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Posted: 6/10/2002 1:27:20 PM EDT
On my way back from a gun show a few weeks ago I rolled through a stop sign and was immediately pulled over by a very polite city police officer that was in an obvious 'ambush' location. Well, not obvious to me til it was too late. The intersection is in an industral area, it was Sunday, and I have gone through this intersection many many times in the past. I use the intersection almost every morning on my way to work, going the other diection. I have seen people stopped before, I just wasn't paying attention. Just found out the fine is $97 and most of my buddies are telling me to go to court for the off chance that the ticket could be reduced or even dropped. What do you guys think? Can a Stop Sign Violation be reduced? I understand and have had Speeding tickets reduced, but what are my chances? Really? Thanks!! ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 1:33:57 PM EDT
u did the crime. be a man, don't whine and pay the fine.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 5:49:34 PM EDT
Fight it. I fight them all. It is great to walk out on a cop with a smile after you have won. The 98 dollar amount may preclude a traffic lawyer. But even if the lawyer fails to have the whole ticket thrown out you almost always get no points on your license thus saving the cost of driving school and your time. Laywers are usually $50-$100. Plus you get to throw a small wrench into the whole money racket. If more people fight them it would get interesting. I know the "did the crime pay the fine" crap but I know what it is like, out of the middle of nowhere and you didn't fully stop. Now if you blew through it without slowing down then that would be different. Just my rambling thoughts.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 5:59:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:06:37 PM EDT
The best way to beat any traffic citation is to get a bunch of continuances. The officer will eventually stop showing to the court appearances and you will be granted a not guilty plea without his/her testimony.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 8:36:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: The best way to beat any traffic citation is to get a bunch of continuances. The officer will eventually stop showing to the court appearances and you will be granted a not guilty plea without his/her testimony.
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Not neccesarily. Most courts wont dispose of it simply because the officer fails to show up, especially after a series of court dates have gone by and the officer HAS appeared.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 5:45:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2002 7:14:33 AM EDT by QuietShootr]
Here in a free state you have the right to face your accuser. If the cop doesn't show, you walk. Q(4 beaten taxe-er..tickets that way and counting)S
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 7:22:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: The best way to beat any traffic citation is to get a bunch of continuances. The officer will eventually stop showing to the court appearances and you will be granted a not guilty plea without his/her testimony.
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That's funny- I wish it was that easy.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 7:28:16 AM EDT
I tried to get a lawyer to fight a $115 speeding ticket in Americus, GA(the shithole of the South and home of Habitat for Hoodlums), and it was going to cost me $500 just for him to come to court. Also, I was told that if I came before the judge they would charge me a court fee and if I lost the penalty would be increased. Remember this is a small town that goes by its own stupid rules. Nevertheless I paid the ticket instead of going through that mess. I was hoping the officer wouldn't show up and the charges would be dropped like they are in major cities, but found out that they will put them off until the officer will be there no matter how long it takes. Bill3508
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 7:47:59 AM EDT
Around here you pay the maximum fine when you do not go to court. If you go to court the local judges are more likely to fine you less and also TUA( take under advisement), which means you pay a smaller (usually) fine and the judge holds the ticket for 6 months and does not send it to driver control. Your insurance company does not get this info. Of course you then have to usually take time off from work and so forth. As far as continuing on and on, it usually does not work. The court will give 1 continuance as a freebie to each side. Most LEO's don't care to go to court. It's either an easy day or a comp time thing. remember when you go to court it costs you either time off from work ot money for an attorney or both. The LEO is getting paid to be there.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 10:24:44 AM EDT
I don't know about GA but in TX you can usually take a defensive driving course, you still have to pay court costs(usually small) and the ticket stays off your record, as a bonus the defensive driving course will usually get you a discount from your insurance co.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 12:59:07 PM EDT
Californistan also has a "traffic school" option for first offenders. It allows you to avoid getting a "point" on your driving record for a minor offense. Next time obey that sign. I damn near got run over yesterday by a scofflaw like you.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:01:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 308wood: u did the crime. be a man, don't whine and pay the fine.
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i like your rhyme about doin the time and paying the fine
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:09:38 PM EDT
thee12nv I am glad to see you enjoy beating a ticket, I bet you would enjoy getting away with most crimes, what about being responsible for your actions? If you think it boils a cops blood that you beat a ticket you are an idiot the cop has did his job by citing you, it is the job of the courts to convict you.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:12:28 PM EDT
I would contest the ticket. Go in front of a Judge and explain the circumstances. Don't get an attorney for something like this. It's a waste of money. It sounds like you did roll the stop sign so admit it and "throw yourself on the mercy of the court". Judges love to hear the truth. Explain that you drive that route regularly you just had one of those HUA moments. Lay on a sob story about how expensive the ticket is and how badly you need the money for...(fill in the blank) Compliment the Officer on his professionalism, kiss the judges ass. Make sure to get in that you work wherever and vote and you have a clean driving record (hope you do). This stuff really works. Judges know that mercifull justice gets as many votes as firm justice. He will find you guilty but may let you off with court costs, no fine and no points or any combination. Hell, flat out ask him to do so. Don't be afraid to let him know what you are asking him to do. Promise to be more attentive in the future. Give it a shot, nothing ventured nothing gained. Then again you could just live by your screen name and...
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:30:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Here in a free state you have the right to face your accuser. If the cop doesn't show, you walk. Q(5 beaten taxe-er..tickets that way and counting)S
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If the officer works for even half of a self respecting department, he'll get in a pile of trouble for missing a court date even with continuances. I don't think hoping he'll miss court is a good strategy unless he works for Podunk/Corrupt P.D.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:50:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ByteTheBullet: ...and most of my buddies are telling me to go to court for the off chance that the ticket could be reduced or even dropped. What do you guys think? Can a Stop Sign Violation be reduced? I understand and have had Speeding tickets reduced, but what are my chances? Really? Thanks!! ByteTheBullet (-:
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More times than not the prosecutor is willing let you plead to a less charge so they don't have to go through the trouble of a trial.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:55:14 PM EDT
Why do we have laws that generate widespread dissatisfaction and serve to only enrich local traffic courts and insurance companies?
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 1:59:32 PM EDT
hey, here's a wacky idea to save time, money, and personal injury. stop at the fucking stop signs. you did it,own up to it.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 8:44:09 PM EDT
Strange - The Index shows 18 replies with the last post by Dave G on 6/20/02 at 7:09:06. But Dave G never posted in the topic that I see. quietshoez was the 18th reply at Posted - 06/20/2002 : 17:59:32 Seems odd
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:21:12 PM EDT
Goto court and talk to the cop outside the courtroom. See if he will change the offense to something less (and with no points hopefully) if you agree to pled guilty. I've done this a few times. Most cops will do something like this if you don't act like an asshole on the traffic stop. The fine is the same but you save buy not getting the points.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:29:19 PM EDT
My post was in agreement with quietshoez, but was unacceptably low as far as the sarcasm level was concerned. Not to be one to leave a low quality post for everyone to see, I deleted it. Unless things have changed since I retired, you couldn't take Matt's advice in California. Once issued, only the court can reduce the charge, though the issuing officer can ask the court to do so. Hey Matt, aren't you a volunteer fireman?
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:35:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Here in a free state you have the right to face your accuser. If the cop doesn't show, you walk. Q(5 beaten taxe-er..tickets that way and counting)S
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This is an absolutely true story. Did you know there are actually only 49 sates in the US? It is true. I have it on good authority. When I was stattioned at Ft. Stewart I took some leave and went to see my family in LA. On the way I had to drive through Blackshear, GA which was a notorious speed trap. With that in mind I was studiously observing the speed limits. Naturally I got pulled over anyway by some snotty punk-ass kid who then proceeded to write me a ticket after acknowledging that I wasn't speeding. Ya see kids, folks who live in military towns hate soldiers until they go to war, then they miss the soldier's money so much they cry on CNN for them to come back, but that is a digression. So anyway, I went to fight it. In this huge court room were myself in my spiffy greens, a baliff, a DA, and the judge. It was kinda weird. The judge said: Judge-"So son, you were charged with going 65 in a 55. How do you plead?" Me-"Not guilt Your Honor." Judge-"Well OK. I am going to find you guilty. The fine is $150.00." "Me- "Uh, wait a minute Your Honor. The officer who wrote that ticket isn't here. I have a right to face my accuser." Judge-"Oh. Do you want to reschedule for when the officer can come by?" Me-"No Your Honor." Judge-"Then the fine is $150.00 dollars." Me-"No Your Honor, I am here at the court's request, not my own. I have the right to face my accuser and the state failed in it's duty. It wouldn't matter if I killed a man, according to the Constitution of the United States of America I walk. No fine, no nothing." The judge turned a very dangerous shade of purple, rose up from the bench, leaned over and bellowed, "BOY! This ain't the United Staes of America! This here's GEORGIA! now do you wanna pay the fine or do you wann go to jail!?" I squared my shoulders, stared steely eyed right back at him, and bravely said, "How much was the fine?" The guys with the most guns win. Mao would understand.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:48:04 PM EDT
I like Sukebe's answer for the most part. Being honest can help. There is no guarantee what the court will do, but be honest, admit your mistake and ask the court for some leniency. As someone said, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Do say that your a voting member of the public, that is like telling a cop, your his boss because you pay taxes, that is an insult to someone in that position. Where I work in NY, I prosecute my own traffic tickets, if someone was honest and respectful to me, they will get a break to a non-moving violation, I leave it up to the courts to decide what the fine should be. Court costs are usually not able to be waived. As for Aimless, what Dept's do you know that got free radar units? They don't do that anymore. That was a long time ago. I wish they did, because we could get some updated equipment. Oh yea, and if you think cops miss out on court, most love it. Where I work, it's 4 hours of time and a half, so a guaranteed $100 for about 30 minutes of work. I don't miss out on court!
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:49:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/20/2002 9:50:23 PM EDT by Philadelphia_GunMan]
Originally Posted By Dave_G: Unless things have changed since I retired, you couldn't take Matt's advice in California. Once issued, only the court can reduce the charge, though the issuing officer can ask the court to do so. Hey Matt, aren't you a volunteer fireman?
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No I am not a volunteer fireman. My dad is retired from the PFD.
Link Posted: 6/20/2002 9:53:55 PM EDT
Hey poikilotrm, that is great, I almost woke up my wife who was sleeping because I was laughing so hard. Sorry to hear that it went bad for you. But it was a great story. As for me, I am a cop, what you would look at and see as a punk-kid, but have been a cop for 7 years. I don't write military people tickets, unless they really deserve it, but lets not get that discussion started again. But thanks for protecting our country, I do appreciate it! God Bless you and all our soldiers!
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 8:47:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Jake75: I like Sukebe's answer for the most part. Do say that your a voting member of the public, that is like telling a cop, your his boss because you pay taxes, that is an insult to someone in that position.... Oh yea, and if you think cops miss out on court, most love it. Where I work, it's 4 hours of time and a half, so a guaranteed $100 for about 30 minutes of work. I don't miss out on court!
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The voter thing was a little misunderstood. Used tactfully you can use it to paint yourself as an overall good citizen. As far as missing court goes it's the same here. Court time is money. Missing court will result is disciplinary action. The days of Cops blowing off court went out long ago. Any story about beating a ticket because a cop didn't show up for court these days is suspect.
Link Posted: 6/21/2002 1:45:39 PM EDT
First the Georgia ticket story was a hoot... I received a ticket dropped because an Illinois State Trooper Didn't show up 2 times!! Ticket was for "bald rear motorcycle tire" can't remember exact legal mumbo jumbo on ticket. But what was funny was I had replaced the tire two weeks prior to the ticket because the previous tire picked up 2 nails!!! I had the receipt showing the tire was replaced prior to the ticket and was ready for court. All puffed up and saying not guilty.....First court session the trooper didn't show up so the judge rescheduled....second session I showed up, trooper didn't. Judge asked me why exactly I thought i was gonna get out of this ticket and I replied....New tire prior to ticket(2 weeks old), bike is out in parking lot if you would like to see for yourself your honor, judge smirks and speaks out loud"where is the officer", I replied The female trooper is not here sir!" Judge says(before I could say anything else"....Didn't we have to resched this previously...Yes sir this is the second time. Judge says do you have any objections(seemed as if he was leading me) for a resched, I said yes. He said clerk will give you a piece of paper to go get your license back. (BIG SMIRK).............Got off scott free! summer '93
Link Posted: 6/22/2002 8:31:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: The best way to beat any traffic citation is to get a bunch of continuances. The officer will eventually stop showing to the court appearances and you will be granted a not guilty plea without his/her testimony.
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Some comments ofn the cop not showing up urban legend. I am paid four hours of overtime just for setting foot in the courtroom. That figures out to about an extra $200.00 in my take home paycheck for each court appearance. That buys alot of ammo & range time. Usually I'm in and out of court in less than 20mins, but I still get paid for the half day. Since I run video my entire shift, and wont cite if the violation wasnt caught on video, I never lose in court. Usually, when the defendant gets up in the court room and lies about what happened, then me and the video tell/show the truth. The judge will impose the maximum fine allowed.
Link Posted: 6/23/2002 5:40:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/23/2002 5:42:48 AM EDT by Steve-in-VA]
Right- it is an urban legend. The majority of citizens, however, PAY the fine, not go to court and lie. That certainly does happen, however, it's not the norm. In attorney cases, most attorneys will be prepared enough to know what REALLY happened before trial (I have a pretty good relationship with most officers and either view the tape- if available- or talk to them well before trial).
Link Posted: 6/23/2002 7:07:40 AM EDT
Did you roll through it? Then you did it. Take your medicine like a man and pay it. Yeah, I know, no one around. I'd even ask if you rolled through it or if you almost stopped and it was auto. trans. creep. That's one of my main commissions while driving: If I can see clearly, its a slow creep. Technically, it's not a full stop, and someday I will get nailed. But, moving through a STOP, not a good idea.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 5:13:09 PM EDT
I love hearing about ways people THINK they can get out of a ticket. Like keep asking for a continuance, or "I walk if the cop doesn't show up", or the ever-popular "just mail in $101 check for the $100 fine and it'll screw up their computers and it'll never get cashed or entered as a conviction". Best advice: If you just want a lower fine, then show up, tell the truth, and apologize. State any mitigating factors, tell the judge you don't normally drive that fast (or roll a stopsign or whatever it is you did) and, if your state allows it, ask to do traffic school in exchange for a dismissal contingent on completing it. If you really think you're innocent, or you don't want any conviction, then hire a lawyer that handles traffic cases and tell him/her EVERYTHING. You might think you know the LAW just as well as the lawyer, but that lawyer is going to know a lot about the cop and the judge involved and he'll be able to give you a realistic idea of what might happen.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 5:51:54 PM EDT
I wait 10 seconds after a light turns green, saved myself a coouple of accidents by not getting hit, Stop signs are the same. And I love the OT, If it is a smart cop he makes it on his day off so he gets ot rather than when he is off duty. But talk to him before court, if you are resectful, it might just have it downgraded, all he has to do is talk to the Prosecuter. COntray to many peoples opinions, cops are just like everyone. Don't label all of us by the actions on an A**hole, most likely we think they are too.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 9:24:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2002 9:26:38 AM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By TheWind: But talk to him before court, if you are resectful, it might just have it downgraded, all he has to do is talk to the Prosecuter.
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Yeah, or he might just think you're a schmuck for trying to weasel your way out. Not to mention that in most areas prosecutors make the decisions about what charge to proceed under, and the cop's feeling really doesn't matter that much. The prosecutor looks at the case and evidence independently. Cops always let on that they can "cut you a break" or "talk to the prosecutor". Guess what-cops don't make the decision about what charge to prosecute, and most of the time the only thing an apology will get you is a reduction in sentence, IF you're lucky. It will also be used as evidence against you as a statement against interest. This is why you should not apologize at the scene, or any time after, even if you THINK they have you dead to rights. That's a statement against interest, and 99% of the time the cop's going to take the stand and say "The defendant stated that he was sorry that he did it." Bam. Guilty. Thanks for playing. Next time keep your mouth shut.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 2:10:59 PM EDT
dbrowne1, You are incorrect about cops not deciding what charge to use or prosecute. We're not talking about capitol felonies here, only traffic infractions. If the cops did not know which charge to use, they would not have been able to write the ticket without consulting the P.A.'s. The cops also see the P.A.'s quite often and often have a goos working relationship. It would not be a big deal as a cop to ask the P.A. to take it easy on the guy or reduce the fine. In smaller jurisdictions the cop would just ask the judge directly. Usually the P.A. would not be involved until it went to trial anyway. Many pleas are taken before anything goes to trial. As far as apologizing, I agree with you. However, lots (most?) people involved in court for traffic cases are going to deny they ever said such and say whatever they can to get off without paying a fine. In other words, they lie! It's all a game and you have to play by the rules . If I lose a case but did everything right it's not a big deal. I did my job, the system lost, not me. I can live with that. You can't take these things personally and I rarely have. If we go to court and you win, good for you!
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 3:59:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2002 4:04:03 PM EDT by Steve-in-VA]
Most states have two court levels at the local city/county courthouse. A lower/district court (like traffic/misd. court or small claims on the civil side) and a superiour/circuit court. Misdemeanors and traffic cases start off in lower court but can be appealed (by the defendant only- unless it was a suppression issue) to the superior/circuit court level where you "start anew". In a traffic case, the first trial is usually done without a prosecutor (in VA they are called Commonwealth Attorneys). This is the case in VA. There are exceptions, but they are rare (except with regard to 2nd offense DUIs and in some counties/cities even 1st offense DUIs). At any rate, the officer writes the charge in traffic and most misd. cases (except where a private citizen takes out a charge with a magistrate); a prosecutor/city attorney is not involved until and unless the case is appealed [i]de novo[/i] to the superior/circuit court. Then, the officer is still a key player, at least in VA, because he can be the difference between a break/no break situation. Happens every day in VA- trust me on that. At least in VA and in federal court (where the prosecutors of traffic offenses are JAGs federal court traffic cases are usually from military base violations), prosecutors HATE trying traffic cases and will often do whatever the officer wants (ie: "nail this asshole, he was a jerk when I pulled him" or "nolle pros this case, he's a nice guy"). In other words be nice to the officer and never underestimate what a little respect will get you in the long run. Now, if you have some real merit to a defense, then try it.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 4:27:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheWind: I wait 10 seconds after a light turns green, saved myself a couple of accidents by not getting hit, Stop signs are the same. quote] That is the stupidest thing I've heard yet. You would be amazed at the amount of accidents caused by SLOW, MOSTLY IGNORANT drivers, playing their little "Defensive Driving" game. If I had the unfortunate duty of being behind you everytime you waited 10 seconds at each green, I would nail you for impeding the flow of traffic. Im trying not to be an ass. Maybe you meant to write "ONE" second...3 seconds would even be OK, but 10 is completely unforgivable. Sorry
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 6:11:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/29/2002 6:13:06 PM EDT by dbrowne1]
Originally Posted By seb127: dbrowne1, You are incorrect about cops not deciding what charge to use or prosecute. We're not talking about capitol felonies here, only traffic infractions. If the cops did not know which charge to use, they would not have been able to write the ticket without consulting the P.A.'s. The cops also see the P.A.'s quite often and often have a goos working relationship. It would not be a big deal as a cop to ask the P.A. to take it easy on the guy or reduce the fine. In smaller jurisdictions the cop would just ask the judge directly. Usually the P.A. would not be involved until it went to trial anyway. Many pleas are taken before anything goes to trial.
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The INITIAL warrant/summons will always contain the charge that the cop chooses. Obviously this doesn't apply to charges or jurisdictions where the officer has to go before a magistrate and swear the facts and then the magistrate determines the charge. But we're talking traffic here. Example: I get nailed going 85 in a 65. That's reckless driving in VA (anything over 80 is reckless here). The cop writes me for reckless (they do this all the time...friend of mine got charged going 82 in a 65), releases me on summons. I could have been a total a$$ or a total gentleman, and the fact is that the CA is going to decide whether to proceed under the reckless charge or the lesser infraction of speeding. I'm sure the prosecutor will want to talk to the cop and get his opinion, but the cop's opinion is not determinative. The prosecutor makes the call. How much influence the cop has is going to depend on a lot of factors. Steve- Just a side note, you'll see "civilian" speeding cases in the Newport News federal magistrate court too. They come from places like the colonial parkway (which is federally owned and policed). No military folks involved as far as I know.
Link Posted: 6/30/2002 11:20:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/30/2002 11:27:43 AM EDT by Steve-in-VA]
Originally Posted By dbrowne1: The INITIAL warrant/summons will always contain the charge that the cop chooses. Obviously this doesn't apply to charges or jurisdictions where the officer has to go before a magistrate and swear the facts and then the magistrate determines the charge. But we're talking traffic here.
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Actually, that's exactly what happens in a DUI. The officer goes before the mag and a warrant is written (that's why you often see both a summons and a warrant in DUI cases). The mag also determines bond at that point.
Originally Posted By dbrowne1: Example: I get nailed going 85 in a 65. That's reckless driving in VA (anything over 80 is reckless here). The cop writes me for reckless (they do this all the time...friend of mine got charged going 82 in a 65), releases me on summons. I could have been a total a$$ or a total gentleman, and the fact is that the CA is going to decide whether to proceed under the reckless charge or the lesser infraction of speeding. I'm sure the prosecutor will want to talk to the cop and get his opinion, but the cop's opinion is not determinative. The prosecutor makes the call. How much influence the cop has is going to depend on a lot of factors.
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The commonwealth attorney, in most jurisdictions in VA, won't prosecute a reckless. There are a lot of exceptions like real small towns where they have nothing better to do or where the charge is ancillary to a felony or a DUI (in which case the reckless is dismissed), but, for the most part, it's the cops call. If you appeal, there is alsways a commonwealth attorney or city attorney on the case. Point being, when the prosecutor is involved, the cops opinion is OFTEN determinative. Don't kid yourself on this one. Most prosecutors of TRAFFIC cases could give two sh*ts about traffic cases (save for DUIs) and often leave it to the officer; ESPECIALLY in cases where you want the charge reduced. Again, I see it every week- and I've tried traffic cases from Manassas to Staunton (Don't ask me why a client pays me to go from VB to Staunton, sometimes they are just real good (and loyal) clients).
Originally Posted By dbrowne1: Steve- Just a side note, you'll see "civilian" speeding cases in the Newport News federal magistrate court too. They come from places like the colonial parkway (which is federally owned and policed). No military folks involved as far as I know.
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Right; mine was just an example. Speeding on any federal property will be prosecuted by the feds. I've tried such cases in NN mag court and they do, in fact, have military prosecutors. The last one I had involved illegal digging for war artifacts. Jag officer prosecuted. They will often be assigned to traffic cases as well (and they hate it).
Link Posted: 6/30/2002 11:31:05 AM EDT
See if you can speak to the county solicitor and have it reduced or dropped. It has been done and depending on the county solicitor you may get out of it altogether. Not long ago I know Cobb county had a guy in the solicitors office that would reduce or drop alomost anything with a good excuse. [beer]
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 5:45:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Steve-in-VA: Most states have two court levels at the local city/county courthouse. A lower/district court (like traffic/misd. court or small claims on the civil side) and a superiour/circuit court. Misdemeanors and traffic cases start off in lower court but can be appealed (by the defendant only- unless it was a suppression issue) to the superior/circuit court level where you "start anew". In a traffic case, the first trial is usually done without a prosecutor (in VA they are called Commonwealth Attorneys). This is the case in VA. There are exceptions, but they are rare (except with regard to 2nd offense DUIs and in some counties/cities even 1st offense DUIs). At any rate, the officer writes the charge in traffic and most misd. cases (except where a private citizen takes out a charge with a magistrate); a prosecutor/city attorney is not involved until and unless the case is appealed [i]de novo[/i] to the superior/circuit court. Then, the officer is still a key player, at least in VA, because he can be the difference between a break/no break situation. Happens every day in VA- trust me on that. At least in VA and in federal court (where the prosecutors of traffic offenses are JAGs federal court traffic cases are usually from military base violations), prosecutors HATE trying traffic cases and will often do whatever the officer wants (ie: "nail this asshole, he was a jerk when I pulled him" or "nolle pros this case, he's a nice guy"). In other words be nice to the officer and never underestimate what a little respect will get you in the long run. Now, if you have some real merit to a defense, then try it.
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If they cop thought that I was such a nice guy that he's recommending "nolle pros", then why not just let me walk at roadside?
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 6:16:55 AM EDT
Fatman, That was just an example. However, there is a whole host of reasons why this could happen (post arrest rehabilitation, traffic school, mitigating circumstances involving health, school, kids, insurance, whatever).
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:11:40 AM EDT
Say what you will. I've gotten out of four tickets in the last seven years because the cop didn't show for court. I'll take my chances with the court appearance, because even if I eventually have to pay one, if you amortize it against $0/0 points for the last four it's still cheap. QS
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 7:13:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sf46:
Originally Posted By QuietShootr: Here in a free state you have the right to face your accuser. If the cop doesn't show, you walk. Q(5 beaten taxe-er..tickets that way and counting)S
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If the officer works for even half of a self respecting department, he'll get in a pile of trouble for missing a court date even with continuances. I don't think hoping he'll miss court is a good strategy unless he works for Podunk/Corrupt P.D.
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one from Indianapolis Police, three from Marion County Sheriff dept....I won't comment on the above. QS
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 12:28:35 PM EDT
Well DA , you just see on asshole run a red light, you would understand. That pause saves lives. I do alot of time on a motorcycle and most car drivers do not even see us. So if you are behind me honk all you want..... I will be alive, you will be an......
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 9:09:57 PM EDT
I think you should bite the bullet.... Scott
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