask for a traffic survey if all else fails. You may begin your line of defense with the MUTCD Defense or you may start with the defense you see here and if the judge still has not dismissed the case you can start asking for a traffic survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding.

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Legally Speed Defense

This optional defense only works under certain circumstances. It's based on a little known code found in some state's vehicular code books. This rule states that if anyone travels over the speed limit, under ideal conditions and without posing a threat to the neighboring surroundings, then it is NOT a violation of the speed law. It's called the presumed speed limit. A presumed speed limit is the opposite of an absolute speed limit, where one mile over the limit is a violation. A presumed speed limit allows you to travel over the speed limit as long as it is safe to do so. In order for this defense to work, you will first want to make sure it is a law where you live. Refer to the appendix in the end of this book. Some states that have presumed speed limits include Kentucky, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Texas, California, Montana, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Colorado. Next, you will have to prove you were driving under ideal conditions and were not posing a threat to anyone on the road. Ideal Conditions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. Dry Road Clear Visibility Light Traffic No Schools or Parks in the Immediate Area Were Not Grossly Exceeding the Limit

EXAMPLE ­ It's a warm, dry and sunny day in your city. The sky is clear and visibility is at a maximum. You're traveling on the highway to Sunday church. Right before you reach your exit, you get pulled over for speeding. The officer says you were doing 75 mph in a 65 mph zone and gives you a ticket. If your jurisdiction or state has a "presumed" speed law, you could easily have this ticket dismissed in court. Because all four conditions have been met: 1. Road conditions favorable (dry and sunny day) 2. Weather conditions favorable (sky clear and no rain or snow)

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3. No pedestrians (traveling on highway) 4. Actual speed favorable (only exceeded a 65 mph limit by 9 mph) 5. Plus you have a bonus; the fact that it was Sunday morning also shows that traffic was light at the time (I might also point out that all of the above conditions don't necessarily have to be met to legally speed, but the more the better.) The above example gives you a good idea of what type of conditions must be met in order for your defense to work in court. Now would be a good idea to take pictures of the general area and roads to show how dry and clear conditions were. If you can prove some or all of the above factors, you may convince the judge you were in fact conforming to the law. Look at your speeding ticket and see what the officer has written down as for visibility, weather, traffic and location. See if it suggests ideal conditions were present that day. After the officer gives his testimony, start with this line of questioning: DEFENDANT - Officer, to the best of your knowledge, can you describe the weather conditions that day? OFFICER - Well, as I can remember it, it was a bright sunny day. DEFENDANT - Were the roads wet? OFFICER - No. DEFENDANT - How about the traffic that day? OFFICER - It was pretty light at the time I stopped you. DEFENDANT - Were there any children, students, or bystanders anywhere in the vicinity? OFFICER - No, you were stopped on the highway. DEFENDANT - Your Honor, the officer has just testified that the roads were dry, traffic was light, the visibility was clear and there were no children or bystanders in the immediate area. Plus, I was clocked going only 10 mph over the limit. Based on the presumed speed limit

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code VC - 88796 (or whatever it is - check with your local law library or the internet), this puts my driving at an acceptable speed in the eyes of the law and I motion for a dismissal. Before using this line of defense, it's important that you were not clocked traveling at a high rate of speed. Only use this defense if ideal conditions were present and you weren't traveling more than 10 to 15 mph over the limit.

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Visual Estimation Defense

If you are in court defending yourself against a ticket that was issued based solely on the officer's visual estimation (no speed device used), this should be a very easy case to win. Although rare, some officers will resort to this method of speed capture, especially if they are outside their vehicles. I like to call it guesstimation. In this instance, the officer is determining your speed by using his experience and intuition. In other words, he's "guessing". What you will want to do is grab a pencil and hold it out about shoulder height. Release the pencil and allow it to fall on the floor. Then, look at the officer with a straight face and ask him how fast the pencil was traveling on its way to the floor. If he says he doesn't know, I would motion the court for a dismissal: DEFENSE ­ Your Honor, the officer judged my speed by simple estimation. However, he is unable to estimate how fast this pencil was traveling. It is obvious that if he can measure the speed of a car, he should have easily estimated how fast this pencil was traveling. If he is unable to estimate the speed of this pencil, how can he measure the speed of a moving vehicle? I motion for a dismissal. If by chance the officer bravely attempts to estimate the speed of the pencil, make sure his estimation is between 12 and 13 mph. All objects travel at the same speed regardless of their weight. Depending on how tall you are, this speed is on average 12.5 mph, from a height of about 5 feet.

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MUTCD Defense

I suppose you can say I saved the best defense for last. This is the infamous MUTCD defense that every cop, traffic court judge and prosecutor absolutely hate. This defense works in every state, but it is exceptionally useful in states which have decriminalized speeding tickets. In these states the standard of proof is by preponderance of the evidence which also means you sometimes will be denied your lawful rights to contest the evidence against you. If the officer on the stand says you were speeding in one of these states, then in the eyes of the judge.... you are guilty. End of case. My suggestion to you is to first contest the evidence using the previous defenses. If they stop you from doing so, I would continue with this defense. The wonderful thing about this defense is that you will not be contesting any of the evidence against you. I don't care if the prosecutor has piles and piles of documents to prove your guilt, they will mean absolutely nothing when you are through implementing this strategy. In essence what you will prove to the court is that all of their evidence along with the officer's testimony are without merit because you are going to easily show that the officer never had any legal authority to conduct speed enforcement on the particular highway or stretch of road you were allegedly caught speeding. The previous defenses I have given are definitely good ones and anyone (regardless of which state they are in) that uses them properly can win their case. However, it is with this particular defense that I can almost assure you will win. Here's how it works....

Speed Survey

Before any police officer in any state in this country can perform speed enforcement (whether it be radar or laser), the highway or road must first have a speed survey conducted. This speed survey may go under a different name in different areas of the country. Some call it an engineering survey, speed study, or engineering study. Whatever it may be called in your neck of the woods, its purpose remains the same. It is a federally mandated procedure which determines the proper

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speed limits to place on roads. Without this survey being conducted on every publicly traveled road (only exceptions are MAXIMUM state speed limits), no law enforcement agency has the right to perform any speed enforcement on that particular road. This is specifically mandated in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). This particular manual will be your best friend in court. It literally dictates to every state in the country what should and shouldn't be done when it comes to traffic issues. The MUTCD is the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any publicly traveled street or highway in the country. Note that the MUTCD is a federal document and supersedes any and all traffic control manuals that individual states may have in effect. It is the top dog and no other manual can come before it.

Why the MUTCD is So Important

This defense strategy is based solely on what is contained in the MUTCD. If the MUTCD says that something must be done before something else can be done, then it should be done. There are no other alternatives. One of the most important mandates contained inside the MUTCD that we will use in our defense is the fact that a traffic and engineering study must be performed BEFORE any police officer can use traffic enforcement. If that survey was not conducted or not according to the MUTCD rules, then the police officer has absolutely no rights under the law to perform speed enforcement on that particular street. Here's the exact wording taken directly from the manual itself. Excerpts taken from the MUTCD 2003 Edition (latest edition):

Page I-1 Introduction (Paragraph 2)

The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) is incorporated by reference in 23 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 655, Subpart F and shall be recognized as the national standard for traffic control devices on all public roads open to public travel in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 402(a).

Section 1A.09 Engineering Study and Engineering Judgment

The decision to use a particular device at a particular location shall be made on the basis of either an engineering study or engineering judgment. Jurisdictions with responsibility for traffic control that do not have engineers

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on their staffs should seek engineering assistance from others, such as the state transportation agency, their county, a nearby large city, or a traffic engineering consultant. Translation: The first sentence says that an engineer must conduct the traffic survey. The second sentence says that if a city does not have an engineer then they are not exempt from using one. They must hire one from a nearby city or from a state transportation agency. This will be your basis for the attack.

Section 1A.07 Responsibility From Traffic Control Devices

23 CFR 655.603 adopts the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as the national standard for all traffic control devices installed on any street, highway, or bicycle trail open to the public. When a state or other Federal agency manual or supplement is required, that manual or supplement shall be in substantial conformance with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Translation: This says that no state can make up their own manual. If they do, it has to conform exactly to what is inside the MUTCD. No exceptions!

Page I-3 Introduction

Standard #2 ­ Guidance ­ A statement of recommended, but not mandatory, practice in typical situations, with deviations allowed if engineering judgment or engineering study indicates the deviation to be appropriate. Translation: This says that while not everything in the MUTCD Manual is mandatory, it will have to be proven by way of an engineering study why a state or local city chooses not to conform to the rules. Simply not doing something because of specific conditions that may exist is not enough. They have to have an engineering study proving that their way is better. So, if the judge or prosecutor says that specific conditions existed at the time that allowed the city to do something a different way, then you should ask for an engineering study that proves so. Failure to produce this study is immediate grounds for a dismissal. It is essential the speed survey was done. If it wasn't (or if it wasn't done according to the law) you should have no problem dismissing your case, regardless of where you live. Have you ever wondered where speed limits come from? I mean, who

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determines the exact limit to put and how do they come to this conclusion? Well, that's the whole idea of the speed survey. It is an engineering study (carried out by licensed engineers) which follows a stringent procedure to determine what would be the safest speed for vehicles to travel on a particular highway or publicly traveled street. Here's what they do: First, an ideal location is chosen on the street or highway to begin the survey. Second, surveillance on the side of the road is set up. This can be either a police officer or engineer with a radar gun or what is called a radar trailer. Lastly, a speed measurement of about 100 cars is carried out. Afterwards, they will take the average speed that 85 of these cars were traveling and create a speed limit based on this average speed. This is essentially what is called the 85th Percentile. It is the standard in traffic engineering. Ideally, this is how a speed survey is conducted and only after this has been done can a police officer begin speed enforcement on that road. And this survey must be done every 5 years if the road has had any major changes. So if the road has had significant changes and no new survey has been conducted, it is as if a speed survey was never done and no police officer has the right to perform speed enforcement until a new survey is conducted. Your first mission is to get a copy of the speed survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding.

Where to Get the Survey

There are actually a number of places (depending on how big the city is you were caught speeding) to find your speed survey. The first place you should consider looking is at your local Department of Transportation (DOT). First call them up (by looking in the phonebook under "DOT") and ask them if they carry speed surveys. Sometimes looking under "DOT" won't work. Instead, look under the first letter of your state plus "DOT". In other words, if you are in Ohio, you would look under "ODOT". In California, "CDOT" and so on. If it's available, take a drive up there and obtain a copy (there may be a small fee for this, but it is minimal and well worth it). If you can't find it there, or you can't seem to get into contact with your local DOT office, consider going to your city hall and asking for the engineering department. You can almost always find it there. The last place to check would be at a highway patrol station or your local

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police station closest to where you were pulled over.

Very Important: If anyone tells you there is no survey for the location, make sure you get that in writing. If a DOT employee tells you this, get their name and take a trip down there. Ask for this person and ask for a letter stating that no speed survey is available for the location you are interested in. Make sure it is on DOT letterhead. The judge will accept nothing less.

Occasionally you will find that someone will tell you that no speed survey exists for your road. DO NOT take their word for it. Get names, titles and have them make it official by putting it in writing. If a speed survey does exist, but you are denied access to it, then this is illegal. It is illegal because a speed survey is considered a matter of public record and you have every right to obtain a copy. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees your rights to access of this type of document. They may say the speed survey is an exception to the rule. Hogwash! It is not. You are a tax paying citizen with every right to obtain this document and if you are denied access to it, this is not only illegal, but it carries a minimum $1,000 fine to any organization that denies you access. No state is exempt from the FOIA. They MUST give you a copy of the speed survey.

What's on a Speed Survey?

1. Date ­ Actual date the survey was conducted. 2. Survey Type ­ Pre, Post, or Other (one will be circled) 3. Location ­ ex. 1500 block of Ridge Rd. 4. Weather ­ Sunny, cloudy, partly cloudy, etc. 5. Time ­ Time of survey for segment of roadway (ex. 9:00AM to 11:00AM) 6. Time ­ If doing survey in the same location but different direction of travel. 7. Posted Speed Limit ­ Numerical posted speed limit. 8. Construction/ School Zone/ NA ­ One will be circled.

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9. Direction of Travel ­ North, East, South, or West (One will be circled) 10. Number of Vehicles Surveyed 11. Person Surveying ­ Name of person conducting the survey and title. 12. Compliance Total ­ Total number of vehicles in compliance with posted limit. 13. Agency ­ The agency's name 14. Percent Compliance ­ Record of percentage in compliance by dividing the total number of vehicles into the total number of vehicles in compliance to obtain the percentage in compliance. 15. Speed Measuring Device Used ­ Radar, Laser, etc.

How They Cheat

Since the whole purpose of the speed survey is to establish an average safe speed for everyone to travel, this would in turn hurt many cities which depend on abnormally low speed limits to supply their revenue. But, the sneaky underhanded arms of the law have developed unique ways to conduct the speed survey and still manage to create low speed limits. The lower the speed limit, the more likely you are to exceed the speed limit. This is what they are after. The following is a list of what they do:

The Use of Speed Trailers with Your Speed Clearly Posted

Ever noticed those speed trailers on the side of the road (like the one in the picture)? Well, if you ever see one of these then it is safe to assume that they are conducting a speed survey on that road. This is the most common way that a speed survey is conducted. But, there is actually something very sneaky going on here. If you notice, the speed trailer displays your speed in very large numbering. Do you know why they do this? It's actually a very shrewd way to abuse the system and not be in violation of the MUTCD rules. What does everyone do when they see this speed trailer with their speed clearly displayed in very large numbering? Of course, they slow down. And by slowing down, the city succeeds in creating abnormally low speed survey results.

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Most people upon seeing this speed trailer will slow down by several mph. In doing so, they will also lower the average speed on that street. This will allow the city to justify putting lower than normal speed limits. After all, they are going by what the average speed is on that street. Let's say the speed limit on the street is 35 mph. Let's also say you are traveling at 37 mph. When you see your radar reading you will automatically reduce your speed to about 30 mph. This will in turn substantially lower the 85th percentile for that street. The lower speed will make its way to the engineer's calculations and you will have unknowingly contributed to falsely lowering the speed limit. But, if your speed was not displayed, chances are good that you would continue to drive your normal speed and not give it a second thought.

Another way that city engineers can manipulate the system is by conducting the speed survey before, during, or right after a curve in the road. By doing so, they succeed in falsely lowering the average speed (85th percentile) on that road. Everyone slows down for curves. It's common sense. So, they will set up a speed survey right by a curve in the road while everyone is slowing down an average of 10 mph lower then they would immediately after the curve. So, instead of a valid 35 mph speed limit, the survey will show the speed limit should be 25 mph.

Conducting Surveys Near Curves

Conducted Near Intersections

Conducting a speed survey within 100 yards of an intersection is another popular form of deception from the traffic engineers. By doing so, they are assured that at least half of the 100 or so cars being surveyed will be traveling slower than normal because they were either slowing down for a red light or gradually speeding up after the light turns green. Again, creating a substantially low 85th percentile.

Conducting Surveys Near Hills

Hills are another favorite place to lower speed survey results. Normally what they will do is set up the speed survey on the upward slope of the hill. Most cars are not going too fast up a hill. As a result the average speed of the vehicles is once again lowered. However, most of the speed enforcement is on the opposite side (downward slope) of the hill where most if not every car will succumb to the basic laws of physics and speed up. Yup, you guessed it.... this is a speed trap!

Conducting Surveys At Certain Times of the Day

Many roads and highways can become extremely congested during certain

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times of the day. Be on the lookout for a survey conducted during morning and evening rush hour. Traffic is normally slower during these times which also give abnormally low 85th percentiles.

After the survey has been conducted, whatever average speed was derived, the speed limit must be within 5mph. If the 85th percentile was 37 mph for instance, then the MUTCD has regulated that the city must use a speed limit within 5 mph. However, you will almost always find that your speed limit is not within this mandatory 5 mph range. This is illegal and grounds for an immediate dismissal. Here's what the MUTCD 2003 Edition has to say about this:

Within 5 MPH

Section 2B.13 Speed Limit Sign

When a speed limit is to be posted, it should be within 5 mph of the 85th Percentile speed of free flowing traffic.

What to Look For

Your main objective is to find discrepancies in the speed survey. If any of the above has taken place, you have a strong argument that your survey is, from an engineering standpoint, flawed and not accurate as required by the MUTCD. One last thing you should pay particular attention to is the signature on the survey. It must be from a licensed engineer. No one else will do. The MUTCD says that only qualified licensed engineers can conduct the survey or at the very least oversee the operation. However, it's been my experience that at least 60% of all surveys in this country are not conducted or supervised by a licensed engineer. Engineers are not cheap so to offset the cost of hiring one, you will find that many surveys are conducted by someone other than a licensed engineer. This person can be a police officer or DOT employee. Technically, these people are allowed to conduct the survey, but they must be supervised by a licensed engineer. DOT employees are the same people you see working on the roads as construction workers. They are not engineers and are not allowed to conduct the survey on their own. If anyone other than a licensed engineer has signed the survey, this is definitely grounds for an immediate dismissal.

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Court Time

Okay, you've got your survey and now you are in court. The fact that you have done your homework and obtained a copy (and hopefully evaluated it for any discrepancies) puts you way ahead of the game. I would venture to say that at least 95% of the time the officer or prosecutor will not bring a copy with them. They don't bring it because they don't think they need it. However, you are going to make them wish they did have it. The following is a sample of how I would go about questioning the officer. You may use my questions word for word or change them around a bit to better suit your situation. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, do you know if a speed survey was conducted on the particular stretch of road I was allegedly caught speeding? If he says he doesn't know or if he's not sure, I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the federal government has mandated that all federally funded streets and highways in this country must have a speed survey conducted before any officer of the law can perform speed enforcement on it. The officer has just testified that he does not know whether or not this survey was in fact conducted. Unless he can provide evidence to prove that it was, I motion for a dismissal. If the judge asks where does the federal government say this, I would say: (Important: Write it down and read it word-for-word) DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the Federal Highway Administration publishes a manual called the MUTCD. The MUTCD is adopted by reference in accordance with title 23, United States Code Section 109(d) and Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 655.603 and is approved as the national standard for designing, applying, and planning traffic control devices which includes speed limits. If the officer says that it has been surveyed... DEFENDANT ­ Then would you submit this survey to the court, Mr. Officer? If he doesn't have it, motion for a dismissal (same as above). If he does have it (very rare), I would continue as follows:

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Remember, you already obtained a copy of yours so you know what's on it. Now, your main objective is to attack the numerous discrepancies that can occur. By having examined your copy beforehand, you already know of any discrepancies and should start your line of attack with the biggest ones. But, before you begin, make sure the speed survey is an original and for the same stretch of road you were caught speeding. Remember that speed surveys are conducted in certain blocks of addresses. If the officer submits a speed survey for the 2000 block of Ridge Rd. but you were clocked on the 1000 block of Ridge Rd., I would motion for a dismissal. But, you must first ask to see it. I would check to make sure that it is in fact for the same stretch of road you were caught speeding. If it is, hand it back to the officer.

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Discrepancy Defenses

No Licensed Engineer:

DEFENDANT - Officer, is it true that a licensed engineer must conduct or at least supervise the survey? OFFICER ­ Yes. Now I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the MUTCD has mandated that a licensed engineer must conduct or at the very least supervise the survey. This survey the officer has submitted was not signed by a licensed engineer making this survey invalid. I motion for a dismissal.

Not Within 5 MPH:

DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, I would like to read to you what the MUTCD has to say regarding the 85th percentile speed of the speed survey. On page 2B-10 section 2B.13 the MUTCD states as follows: The posted speed limit shall be in accordance with the engineering study and shall be posted within 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic. This survey that has been supplied shows the 85th percentile speed as being 37 mph, however the posted speed limit is 30 mph. This is in violation of the MUTCD rules and the posted speed limit is currently flawed and inaccurate. I motion for a dismissal.

Survey Was Done Near a Curve, Hill, Stop Sign, or Intersection:

Note: Most surveys do not give the specific location where the survey was conducted. Instead, a general area like "the 1500 block of Ridge Rd." is usually the location given. First you will want to check to see if there is a curve, hill, stop sign, intersection, or anything else that can substantially slow down traffic. For our example, we'll say there is a curve in the road. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, this survey was conducted in the 1500 block of Ridge Rd. correct? OFFICER ­ Yes. DEFENDANT ­ Is there a curve in the road in this general area that you know of?

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OFFICER ­ Actually there is. Note: If he is not sure or he says there is not, it may be a wise idea to take a picture of the curve and bring it with you to court. DEFENDANT ­ Would you say that traffic generally slows down when going through the curve? OFFICER ­ Sure. DEFENDANT ­ Officer, is it possible that the speed survey, since it was conducted in the 1500 block of Ridge Rd. where the curve is situated was actually conducted before, during, or immediately after the curve? Now, the officer may say yes, maybe, or no. But more than likely since it is a definite possibility and the officer does not have first hand knowledge of it not being conducted by the curve, he will say yes. OFFICER ­ Sure, I guess. Now I would motion for a dismissal: DEFENDANT ­ Your Honor, the whole purpose of the speed survey is to establish a relative speed that is both safe and fair for the driving public. This means that in order for the survey to be deemed as accurate, the survey must not have been conducted near areas that would tarnish the speed surveys results by giving a falsely low 85th percentile. The 1500 block of Ridge Rd. does have a curve in it. The officer has just testified that it is quite possible the survey was conducted near the curve which in itself could very well give a falsely low 85th percentile since all vehicles going through the curve would have substantially lowered their speeds. Unless the officer can prove this did not occur, I motion for a dismissal. On the other hand, the officer could say that it is not possible for the speed survey to have been conducted near the curve. OFFICER ­ No, the survey could not have been conducted near the curve. DEFENDANT ­ How do you know this? OFFICER ­ I don't, but I'm assuming that the engineer would know better. DEFENDANT ­ Mr. Officer, I'm not asking you for your speculations or beliefs. Do you have first hand knowledge that this survey was not conducted near the curve?

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OFFICER ­ No I do not. (The only answer he can give.) Now I would motion for a dismissal similar to above. You can continue with any other discrepancies on the speed survey. Formulate a defense by using the previous pointers. The possibilities are endless.

IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER

The Judge May Not Know of the MUTCD Manual:

Believe it or not, many traffic court judges do not know of the MUTCD. When you give reference to it and they are not familiar with it, no judge will admit ignorance to the fact they do not know of this federal manual. I've given you the address of the MUTCD 2003 Edition for your reading pleasure, but it is not necessary to copy and bring it with you to court. You can if you like, but it is totally up to you. Simply giving reference to it in court will suffice in backing up your defense strategy.

The Judge, Police Officer or Prosecutor May Say the Road You were Clocked Speeding is Exempt from the MUTCD Rules and Regulations:

Occasionally you may find that a hard nosed judge or prosecutor will tell you the MUTCD is not applicable for your case and as such, no speed survey need be conducted. Or they may say something to the effect that they go by their state manual instead. First, I would mention the MUTCD is a federal document that supersedes any local or state manuals. Next, I would tell them the MUTCD states that ALL publicly traveled roads must have a speed survey conducted. The only possible exception is a road with the states MAXIMUM speed limit (65 or 70 mph). Or a road that is not a through street (this type of road does not need a speed survey because of the lack of traffic. An example would be a cul de sac.) Here's an example of what I would say: Your Honor, the MUTCD is a federal manual that no state is exempt from using. It supersedes any and all state or local traffic manuals. The MUTCD does not distinguish between roads and specifies that ALL publicly traveled highways and streets must have a speed survey conducted. It's written in very plain English. Why the prosecutor (or police officer) says the road I was allegedly clocked speeding is exempt from the survey is beyond me and totally false.

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You Ask For the Speed Survey and the Judge or Prosecutor Tell You the Officer Is Not Required to Bring It:

Okay, here we have a very important issue. Technically speaking, the officer doesn't really have to bring the survey to court with him because it is not actual evidence to the "crime" you've committed. It is not the same as asking him for the radar calibrations. The radar calibration is actual evidence against you and should be brought to court. It's the foundation for the radar gun's accuracy. However, the speed survey is not actual evidence. This is why you should bring your copy with you. When the judge says the officer doesn't have to bring the speed survey to court, I would just mention to him that you have brought your own. Also, in this instance it may be a good idea to petition or subpoena the speed survey. This is an exception to what I've been telling you all along. You DO NOT want to subpoena the radar gun's calibration records because it is evidence against you and the prosecutor or officer should bring those without any subpoenas. However, it might be in your best interest to subpoena the speed survey. This way when you ask for it and they do not have it, this will allow you to be granted an immediate dismissal. Contact the court clerk for the correct form to use when subpoenaing the speed survey. Tell him/her you want to make a subpoena duces tecum (pronounced dookis takem). Just make sure you mail it by registered mail (so they can sign for receiving it) and bring a copy of it with you to court so that you can show the judge that you did in fact do it. The wonderful thing about subpoenaing the survey is the very likely chance they will still fail to bring it to court. If they do, you should be granted a dismissal.

If You Were Refused a Copy of the Speed Survey:

This will only happen with a few of you. If you go to court empty handed, you don't have much recourse in this type of situation. Here's what I would tell the judge after the officer has finished with his testimony: Your Honor, my repeated attempts to receive a copy of the speed survey for the street I was allegedly accused of speeding on have been denied. I went to the Department of Transportation (or wherever

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you went to) and they told me I was not allowed to have a copy of the speed survey. This is in direct violation of the Freedom of Information Act and I have filed a complaint. The speed survey is an essential piece to my defense and without it I am unable to reasonably defend myself. I ask that this court be continued to a later date until I can get a copy of the speed survey. It's essential that you did in fact file a complaint. No sense in lying in court. To file a complaint visit the FOIA website at http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/. Bring the complaint document with you to court to show that you did in fact file a complaint. This will give the judge more incentive to postpone the trial to a later date. If you would rather not postpone your trial, I would still go on with the trial and ask the officer to present a copy of the speed survey. If he does not, I would motion for a dismissal. If he does have it, I would motion for 5 to 10 minutes so that you can have time to look over it. Don't forget to mention you were denied a copy, so that you will have good enough reason for the delay. Speed surveys aren't that long and when you know what to look for it will only take about ten minutes to find any discrepancies. Remember, almost all speed surveys have at least one major discrepancy that will make it invalid.

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PART 3

The Finale

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Playing Unfairly

Evidence Concerning Testing and Calibration

Your biggest battle in the courtroom will be to challenge the accuracy (testing and calibration) of the method used to clock your speed. You may find the judge or prosecutor adamantly trying to deny your right at receiving a fair trial by not allowing you to request the testing and calibration documents. If the judge or prosecutor says evidence regarding the testing or calibration of the device used is not important and the officer's testimony will suffice, you should say.... Your Honor, higher courts have ruled that if brought up by the defense the evidence regarding testing and calibration must be proven. The state's case against me is based on the fact that a reliable method of speed detection was used to clock my speed. If that is true, I'm merely trying to get the state to prove the device was accurate. The officer's testimony says it was, but proper foundation must be presented also, to prove with a legal degree of certainty that it was accurate.

Subpoenaed Evidence

If the judge says you should have subpoenaed the prosecution's evidence before your trial. This also includes the speed survey if you didn't subpoena it. You might say....... Your Honor, if the prosecution wanted to prove their case against me, these documents should have been brought to court. Building proper foundation as to the evidence submitted is essential for the prosecution to prove its case. I'm sure the prosecutor knows this and if these documents were not brought here today, it's his fault and not mine. It's not my job to tell the prosecutor what to bring to trial.

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Submitting New Evidence

The prosecutor may attempt to submit new evidence after it has rested its case. If after the prosecution rests and you hear him say something like... "Your honor, the state wishes to present ______ into evidence"... object immediately! Don't think the judge will prevent him from introducing new evidence, because he won't. Remember, the judge and prosecutors are a team. Object this way... Your Honor, the prosecution is attempting to submit new evidence after it has rested its case. I object to any new evidence being presented. Now, bear in mind that states have different laws regarding the reopening of a case so that the prosecutor may present more evidence. They all basically say the same thing in that discretion ultimately lies with the judge if he will allow the prosecution to reopen its case after resting. However, there are some stipulations. In making his decision to reopen, the judge should consider the following factors: 1. The timing of the motion. 2. The nature of the additional evidence. 3. The potential for prejudice to the defendant. More than likely the prosecutor will not attempt to introduce more evidence after resting its case, because if he had this evidence to begin with he would have presented it in his case in chief. However, if you're facing a prosecutor who, for one reason or another, attempts to reopen his case to present more evidence, this is how I would object: Your Honor, this evidence is an essential piece to the prosecution's case. It is my opinion that such crucial evidence should have been presented in the prosecution's case in chief. I feel that I will be prejudiced if you allow the prosecution to reopen its case to present this evidence and wholly object.

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More Time for the Prosecution

If the prosecutor requests more time or a continuance to get the evidence you are requesting, OBJECT IMMEDIATELY! You might say.... Your Honor, if the prosecutor has come to trial unprepared ­ then it is his own fault. I have come to trial prepared and ready to defend myself and I truly expected the same professionalism from the prosecutor. The prosecutor has had weeks to prepare and I object to any more time being given and ask that the trial proceed.

Line of Questioning

If the prosecutor feels your cross examination of its star witness is damaging his case against you, he may attempt to halt your efforts. He may try to throw you off your rhythm. One way to do this is to make objections towards your line of questioning. If the prosecutor objects to the way you are asking questions, just tell the judge you are sorry and you ask for a little leniency when it comes to your legal knowledge. Your Honor, I apologies if my line of questioning is unacceptable to the court. I will try my best to rephrase my questions and ask the court show a little leniency being that I am not an attorney. You are a layman and your request will be granted. This should prevent the prosecutor from making any further objections.

No Police Officer in Court

If the police officer fails to show up for court, your case should be dismissed. If the prosecutor asks the judge to continue the trial to a later date... Object Immediately! Your Honor, I have missed work and pay to be here today. I have come prepared and ready to defend myself and had expected the same level of professionalism from the prosecution. I object to any more time being given to the prosecution. I should not be held to suffer as a direct result of their actions. Since their star witness is not present, I motion for a dismissal. More than likely the judge will grant your request for a dismissal. Just remember, if you don't object... the judge will allow a continuance to the prosecutor.

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Objections & Leading Questions

Objections

There may never come a time for you to object to anything during the trial. However, the prosecution has never been known to play by the books and just may do something that should be objected to by you. Object to the following:

New Evidence

Object if the prosecution attempts to submit new evidence after it has rested its case.

Eye Witness

Object if the prosecutor attempts to get someone to testify that was not an eye witness to the alleged violation. This happens a lot with photo radar devices.

No Witness

Object if the prosecution tries to obtain a continuance due to their star witness (police officer) not being present.

Hearsay

Object if a witness is trying to testify on behalf of someone else. This especially happens when the police officer testifies that someone else calibrated the radar/laser gun.

More Time

Object if the prosecutor asks for more time to get the evidence you are requesting.

Irrelevant

Object to anything not relevant to the case. If the officer or prosecutor brings up your DMV record, it has absolutely nothing to do with this trial and may make the judge biased when rendering his decision.

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Speculation

Object if the officer or prosecutor says something they could not have possibly known. If the officer testifies that you saw the speed limit, he is testifying to something he can't prove. Don't allow him to speculate. Objecting to the right thing at the right time can be very beneficial to your case. You don't want the prosecution to win by cheating. Inside the courtroom it's only you that can keep the prosecution in line. The judge will never prevent the prosecution from doing something unless you bring it up. Objecting is your right, but don't over do it. Only object if the previous examples warrant it. Objecting too much will slow down the trial and hurt your case. Only object if you have a valid reason to. Otherwise, keep quiet and let the trial proceed.

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Leading Questions

When someone is asking a leading question, they are doing so with the intent to get a specific answer. This is generally not allowed in court. Often times a leading question will have part of the answer in it. For example....

Leading:

Did you tell the defendant to stop?

Not Leading:

What did you tell the defendant to do? The way you phrase a question may not be too much of an issue, because the judge knows you are not an attorney. If you notice the prosecution asking leading questions, don't object to them. They won't be damaging to your case. Allow the prosecutor to ask any question any way he likes. In the end, Beat the System will prevail. Remember one important fact. While cross examining a witness, the one cross examining is allowed to ask leading questions. It is only during direct examination (when the prosecutor is asking the officer questions) that asking leading questions is not allowed. If while cross examining the police officer, the prosecutor objects to your line of questioning (leading questions) just tell the judge you are allowed to ask leading questions during cross examination. This should make the prosecutor back off a bit.

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Trial With No Prosecutor

Some of you will be heading to court without a prosecutor present. This is especially true in states which have decriminalized speeding tickets. Yes, it is legal, but totally unfair. It is unfair because the 14th Amendment has guaranteed our rights of due process of the law. The fact that no prosecutor is present to represent the state's case is going against our rights to a fair trial. Many times this is purposely done to save money. With prosecutors getting as much as $25 or more per case, it becomes a lucrative option for the courts not to hire a prosecutor. There are many benefits to having a trial with a prosecutor present. The most important of these benefits is having a sort of middleman between the judge and the police officer. This will prevent the judge from acting as a prosecutor and judge simultaneously. It is against the law for the judge to hold a double position and act as prosecutor and judge. Several federal cases forbid a judge from acting as a prosecutor. Many defendants who don't know any better are easily convicted in trials where there is no prosecutor. It is up to you to keep the courts at bay and prevent them from having their way. The more you can disrupt their usual course of handling business, the more likely you can have your case dismissed. As soon as your case is called, look around the courtroom as if you are confused and ask the judge who will be representing the people's case. When he says there is no prosecutor representing the people's case, I would object immediately: Your Honor, I object. The state is without proper counsel which violates my rights under the 14th Amendment of the constitution to a fair trial under due process of the law. I motion to have this case dismissed. If the judge denies the motion, I would then ask him how can the case continue with the states lack of proper counsel? Now, you may receive a number of answers from the judge. Here are the most common:

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If the judge decides that he will act as the prosecutor in this case, I would OBJECT: Your Honor, with all due respect, it is unconstitutional for you to act as judge and prosecutor. You sole purpose is to act as a neutral and unbiased figure in the courtroom and you can not accomplish this by taking a double position as a judge and prosecutor. I motion for a dismissal. If motion denied.... Your Honor, I ask that the record show my objection towards you acting as prosecutor and judge. I also ask that this case be moved to a higher court. If he still denies your request, just go on with the trial. If you happen to lose, you have a great chance for winning an appeal based on your objections. If the judge says the officer will be acting as prosecutor, OBJECT: Unless the officer holds a law degree and is allowed to practice law in this state, I object to him acting as a prosecutor. He is the witness against me and has not been hired to represent the state's case. Besides, if he will be acting as prosecutor, he can not call himself to the witness stand and can not direct examine himself. I motion for a dismissal. If your case is dismissed, then you can go home. If not you will have to continue with the trial. But, by having made all of these objections, you now have a better position in the courtroom as opposed to having made no objections at all.

Helpful Tips:

If you are continuing the case without a prosecutor present, there are some things you should keep in mind. The first thing you should remember is that the police officer is a witness against you and technically can not enter anything into evidence. If he does, OBJECT: Your Honor, the officer is a witness in this court case and as such can not enter anything into evidence. This procedure is to be handled by a prosecutor. Since the state has chosen to continue this case without a prosecutor, I object and ask that this evidence be inadmissible. Although the judge has the highest position in the courtroom, there are certain things that he can and can't do.

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What What

the Judge CAN Do Ask you questions pertaining to the case Present himself as a neutral unbiased figure in the courtroom See to it that your rights are not violated the Judge CAN NOT Do: Make any motions whatsoever Make any objections whatsoever Make any objections to your motions Enter anything as evidence Make opening and closing statements

If you find the judge doing anything he is not allowed by law to do, you must object. If you don't, it will be perceived that you have no disagreement with the way the judge is presenting himself and this will hurt your chances at getting an appeal. It's very important you do not lose your cool in a trial without a prosecutor present. You will handle the case much like you would a case with a prosecutor. However, it becomes very important you prevent the judge and police officer from doing things they normally would not do if a prosecutor were present. Always make objections when they do something they are not allowed to do. Even if your objections are overruled, it seriously hinders their normal course of operation. By objecting, you are essentially letting the judge know you will not be taken for a fool. It's important to object immediately. If you go on with the trial with no objections, it is assumed that you have no complaint about the way the trial is being handled. When you go to appeal, the appeal may not be accepted based on the fact that you did not object in the first place. If the judge or police officer does something they are not allowed by law to do, but still continue to do so, a reversal upon appeal is almost guaranteed.

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How To Get A New Trial

Let's say you are found guilty. Believe it or not (under certain circumstances) you can receive a new trial (in front of a new judge) and a fresh start at defending yourself. It all depends on who found you guilty. Earlier, I mentioned the person presiding over the case is a judge. However, the judge can appoint one of three other people to fill in for him. If you get found guilty by someone other than a "real" judge, you can have a whole new case rescheduled in front of a real circuit court judge. Many times due to lack of importance, time constraints or boredom judges don't like to preside over insignificant traffic cases. Instead, they will appoint someone much lower than them in stature. This other person has the power to do much the same thing a real judge can do. The following are some of the different people who can also preside over a traffic court case:

Magistrate

A magistrate is considered a civil officer hired to help handle lower and less important court cases where jail time is not an option. Usually he will serve a four year term and can be reappointed. He will try to act high and mighty while sitting on his "throne". But in all reality, most magistrates haven't even stepped foot inside a law school. Magistrates have no power to take any action unless authority has been expressly conferred by statute. Magistrates have the following powers:

To To To To To To To

issue arrest warrants. issue search warrants. admit to bail or commit to jail. issue warrants and subpoenas. issue civil warrants and pre-trial levies and seizures. administer oaths and take acknowledgements. act as a conservator of the peace.

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To accept prepayment for traffic and certain minor misdemeanor

offenses. To issue emergency custody orders. To issue temporary mental detention orders. To issue medical emergency custody and temporary detention orders. To issue emergency protective orders. To issue out of service orders.

As a general rule, magistrates may exercise their authority only within the borders of their judicial district.

Justice of the Peace

A Justice of the Peace is usually appointed although in some states he can be elected. Like the magistrate his term can be as much as four to five years. Unlike the magistrate however, Justices of the Peace actually have to finish a 40 to 80 hour course within one year of being appointed or elected. Therefore they have a little more education about the law than a magistrate. Justices of the peace perform some or all of the following duties:

Issue subpoenas, summonses and warrants, including search warrants Receive affidavits, declarations and affirmations Administer oaths Conduct bail hearings Release defendants on judges' orders and explain rights and obligations Hear evidence at trials on summary conviction offences and may preside over trials of criminal offences at the discretion of the chief judge of the jurisdiction or as provided for in federal, provincial or territorial statutes Perform civil marriages.

Commissioner

A commissioner is usually more educated on the law than a magistrate or justice of the peace. They too are appointed to hear less severe court cases (like traffic). Before your trial, the one presiding over the case may be introduced as either a circuit court judge, magistrate, justice of the peace or commissioner. It's important for you to know this information.

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In the event you get found guilty by anyone other than a real circuit court judge, you have the right to appeal your case to be heard in front of a real judge. They CAN NOT deny you this right. It acts as a second chance for you to have a fresh new trial. In the event the person presiding over the case is not introduced, simply ask someone (lawyer or court clerk) who it is presiding over the case. If they say anyone other than a circuit court judge, then you know that whatever ruling is handed down, you have the legal right to have a new trial. Just make sure you file an appeal that same day. There are time limitations for filing an appeal, so it's recommended that you file an appeal immediately! After you get found guilty, here's what you should say.... Appeal: I appeal this court's decision and request a new trial as required by law in front of a real circuit court judge.

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Appealing

If after all your strong efforts to defend yourself, you still wind up with a guilty judgment, all is not lost yet. You have a right to appeal your case to a higher court. If in fact the prosecution failed to submit crucial evidence pertaining to their case and the judge still found you guilty, a higher court can overthrow the judge's decision. There are some pros and cons to filing for an appeal. You will want to consider them before you carry out the appeal process. If you feel you were treated unfairly and the judge did not grant a dismissal when he should have, filing an appeal may be the right choice.

PROS:

Suspend all action against you until the verdict from the higher court is given.

Guaranteed to win if you have a good case. The word "if" is a very big "if". If reasonable doubt was clearly established by you during the trial (in a criminal case), an appellate court should reverse the original verdict or at least give you a new trial.

CONS:

Deals with too many confusing legal procedures, so often times the services of a lawyer must be hired.

Must pay a fee. Lengthy process.

Lawyers don't come cheap, so you will want to weigh your options considerably. Generally speaking, if were talking about your first speeding ticket in a few years, it may be wise to just accept it as an unfair loss and get on with your life. It's not worth the trouble and expense to file an appeal under this circumstance. If your license is at stake, you're accumulating too many points, or jail time is a possibility, you just may want to continue on with the appeal. Consider it a last chance effort. Only file for an appeal if you have a good chance of winning. No sense in spending time and money on a winless case. If you are planning on going through with the appeal, you had better do it

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quick. There is a statute of limitation on filing for an appeal, which means you only have so long to file for it. The exact time is different across the country. In some places its 10 days and others its 30 days. The best way to find out is to ask the judge how long you have. He'll be glad to tell you. And go to the clerk's office for the proper documentation and procedures. The following should help you some more: An appeal is not a retrial and you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence. You must file your Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the trial clerk (usually within 30 calendar days after the rendition of the judgment). In some states, you must prepare a proposed statement to provide a complete record on appeal. The proposed statement usually contains: 1. Grounds of an appeal ­ a statement of the legal errors you believe were committed. 2. An official transcript or a statement of the evidence or trial procedures relevant to each of your grounds of appeal. If your trial was recorded, you may receive a copy of the recording. In some counties, a certified transcript of a trial may be available. Depending on where you live, the filing of an appeal does not postpone the payment of your fine or any other condition of the sentence. But then again in some states it does. If you decide not to go through with the appeal you must file what in some places is called an Abandonment of Appeal.

Bear in mind the preceding information is by no means conclusive for all 50 states. Each state has its own procedures for filing an appeal. You should consult with the court clerk for more state specific information.

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Traffic School

Almost every state allows a person ticketed for some types of moving violations to attend a 6-to-8 hour course in traffic safety in exchange for having the ticket officially wiped from their record. Often attending traffic school is your best choice, even if you think you have a watertight defense. After all, while a trial is always something of a gamble, traffic school is 100% reliable in keeping the violation off your record. (As long as you remember to set your alarm clock, of course, and make it to the class.) Policies on allowing you to eliminate a ticket from your record by going to traffic school vary from state to state. (They can also occasionally vary within a state, where local courts have some discretion to set their own policies.) For example, in some states you can attend traffic school once a year, while in others you must wait 18 to 24 months before you can eliminate a new ticket with a new trip to traffic school. And in some states, you aren't eligible for traffic school if you're ticketed for exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 or 20 miles per hour. Procedures for getting into traffic school also vary from place to place. Most courts allow you to sign up through the court clerk, but a few require that you appear before a judge to make your request. How a traffic school attendee's ticket is handled is also different in different areas. For example, in some states, courts dismiss your case when proof is received that you've completed traffic school. In other states, courts require you to pay your fine (forfeit bail) with the understanding that the conviction will not be placed on your record if you complete traffic school by a prearranged deadline. Under this system you must pay twice ­ once for the fine and again for the school. In brief outline, for those who are eligible, the advantages of attending traffic school are as follows:

As long as you show up, it's normally a 100% sure way to keep a violation off your record. It reduces the possibility of your license being lifted or your insurance rates going up if you get new tickets, and

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If you pay attention, your driving skills may improve. (Or you may be so bored that you will drive more safely to avoid another day in traffic school.)

The disadvantages of traffic school include:

It typically lasts six to eight hours. In many areas it is expensive. This is especially true if you are in a state where you must pay for traffic school plus the fine for the ticket. In some states, you can go to traffic school only once every 12 to 18 months. If you can beat this ticket, you can save the school option just in case you get a tougher ticket later on.

In some states, erasing a ticket through traffic school may be accomplished while sitting at home. For example, California is just one of a number of states where traffic courts authorize Internet-based traffic schools (they use tests and other devices to be sure you are paying attention). This trend is almost sure to spread. But be sure to check with the court in your particular area to make sure that an Internet-based program is acceptable. Do not pay any money to the traffic school unless you are sure the court accepts that particular school's program.

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Closing Argument

Odds are, if you are using Beat the System to beat your ticket, you will never have to make a closing argument. Your case will be dismissed by then. However, it's still a good plan to have an idea of how to create one just in case. It would be virtually impossible for me to write a closing argument for all to follow. Everyone's particular situation is different. Write your own closing argument using the following pointers: 1. Make it concise and to the point. 2. Mention that the state's star witness has failed to submit crucial documents to make his case. 3. Mention that legal doubt has clearly been established. 4. Mention that the evidence against you has not clearly been corroborated by the prosecution. 5. If you used the MUTCD Defense, mention that no speed survey was conducted or if it was, that it had many discrepancies. Here's an example... Your Honor, the prosecution has brought a witness to testify as to my guilt. The witnesses' testimony is without credibility in the absence of proof that I was traveling at 75 mph. I have requested certain pieces of evidence from the witness to corroborate their testimony and they have failed to produce any. The radar gun used to clock my speed lacks proper foundation as to the accuracy of it's workings at the time I was clocked. Reasonable doubt has clearly been established. I was not speeding and motion for a judgment of not guilty. Or if your trial is a civil matter: Your Honor, the standard of proof in this trial is preponderance of the evidence. I feel that all the evidence weighs in my favor as the officer has failed to back up his testimony with hard physical evidence as required by law. I have made numerous requests for additional evidence to show that the officer did in fact comply with the law when conducting his speed enforcement. He has failed to do

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so and without this evidence we do not have convincing proof to a legal degree of certainty as to my guilt. I was not speeding and I ask that you give a judgment of Not Guilty. Your closing argument doesn't have to be fancy, just list the relevant points of your case that point towards your innocence. What was presented as evidence, what was not presented as evidence, what the officer said, didn't say, how the prosecutor conducted his case and a whole assortment of other things will determine what your closing argument will contain. Yes, it is somewhat difficult to think of a closing argument on the spot. But, the good news is that there is a 95% chance that you will not have to make a closing argument. By properly using the defense strategies in this book your case should be dismissed during the early stages of the trial.

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Conclusion

Stay Focused

When you are in the courtroom, don't get distracted. Only have Beat the System on your mind. Clear out all outside influences and concentrate on what you came to do. You came to challenge the evidence against you. You are not here to proclaim your innocence or accuse the officer of lying. Everyone in that courtroom knows you are guilty of the violation against you, but you don't care. Unlike everyone else in the courtroom, you know it's the prosecution that will have to PROVE you're guilty.

Study the Court

I advise you to sit in on a couple of court cases before your actual trial a few days before, if you can find the time. It will give you a better understanding of court procedures and how the prosecutor operates. Pay attention to how the prosecutor presents his case and what the different officers say while on the witness stand. Observe how the judge responds to motions and objections. All of these things will be useful to you when you build your case against them.

Take Your Time

Don't allow the courts to rush you. From their actions and stares it will be obvious when the courts are insinuating for you to hurry up with your case. Don't allow them to do that. You have the right to take all the time you need (within reason) to present your case efficiently. If the prosecution submits evidence and you need time to review it, don't be afraid to do so. The judge can not deny you this right. If you feel that you need a substantial amount of time to review documents, ask the judge for a 5 minute recess. Motion to the judge to grant you a recess so that you can properly examine the prosecution's evidence and continue on with your defense.

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Note Taking

You definitely don't want to walk into court without any notes. Good note taking prior to the trial is necessary if you want to win your case. Use note cards to write your questions on and as a guideline for how to respond to different answers from the officer. You're allowed to directly read word-for-word from notes in court. The cards should contain the exact questions you wish to ask during cross examination and various motions for dismissal. Not only that, you should know how to reply to different "yes" and "no" answers from the officer. Don't forget that you can also print the relevant pages directly from this book and take them with you to court.

Do Your Homework

The key to winning your court case is preparation. The prosecutor will NOT do much when it comes to gathering up his case against you. You, on the other hand, should be doing the opposite. It's your money we're talking about here. A couple hours of work will be worth the effort, I promise you. When you step into that courtroom, you must have the mental confidence that you are going to walk out a winner. This confidence only exists when you understand the full scope of what you have to do. This is accomplished by practicing what you learn from this book. Many will just read and think they understand the rules of Beat the System. Come court time, they try to use the strategies and they lose their case. They lose only because they didn't practice.

Use Your Own Defense Strategy

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what it takes to beat your speeding ticket. Keep your mind open to different and new possibilities. Use the questions I have given you, or make up your own. Remember, I am not a lawyer and am only giving you ideas of how one might handle a traffic case. As long as you stay on the right path, contesting the evidence, you should do just fine.

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Well, there you have it. Everything you need to beat any speeding ticket that comes your way. Let the whole world know that speeding tickets don't have to be such a nightmare. Beat the System is more than just an informative book, it's a study course. Study and relate to it. Keep your mind open to newer and better possibilities. Use the questions I have given or make up your own. If the situation calls for it, change some things around to better fit your situation. Traffic laws and courtroom procedures differ throughout the country. But one thing that does not change is the fact that the burden is on the prosecution to find you guilty and not for you to prove your innocence. This is the same no matter where you live throughout the country and it is the sole foundation this book was written on. The law actually works in your favor. The most important point you should have gotten from reading this book is that receiving a speeding ticket is not a hopeless situation. You can easily beat it in court. Confidence in yourself and Beat the System is essential in winning your case. With that I bid you farewell, safe driving and good luck in fighting your speeding ticket!

Damon Dallah

www.TrafficTicketSecrets.com

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Glossary

Accused ­ A person charged with a crime. Affidavit ­ Any written document in which a person swears under oath before a notary public o someone authorized to take oaths (i.e., county clerk) that the statements in the document are true. Appeal ­ To ask a higher court to reverse the decision of a trial court after final judgment or other legal ruling. Arrest ­ To take or hold a suspected criminal with legal authority, as by a law enforcement officer. (For our purposes, arrest does not mean being handcuffed and taken to jail. It means being held during the traffic stop.) Best evidence rule ­ The legal doctrine that an original piece of evidence, particularly a document, is superior to a copy. If an original is available a copy will not be used as evidence. Burden of proof ­ The requirement that a plaintiff show by "preponderance of the evidence" that all the facts necessary to win a judgment are presented and are probably true. In a criminal trial the burden of proof required of the prosecutor is to prove the guilt of the accused "beyond a reasonable doubt", a much more difficult task. Calibration ­ To check, adjust, or determine by comparison with a standard (the graduations of a quantitative measuring instrument): calibrate a thermometer. Case in chief ­ The main part of a party's case including arguments for which the party bears the burden of proof, but not including rebuttal. Case law ­ Reported decisions of appellate courts and other courts which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents. Charge ­ The specific statement of what crime the party is accused (charged with) contained in the indictment or criminal complaint. Continuance ­ A postponement of a date of a trial, hearing, or other court appearance to a later fixed date by order of the court. County seat ­ A town or city that is the administrative center of its county. Court ­ A tem that is used not only to refer to the court house, but also the

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judge o other officers of the court. Cross examination ­ The opportunity for the prosecutor (or unrepresented party) to ask questions in court of a witness who has testified in a trial on behalf of the opposing party. Defendant ­ The party sued in a civil lawsuit or the party charged of a crime in a criminal case. Demonstrative evidence ­ Actual objects, pictures, models, or other devices which are supposedly intended to clarify the facts for the judge or jury. Direct examination ­ The first questioning of a witness during a trial. Discovery ­ The process of obtaining information before a trial through demands for production of documents. Dismissal ­ The act of a judge terminating a criminal prosecution or a civil suit. DMV ­ Department of Motor Vehicles Evidence ­ The poof presented at trial. Foundation ­ The basis that is sometimes necessary before certain types of evidence can be admitted. Guilty ­ Having been convicted of a crime. Inadmissible evidence ­ Evidence that is not allowed to be presented in court. Judge ­ The official who hears cases in courts. Judgment ­ The final decision by a court in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution. Judicial notice ­ The authority of a judge to accept as facts certain matters which are of common knowledge from sources which guarantee accuracy or are matters of official records. Jurisdiction ­ Te authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule on legal matters within a particular geographic location. Layman (layperson) ­ A person not a member of the clergy or of a legal profession.

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Motion ­ A formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Merger ­ The act of combining two offenses into one. No contest ­ A defendant's plea in court that he/she will not contest the charge of a particular crime. Not an admission of guilt. Not guilty ­ The plea of a person who claims not to have committed the charges he/she is accused of committing. Objection ­ A protest of a legal correctness of a question which has been asked of a witness by the opposing party, with the purpose of making the trial judge decide if in fact the question can be asked. Offense ­ A crime or punishable violation of law of any type or magnitude. Officer of the court ­ Any person who has an obligation to promote justice and effective operation of the judicial system. Ordinance ­ A statute enacted by a city or town. Plaintiff ­ The party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint with the clerk of court against the defendant. Plea ­ The response by an accused defendant to each charge of the commission of a crime. Plea bargain ­ A negotiation between the prosecutor and the opposing party. Preponderance of the evidence ­ The greater weight of the evidence requied in a civil (non criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact. Proceeding ­ Any legal filling, hearing, trial and/or judgment in the ongoing conduct of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution. Proof ­ Confirmation of a fact by evidence. Prosecution ­ In criminal law, the government attorney charging and trying the case against a person accused of a crime. Prosecutor ­ The generic term for a government's attorney in a criminal case. Rebut ­ To counter, disprove, or contradict the opposition's evidence. Reversible error ­ A legal mistake at the trial court level which is so significant that the judgment must be reversed by the appellate court.

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Rule ­ To decide a legal question or to make a judicial command, or any regulation governing conduct. Standard of proof ­ The amount of proof required to find a defendant guilty. Statute ­ A federal or state written law enacted by the Congress or state legislature, espectively. Stipulation ­ An agreement, usually on a procedural matter, between the attorneys for the two sides in a legal action. Subpoena ­ An order of the court for a witness to appear at a particular time and place to give testimony. Subpoena duces tecum ­ A court order requiring a witness to bring documents in the possession or under the control of the witness to a certain place at a certain time. Testimony ­ Oral evidence given by a witness under oath. Transcript ­ The written records of a proceeding. Trier of fact ­ The judge or jury responsible for deciding factual issues in a trial. Trial ­ The examination of facts and law presided over by a judge. Verdict ­ The decision of a jury after a trial. The judgment of a judge is not a verdict. Waive ­ To voluntarily give up something. Note: Not all of the preceding definitions were mentioned in this book.

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Appendix

50 States Websites and Informative Information

ALABAMA Court Website: www.judicial.state.al.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, radar, laser Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dps.state.al.us ARIZONA Court Website: www.supreme.state.az.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, VASCAR, radar, laser Speed Law: Presumed DMV Website: www.dot.state.az.us/MVD CALIFORNIA Court Website: www.courtinfo.ca.gov Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, radar, laser Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.dmv.ca.gov CONNECTICUT Court Websites: www.jud.state.ct.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, radar, laser Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.dmvct.org ALASKA Court Website: www.state.ak.us/courts Speed Detection Methods Pacing, radar, laser Speed Law Absolute DMV Website: www.state.ak.us/dmv ARKANSAS Court Website: www.courts.state.ar.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, radar, laser Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.ar.us/dfa/motorvehicle COLORADO Court Website: www.courts.state.co.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, VASCAR, radar, laser Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.mv.state.co.us DELAWARE Court Websites: courts.state.de.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, radar, laser Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.delaware.gov/yahoo/dmv

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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Court Websites: www.dcsc.gov Speed detection Methods: Pacing, Radar Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.washingtondc.gov/main GEORGIA Court Website: www.state.ga.us/courts Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, VASCAR, radar Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dmvs.ga.gov IDAHO Court Website: www.state.id.us/judicial Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.id.us/itd/dmv INDIANA Court Website: www.state.in.us/judiciar Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.ai.org/bmv

FLORIDA Court Websites: www.flcourts.gov Speed detection Methods: Pacing, VASCAR, radar Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.hsmv.state.fl.us HAWAII Court Website: www.courts.state.hi.us Speed Detection Methods: Pacing, aircraft, VASCAR, radar Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: NONE ILLINOIS Court Website: www.state.il.us/court Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website www.library.sos.state.il.us IOWA Court Website: www.judicial.state.ia.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law Absolute DMV Website: www.dot.state.ia.us/mvd

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KANSAS Court Website: www.kscourts.org Speed detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.ksrevenue.org/dmv LOUISIANA Court Website: www.state.la.us/gov_judicial Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, aircraft, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: Omv.dps.state.la.us MARYLAND Court Website: www.courts.state.md.us Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: mva.state.md.us MICHIGAN Court Website: www.courts.michigan.gov/scao Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed DMV Website: www.sos.state.mi.us/dv

KENTUCKY Court Website: www.kycourts.net Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed DMV Website: www.kytc.state.ky.us/mvl MAINE Court Website: www.courts.state.me.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.me.us/sos/bmv MASSACHUSETTES Court Website www.state.ma.us/courts Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.state.ma.us/rmv MINNESOTA Court Website: www.courts.state.mn.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs

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MISSISSIPPI Court Website: www.mssc.state.ms.us Speed detection Methods Radar, pacing, VASCAR, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dps.state.ms.us/dps/dps/nsf MONTANA Court Website: NONE Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.doj.state.mt.us/mvd NEVADA Court Website: www.clan.lib.nv.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.nevadadmv.state.nv.us NEW JERSEY Court Website: www.judiciary.state.nj.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.nj.us/mvs

MISSOURI Court Website: www.osca.state.mo.us Speed detection Methods Radar, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dor.state.mo.us/mvdl NEBRASKA Court Website: court.nol.org Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.ne.us/dmv NEW HAMPSHIRE Court Website: www.state.nh.us/courts Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: Webster.state.nh.us/dmv NEW MEXICO Court Website: www.nmcourts.com Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.nm.us/tax/mvd

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NEW YORK Court Website: www.courts.state.ny.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.nydmv.state.ny.us NORTH DAKOTA Court Website: www.court.state.nd.us Speed detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Presumed DMV Website: www.state.nd.us/dot OKLAHOMA Court Website: www.ocsn.net Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, VASCAR Speed Laws: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.dps.state.ok.us/dls PENNSYLVANIA Court Website: Philadelphia Courts.phila.gov/tc Pittsburgh www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, VASCAR, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute: DMV Website: www.dmv.state.pa.us

NORTH CAROLINA Court Website: www.nccourts.org Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dmv.dot.state.nc.us OHIO Court Website: www.sconet.state.ohio.us Speed detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.ohiobmv.com OREGON Court Website:

bluebook.state.or.us/state/judicial

Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Laws: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.odot.state.or.us/dmv RHODE ISLAND Court Website: www.courts.state.ri.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: www.dmv.state.ri.us

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SOUTH CAROLINA Court Website: www.judicial.state.sc.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.scdps.org/dmv TENNESSEE Court Website: www.tsc.state.tn.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, aircraft Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.state.tn.us/safety UTAH Court Website: court link.utcourts.gov Speed detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Presumed and Absolute DMV Website: driverlicense.utah.gov VIRGINIA Court Website: www.courts.state.va.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dmv.state.va.us

SOUTH DAKOTA Court Website: www.state.sd.us/state Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website:

www.state.sd.us/dcr/dl/sddriver

TEXAS Court Website: www.courts.state.tx.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing Speed Law: Presumed DMV Website: www.txdps.state.tx.us VERMONT Court Website:

www.vermontjudiciary.org/courts

Speed detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.aot.state.vt.us/dmv WASHINGTON Court Website: www.courts.wa.gov Speed Detection Methods:

Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR

Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.wa.gov/dol

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WEST VIRGINIA Court Website: www.state.wv.us/wvsca Speed Detection Methods: Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.wvdot.com/6_motorists/dmv WYOMING Court Website: courts.state.wy.us Speed Detection Methods: Radar, pacing Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: Dot.state.wy.us/web/driver_services

WISCONSIN Court Website: www.courts.state.wi.us Speed Detection Methods:

Radar, laser, pacing, VASCAR

Speed Law: Absolute DMV Website: www.dot.state.wi.us/dmv

NOTE: For those states where the speed law says "Presumed and Absolute" together, those states differentiate between which types of roads are considered to have presumed speed limits and which ones have absolute speed limits. Check with your local laws.

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