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Well, I was the poor schmuck that got caught speeding by a cop with a lidar gun 2-3 weeks ago. At the time, I wasn't going to bother contesting the ticket, and my wife had actually mailed the damn thing in! But after seeing some of the responses to the post that I had made earlier on the lidar gun, and doing some research on the internet, I cursed myself for not contesting it.

Soooo, I head on down to the court house and throw myself at the mercy of the court clerk, and bless her heart, she dug through a pile of speeding tickets and pulled mine out. She gave me my check (for over a $100) back, and I changed the plea to contesting the ticket. So now I have my day in court coming up - hehehehe


Further research on the internet revealed how to go about fighting one of these things - lots of good info out there. So a few days ago I head back on down to the court house and hand in my request for discovery - I ask for just about everything except the kitchen sink - I want the cops records, his certification in use of Lidar, the make, model and serial number of the gun, his logs, his training records, - you name it, I asked for it. When I handed it in, the clerk was like "what the hell???"

So now in a few weeks I get to grill the cop. So I need some legal advice since I have never done this before.
I have a couple of questions...
- how do I find out if lidar has judicial notice in my state (WA) or has that occured in just about every state at this point?
- the cop was using the lidar from inside his car, shooting through the windshield - as far as I am aware, this is not standard operating procedure - is that true or not? Also he would have been hand holding it - which would make it difficult to track a vehicle accurately - no?
- does anyone have any general legal advice on contesting this type of ticket. There were other vehicles in the immediate vicinity, and he claimed to have clocked me at almost 900 feet doing 13 over the limit - seems he couldn't have taken a traffic history at that distance before either pulling the trigger, or having the autolock go off?

Anyway, any advice is appreciated. My pulse is quickening even as I think about it, but I am looking forward to my day in court.


Thanks,

Howard

BTW - I am the proud owner of a brand new V1 :D

[ October 15, 2002, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: CobraDVM ]
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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I have no idea about most of your questions but someone mentioned this site for some interesting info on this subject so look here and see if they have anything to offer?
getting out of tickets

Good luck! May the force be with you.

Chad
 

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that almost never happens in my area aaron,at least not in the 52 municipalities in my county,when i have missed court because of illness or never receiving notices it automatically gets postponed sometimes two or three times,towns are very hesitant to dismiss because thats how they make alot of their revenue ,but i hear this advice all the time,along with some crazy things like people expecting to get out of a ticket because i didnt have a hat on or because i copied their license number wrong or about a million other things that are instantly ammended at court,but in twelve years i have never had a ticket i wrote dismissed for the first no show court appearance,i also dont have any experience in lidar,sorry,good luck......vinny
 

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The officer never shows up in court around here at the initial hearing, probably because you can pay off the ticket or plead with the DA until court begins. If you show up and want to contest the ticket the hearing is automatically postponed and the officer is notified to appear. This also seems to have the added effect of encouraging people to just pay the fine to avoid coming to court a second time.

 

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I have had some experience trying to get out of tickets and there have been a few hard earned lessons. My worst experience was when I went into the court room thinking I was going to 'grill' the police officer. I learnt real fast that the judge and the officers are without doubt both on the same side and I got shut down fast with my questions. Since I was in North Carolina at the time they also wanted to lock me up for contempt of court for a week. I just shut up and paid the fine.

Next time I had a lot more success. The cop was parked facing the same direction as me. Zapped me with X band. My tactic in court was to ask several series of questions that were not agressive but were leading. Like:
1) 'did you estimate my speed visually?'
2) 'did you do this in your mirror?'
3) 'since the mirror says "objects in the mirror may be closer than the appear" doen't that also distort your perception of speed?'

After two or three things like this I would then say that I believe I was not doing the speed the officer said I was and that I also believe there are several opportunities for an error of judgement providing reasonable doubt. This does two things. First you are being tried for doing a specific speed. If you were still speeding but only were 5 mph over the limit, not 15 mph the fine and points are different, so it is a different offense. All you have to do is cast doubt on your actual speed. Second, the phrase reasonable doubt is the thought the judge needs to have planted in his mind as the final presentation.
You get the idea. You have to cast doubt on the findings and present plausible reasons for an error.

I got off not just this ticket but another three since then (I love to drive fast!).

Good luck.
 

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I have one basic question. Were you doing 13 over? If you were, why are you contesting the ticket? Y'all can have a cynical view and complain that the city makes money off of the populace from traffic tickets, but they are also there to protect me and my family from you running over us. If the cop caught you breaking the law, pay your ticket. If you get out of it, you'll just do it again, and maybe next time you'll run over someone's child.
 

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Hey SteveSS, 13 over the limit is what 100% of cars do on the New Jersey Turnpike. We're 99.9% safe concientious drivers who don't run over children on a regular basis. If one of these was a Cobra, who do you think gets the ticket? This could be a case of 'Trooper jelousy' so I say fight it!!
 

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All I can say is if there was no speed limit, I would drive WAAY too fast. Probably every "car guy" like us would. Clearly, there is a line that can be drawn where going above a certain speed is unsafe. That's what the speed limit is for. I don't always agree with the posted speed, but it's the law, and it's there to protect us.

When everyone is going 13 over on the highway, it's probably safer to follow along than to go the speed limit. But, how fast do you drive on the same highway with no traffic? I bet it's at least 13 over. What's your excuse for that? Also, I don't mind that much if someone goes 13 over on the highway, but that same guy goes 43 in the 30 zone by my house. If a child jumps in front of your car, I bet you'd be mad at the child, and not think for a second to ask yourself if you were driving too fast. Just think about it. 99.9% safe and conscientious might not be good enough.
 

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I lived in germany for 14 years, from 18 years old to 34 and I know for a fact that in germany and many other countrys if a child runs in front of you the parents of that child has to pay for all damages done to your car, regardless if you were going faster than the speed limit. Thay feel it is the parents responsibility to make sure that child understands not to run out into the street. Like not pulling a pot off a hot stove.
If that child dose not understand, then it is the parents responibility to supervise that child. I I personaly never drive fast were it could be unsafe for children or anybody else. I feel if you get caught speeding to a limit thats UNSAFE you ought to get what's coming to ya. I've got a few speeding tickes, but only on major highways, and most of the time empty. I know I'll get slamed for this, but I lived over seas and seen how thay take care of there children and I've seen it here and thay have us beat buy a long shot. I know I got off topic but when you start taking about kids getting hurt it pulls my trigger.
 

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When I was younger with way more tickets I tried all the tricks that were writen in the books and I have to tell you I never got off. Maybe thats why I'm not a lawyer. Good luck to you and let us know the outcome.
 

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Wow, laws can be really stark over there. If you run over a child and the general concensus is it was not your fault, does that make you feel better about running over the child? I think it's best to not teach parents lessons by killing their children. That certainly goes to show there are very different ways to approach a problem.

I agree that parenting is relatively bad here, but there should be a level where pedestrians always have right of way. For example, on the highway a car should have right of way, and in a parking lot a pedestrian should have right of way. A friend from Scotland remarked to me how strange it was over here that people would walk in front of cars in a parking lot. He said you'd be run over in the UK doing that. That's a bit extreme in my book.

This isn't off topic for this thread.
 

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I thought the topic here was getting speeding tickets, not pedestrians in supermarket parking lots in the UK.
 

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Oh, don't start that "It's for the Children" crap. That's a big cop-out, and a common excuse for for just about everything that a politician might want to do.

We all also know that the purpose of a speeding ticket is to generate income. It has very little to do with the safety of the general population. If you get popped for doing 15 mph over the speed limit on the highway in a Cobra at 11 o'clock at night, who is in danger? Nobody. But it's another $100 that our city council can use for "Fact Finding" trips.

As for fighting a ticket, you need a lawyer. As much as I hate lawyers, you need one. You can't jump in to that snake pit without a snake of your own. That's just the way the system is built. The Justice system is all about money. If you are not paying one of their bretheren to fight the system, you'll lose.
 

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GO BOB
I was going to reply but you did a fine job of it. I won't need my soap box next to my car now.
 

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Okay, does getting a speeding ticket for doing 45 in a 30 residential zone help protect people, or does it put money in the city's pocket, or does it do both? If you drive 70 in a 55, I bet you also drive 45 in a 30.

Our society is a funny thing. We get all upset about anthrax and snipers, but we don't think about traffic accidents. How many people do you think died in car wrecks over the last couple of weeks in the D.C. area? I can assure you it's way more than 10. Does anybody worry about that? NAH.

The problem here is when you break the law, you're commiting an offense against society. The people on this forum are part of society. Then you have the nerve to ask the society you offended for advice on how to get out of being punished for offending them. It's not just between you and city hall. There are other people on the road. It's not your private playground. Use your brains people.

EDIT: Offending term removed for the benefit of everyone I'm not responding to.

[ October 18, 2002, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: SteveSS ]
 
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