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'[OT:] i need advice...'
2004\06\23@084301 by rrc124+

picon face
First I would like to say PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS INTO A RANT. I understand you all have different opinions of this situation, and all I am asking for is some advice from a group of very intelligent people... not for everyone to argue over stuff.

I was given a ticket for speeding. I was actually innocent. I know exactly why I was innocent, but the judge had a completely screwed up understanding of radar. I am appealing, but i want to make sure that the same thing does not happening again (ie. ignorant judge). This means that I need (official?) evidence and arguments of sorts that can be admisible in court. He said that because I was not a radar expert, nothing I said about radar had any bearing over what he told me was true (he said shape, speed, distance, and size of an object have NO baring on return from a radar gun). Here is a quick rundown of what happened.

I was going 70 mph in my sleak red sporty car. An SUV was flying up behind me. The cop clocked me at 92. I argued that he actually clocked the SUV but because he had the radar mounted on the back of his unit, he simply heard the tone of the radar unit, looked up into his mirror, saw two cars, and chose the faster looking one.
I argued that the SUV had a very good chance (perhaps even a larger one) of generating a return on the radar because it was larger, boxier, traveling faster (meaning a larger frequency shift) and since the cop did not know the effective range of the radar unit, who is to say the SUV was NOT in the active space of the radar.

Again, I _AM_ no radar expert.. but the judge argued things such as: "radar is pretty flawless" (a direct quote) that it automatically will pick out the closest object and ignore everything else. That my car was blocking the radar's view of the suv anyway because i was in front of the SUV, even though I tried to explain that any one point in a triange sees the other two points as side by side (the cop car was far off to the side of the road, creating a triangle). I asked the judge if size shape, etc don't matter, why is a 747 picked up on radar more easily then lets say a fly or a bird. he responded with "birds sometimes are" missing the point entirely.

Overall I don't want to rant about my taffic court experience. All I am asking for is advice from people who have experienced something like this, and for all you engineers out there with more experience and knowledge of radar to offer any advice you have. I need to prove in my appeal that size, shape, etc DO help decide the radar return but i don't know how to do it. Is it good enough in court to bring in a textbook? Should I attempt writing to a "Radar expert" to have my claims notorized as true? I'm lost as to how i can prove and push my case. Thank you everyone. You can respond to: spam_OUTrrc124TakeThisOuTspampitt.edu so we don't bombard the PIClist with posts.
Robert Campbell

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2004\06\23@091716 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>Overall I don't want to rant about my traffic court experience.
> All I am asking for is advice from ... and for all you engineers
> out there ... to offer any advice you have.

> I need to prove in my appeal that ...
> Should I attempt writing to a "Radar expert" to have my claims
> notarised as true?

If I were in your position I would try to enlist expert help. Odds are that
there are organisations dying to champion such causes and they may do so for
free.

> You can respond to: rrc124spamKILLspampitt.edu so we don't bombard the PIClist with
posts.

Sounds like a valid onlist OT topic to me - SO FAR.
Won't stay that way if we do get into rant mode, as you say.

_________________

A few quick comments. I'm sure there will be much more on this.
We should leave your assertions of innocence out of consideration as they
alone do not help you at all in court.

- IMHO the judge sounds like an idiot, but don't tell him that :-) He MAY
perhaps be right in general conclusion but he does not understand what he is
dealing with.

- In the situation you describe, it is definitely possible in some
circumstances for the SUV to have been detected rather than you. Whether
this is so or liable to have been so in your case (leaving aside your
assurances) is a matter of specific detail. A radar expert shown the
specific details could provide a better opinion.

- In this country there are (or were in the past) rules which disallow(ed)
the use of radar when there were two vehicles in the beam. Producing such
rules, even if not from your country, may be of assistance in your case.

- Some radars ARE able to differentiate between multiple vehicles in the
beam at the same time and it is certainly technically possible to pick the
1st, last or nth at will. If you think of a visual radar where there are
multiple moving blips on a display, it is obviously easy to visually
discriminate. A traffic radar could easily enough be made to do the same.
Whether this is the case depends on the radar in use and you would need to
have specific knowledge of the equipment in use to properly defend yourself.

- If the radar used is capable of multi target use and is designed to
identify eg the closest vehicle, then you will have a much harder job.
Multiple vehicles can indeed produce a result which is a function of the
two. Proving or disproving that this is the case or probably the case would
be difficult for all but an expert (and then even for her probably).

- Size of vehicle will affect strength of return, as may angle of incidence,
surface finish and possibly also accessories etc which may provide some form
of resonant structure at the wavelength used. The strength of return should
not be a major issue in properly designed modern equipment.

- If the cop saw both vehicles and saw that the SUV was travelling 20 mph
faster than you, as he quite possibly did, then they are probably a liar to
some extent and your chances of success are reduced. Without a witness that
there WAS a SUV present and that it WAS going faster than you then you are
probably in a difficult situation.

- You obviously should sell your sportscar and get an SUV :-)


       Russell McMahon

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2004\06\23@095707 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>- In the situation you describe, it is definitely possible in some
>circumstances for the SUV to have been detected rather than you. Whether
>this is so or liable to have been so in your case (leaving aside your
>assurances) is a matter of specific detail. A radar expert shown the
>specific details could provide a better opinion.

There was a photo as part of an article about speed radar guns, in an
Australian electronics mag around 10-15 years ago illustrating exactly this
happening. IIRC they used an MX5 (miata) or similar shaped sports car, and a
large truck, Kenworth or similar, to show that exactly this sort of anomaly
can happen. It would have been in a Silicon Chip or Electronics Australia.

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2004\06\23@095910 by David VanHorn

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>
>I was given a ticket for speeding. I was actually innocent. I know exactly why I was innocent, but the judge had a completely screwed up understanding of radar. I am appealing, but i want to make sure that the same thing does not happening again (ie. ignorant judge). This means that I need (official?) evidence and arguments of sorts that can be admisible in court. He said that because I was not a radar expert, nothing I said about radar had any bearing over what he told me was true (he said shape, speed, distance, and size of an object have NO baring on return from a radar gun). Here is a quick rundown of what happened.

An incident very similar to this, ended up with me being arrested for contempt of court in Hawaii.   They only accept testimony from the officer, and the company that made the radar gun.

It's revenue enhancement at it's finest.

FWIW, it almost certainly was picking up the larger, faster target.
Also, the beamwidth is pretty wide, hard for the officer to know what it's painting. Another reason I'm in favour of laser, at least you know what you're painting.

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2004\06\23@101324 by rrc124+

picon face
"- If the cop saw both vehicles and saw that the SUV was travelling 20 mph
faster than you, as he quite possibly did, then they are probably a liar to
some extent and your chances of success are reduced. Without a witness that
there WAS a SUV present and that it WAS going faster than you then you are
probably in a difficult situation."


I understood that telling the judge that they cop was perhaps lying would only make me look worse. What I instead argued -and very well could have been the case- is that the cop set his radar unit to sound a tone if it detected a car traveling over a certain speed threshold (this can be done in some radar units I understand, and I have the cop on record saying that his radar unit sounded a tone when it clocked me). He also said that the radar unit was mounted on the back of his car pointed behind him. What I argued was that the officer was probably sitting there looking around or whatever, heard the tone sound, looked up into his mirror, saw two cars, and chose the flashier one. The judge then proceeded to tear me a new a-hole and tell me that i was "profiling myself" and that the cop never testified that he chose my car because it looked faster, hence the officer never actually did anything of that sort. This is in PA btw. The cop then went on to say that he had his eyes on the mirror during the entire process, from the first appearence of my car to the automatic detection. Very frustrating. Thank you to everyone who is offering up advice.




--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Russell McMahon" <@spam@apptechKILLspamspamPARADISE.NET.NZ>
To:   <KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 6/23/2004 9:17:06 AM

>Overall I don't want to rant about my traffic court experience.
> All I am asking for is advice from ... and for all you engineers
> out there ... to offer any advice you have.

> I need to prove in my appeal that ...
> Should I attempt writing to a "Radar expert" to have my claims
> notarised as true?

If I were in your position I would try to enlist expert help. Odds are that
there are organisations dying to champion such causes and they may do so for
free.

> You can respond to: RemoveMErrc124TakeThisOuTspampitt.edu so we don't bombard the PIClist with
posts.

Sounds like a valid onlist OT topic to me - SO FAR.
Won't stay that way if we do get into rant mode, as you say.

_________________

A few quick comments. I'm sure there will be much more on this.
We should leave your assertions of innocence out of consideration as they
alone do not help you at all in court.

- IMHO the judge sounds like an idiot, but don't tell him that :-) He MAY
perhaps be right in general conclusion but he does not understand what he is
dealing with.

- In the situation you describe, it is definitely possible in some
circumstances for the SUV to have been detected rather than you. Whether
this is so or liable to have been so in your case (leaving aside your
assurances) is a matter of specific detail. A radar expert shown the
specific details could provide a better opinion.

- In this country there are (or were in the past) rules which disallow(ed)
the use of radar when there were two vehicles in the beam. Producing such
rules, even if not from your country, may be of assistance in your case.

- Some radars ARE able to differentiate between multiple vehicles in the
beam at the same time and it is certainly technically possible to pick the
1st, last or nth at will. If you think of a visual radar where there are
multiple moving blips on a display, it is obviously easy to visually
discriminate. A traffic radar could easily enough be made to do the same.
Whether this is the case depends on the radar in use and you would need to
have specific knowledge of the equipment in use to properly defend yourself.

- If the radar used is capable of multi target use and is designed to
identify eg the closest vehicle, then you will have a much harder job.
Multiple vehicles can indeed produce a result which is a function of the
two. Proving or disproving that this is the case or probably the case would
be difficult for all but an expert (and then even for her probably).

- Size of vehicle will affect strength of return, as may angle of incidence,
surface finish and possibly also accessories etc which may provide some form
of resonant structure at the wavelength used. The strength of return should
not be a major issue in properly designed modern equipment.

- If the cop saw both vehicles and saw that the SUV was travelling 20 mph
faster than you, as he quite possibly did, then they are probably a liar to
some extent and your chances of success are reduced. Without a witness that
there WAS a SUV present and that it WAS going faster than you then you are
probably in a difficult situation.

- You obviously should sell your sportscar and get an SUV :-)


       Russell McMahon

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2004\06\23@110220 by Kenneth Lumia

picon face
My Advice:  Pay the fine.  Justify it as payment for all the times
you were speeding and didn't get caught.  Is it unfair or untrue?
Too bad - the legal system is not about what is true or fair,
only what can be proved to a "reasonable" jury or judge.
If everyone who claimed that "it was somebody else" could
try and justify their position by what "they" say in court, no
one would ever get a ticket.  Only (maybe) good professional
witnesses could testify for you - a piece of paper that they
have notorized is probably not sufficient as the
judge/prosecution can't ask it questions.  What you need
is either an impartial witness or video tape.  Of course with
the video, you still need the professional witnesses to tell the
judge the distance and time you traversed in order to show
the speed you were really going (maybe one of those
P.E.'s or P.Eng's :) ).  Not to mention you need a good lawyer
to represent you.  From your other replies, saying the police
were liars won't get you anywhere, the judge has heard it
before and won't like it.  Unless you can show that the
equipment was out of calibration or reasonably prove that
the radar actually did and not may have, locked onto the other
car you're out of luck.  Life ain't fair, cut your losses, pay
the fine (and traffic school and higher insurance).

Note that I'm not a laywer so the above may be entirely wrong.

Ken



>Overall I don't want to rant about my traffic court experience.
> All I am asking for is advice from ... and for all you engineers
> out there ... to offer any advice you have.

> I need to prove in my appeal that ...
> Should I attempt writing to a "Radar expert" to have my claims
> notarised as true?

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2004\06\23@111523 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
Like I said: suck it up, or move to Europe.  Your choice.

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\23@114102 by John Ferrell

face picon face
Being right will not win your case.
Red sports cars and young guys get more than their share of the tickets.
Life is not always fair....


John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\23@114310 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 11:01 AM 6/23/2004 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Alternately, he could talk to one of the paralegal types-
here we have "Points" and "X-Copper" (former police officers).

The courts have their own language and principles and really are a dispute
resolution mechanism that has little to do with "justice" per se
and more to do with the maintenance of a framework of rules and
penalties. If you don't argue your case within that set
framework (remember, it's the lawyers and the police who set and
know the rules respectively, and judges are lawyers by training)
you can expect to lose, just like someone arguing an engineering matter
without knowing the language and the basics would never succeed in a room
full of P.E.'s P. Eng's.

The penalties for a ticket and demerit points be quite substantial- not
so much the ticket itself, but the increases in insurance rates.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2004\06\23@114723 by Bob Blick

face picon face
> do it. Is it good enough in court to bring in a textbook? Should I attempt
> writing to a "Radar expert" to have my claims notorized as true? I'm lost
> as to how i can prove and push my case.

I have two points to make.

The first is that human testimony carries way more weight in court than
anything on paper. So if you can drag an expert witness in to court, do
it.

However, if you can prove to the judge in any way that radar is not
infallable, you have a chance.

For instance, try to find one of those automatic radar speed trailers
you'll sometime see parked by the side of the road. Yes, the ones that say
"speed limit xx" "your speed xx"". Take pictures and video of it and
traffic until you get some clearly false readings. Put together a good
presentation. That and your sworn testimony that you were not speeding
should give you a good shot at dismissal.

YMMV, IANAL, etc.

Cheers,

Bob

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2004\06\23@115347 by rrc124+

picon face
A few people have told me to simply cut my loses and just accept the citation. This is not an option. It is hard enough paying for college, and I simply cannot afford the increase in insurance that this 5 point ticket would result in. In addition the simple idea that justice can be so easily ransacked by those within the system makes me sick and frustrated. This is my first court experience, and perhaps I am naive in thinking that the system works in most cases, but I will try again on the assumption that this was a fluke and that I was not prepared enough. I will be doing all that I can to fight this. So though I see the point of those calling for me to just accept things as they stand, it is not an option I can take.


--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Spehro Pefhany" <RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspamspamINTERLOG.COM>
To:   <EraseMEPICLISTspamspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 6/23/2004 11:53:52 AM

At 11:01 AM 6/23/2004 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Alternately, he could talk to one of the paralegal types-
here we have "Points" and "X-Copper" (former police officers).

The courts have their own language and principles and really are a dispute
resolution mechanism that has little to do with "justice" per se
and more to do with the maintenance of a framework of rules and
penalties. If you don't argue your case within that set
framework (remember, it's the lawyers and the police who set and
know the rules respectively, and judges are lawyers by training)
you can expect to lose, just like someone arguing an engineering matter
without knowing the language and the basics would never succeed in a room
full of P.E.'s P. Eng's.

The penalties for a ticket and demerit points be quite substantial- not
so much the ticket itself, but the increases in insurance rates.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2004\06\23@120629 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> A few people have told me to simply cut my loses and just accept the citation. This is not an option. It is hard enough paying for college, and I simply cannot afford the increase in insurance that this 5 point ticket would result in. In addition the simple idea that justice can be so easily ransacked by those within the system makes me sick and frustrated. This is my first court experience, and perhaps I am naive in thinking that the system works in most cases, but I will try again on the assumption that this was a fluke and that I was not prepared enough. I will be doing all that I can to fight this. So though I see the point of those calling for me to just accept things as they stand, it is not an option I can take.

Last time I got a ticket (the second time in 30 years of driving)
I calculated the total costs of the ticket and then the total costs
of fighting the ticket.

I paid the ticket.

The bare minimum for a lawyer to fight my case would have been $400. In
addition to that somebody would have to come to the scene and see if
there were rubber marks from the necessary breaking. I would have to have
an expert witness. All of this was in addition to the $400.

In addition, I live in a relatively small place. The lawyer said that
if I fought the ticket, win or lose the cops would remember me.

My advice is to pay the ticket and get a used sedan. Something boring
and broken in, but not noticible.

This will lower your insurance premium quite a bit (sports cars pay
a premium), and you'll be less noticed by the cops.

Of course, I am not a lawyer and I live in a different state (PA) than
you do. I'm not in your position.

If you fight the ticket, I would strongly recommend that you talk with
a legal professional.
--
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KILLspamjayspamBeGonespamsprucegrove.com     !       as God and Robert Heinlein intended.
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2004\06\23@122458 by redtock8

flavicon
face
Try these links.

http://www.nolo.com/index.cfm
Click on "cars and Tickets" in left column

http://www.speedtrap.org/

http://www.beartraps.com/

http://www.citebuster.com/

http://www.speeding-ticket-info.com/?se=100

http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/speed.html

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\23@124232 by David Koski

flavicon
face
On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 12:02:45 -0400
"D. Jay Newman" <@spam@jay@spam@spamspam_OUTSPRUCEGROVE.COM> wrote:

> Last time I got a ticket (the second time in 30 years of driving)
> I calculated the total costs of the ticket and then the total costs
> of fighting the ticket.

ITOH, the last time I got a ticket (it was for speeding) I read a book on how to
beat it--and won. You have to know the law and how the system works. I first
called a lawyer and he laughed and said, "good luck!"  Yes, it sucks.

David Koski
spamBeGonedavid.nosphamspamKILLspamKosmosIsland.com
!.nospham

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2004\06\23@124650 by D. Jay Newman

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> "D. Jay Newman" <TakeThisOuTjay.....spamTakeThisOuTSPRUCEGROVE.COM> wrote:
>
> > Last time I got a ticket (the second time in 30 years of driving)
> > I calculated the total costs of the ticket and then the total costs
> > of fighting the ticket.
>
> ITOH, the last time I got a ticket (it was for speeding) I read a book on how to
> beat it--and won. You have to know the law and how the system works. I first
> called a lawyer and he laughed and said, "good luck!"  Yes, it sucks.

I truely hope he wins. I *really* don't like communities using speeding
tickets as a revenue source. I was speeding, just not anywhere near the
speed that the cop claimed.
--
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2004\06\23@124858 by Kenneth Lumia

picon face
Just a few comments:

1. I really do hope you win.

2. It's rather unlikely you will win as the proverbial
  deck is stacked against you.

3. As a college student (I assume engineering) you should
do what is called cost-benefit analysis.  Determine (roughly)
the time and expense to put together a good defense
based on what the legal system wants, not what an
engineer can provide.  This means you're going to need a
lawyer to provide the legal framework. Then determine
the cost (insurance and otherwise) of just paying the fine.
Remember you are a college student - that should be
your priority, not what is "right" in the legal system. Don't
neglect your studies for the sake of this "project".

4. Yes, you are naive.  Thank goodness someone in
the world still thinks there should be fairness in life. Eventually
you may become as jaded as I am and just decide that the
best you can do is attempt to stay ethical while realising that
sometimes people or events just screw you.

5. Please let the list know how this turns out.

Ken

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\23@133015 by Ben Hencke

picon face
Fight it tooth and nails, but don't bankrupt yourself doing it.

The only advice I can offer is this:
Never take the easier and less moral path. That leads to erosion of
character and eventually corruption. Never should anyone willfully and
knowingly choose to support an injustice because it is inconvenient.

On another note: I had a friend that got a ticket for 50mph in a 25.
The cop said he was following him for a mile and timed him and used
that to calc 50mph. My friend took the time, and distance the cop said
he followed him and showed the court he was really doing 35mph. He
still got a ticket for 50.

Best of luck,
- Ben

On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 12:48:17 -0400, Kenneth Lumia <RemoveMEklumiaspamspamBeGoneadelphia.net> wrote:
>
> Just a few comments:
>
> 1. I really do hope you win.
>
> 2. It's rather unlikely you will win as the proverbial
>   deck is stacked against you.
>

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2004\06\23@144008 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>On another note: I had a friend that got a ticket for 50mph in a 25.
>The cop said he was following him for a mile and timed him and used
>that to calc 50mph. My friend took the time, and distance the cop said
>he followed him and showed the court he was really doing 35mph. He
>still got a ticket for 50.

The laws of physics apparently have no legal standing. :)

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2004\06\23@151656 by rrc124+

picon face
I definitely cannot afford a lawyer. Hell, I even will have a hard time buying any textbooks I need to back myself up. I'm hoping I can survive on two sources:
1) the PA State Police Radar training manual (I assume one exists, hopefully very similar to the one previously posted by Dave Wheeler http://www.ukspeedtraps.co.uk/frames.htm ) because it will hopefully explain the same principles of size, shape, speed, etc all having valid influence. What better evidence then the state trooper's own manual? And I was reading up on PA law and there is this Right-To-Know law that allows me to request for certain records (http://www.psp.state.pa.us/psp/cwp/view.asp?a=4&q=160408) which hopefully the training manual is considered.

2) the operator's manual for the radar gun used. Unfortunitly I forgot the name of the unit the officer said during the trial, but I know I can request this information from the state police and get a court order if they don't give it to me. Hopefully this will back up the claims in the PA SP Radar Training manual about how this unit can register a larger, faster, boxier object before a smaller sleeker one, etc.

The PA State Police charges a small fee for these records so hopefully that won't kill me. Missing a second day of work, another 2.5 hour drive's worth of gas, and toll on the turnpike might. But..
I also bought a book on beating traffic tickets. It was written by a cop and provided some useful information such as what records you have a right to request and how to pick them apart, things to do when pulled over such as recording the entire event and requesting to see the actual reading, tuning fork, etc right then and there. If there is serious interest I could list the documents he suggest you request and a brief overview of picking them apart. I assume an overview like this wouldn't break any copyright laws? Last thing i need right now...

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2004\06\23@153606 by Walter Banks

picon face
rrc124+@PITT.EDU wrote:
>
>I asked the judge if size shape, etc don't matter, why is a 747 picked up on radar more easily then lets say a fly or a bird. he responded with "birds sometimes are" missing the point entirely.
>

I was flying on an air route in New York state a few years ago and ATC advised me of unidentified traffic. Three Canada geese. I was 44 Miles from the radar at the time.

Unfortunately I agree most tickets like yours are very hard to beat. You might get lucky with a unit out of calibration or a known defect and an expert witness. It is likely that the courts won't believe you unless your willing to pay more that the ticket
to prove you are innocent.

Many years ago I had a summer job at the Canadian Department of Transport (who were also responsible for communications in Canada at the time) The head of the labs was stopped by the Ottawa police department for speeding duly measured by radar. This was
carefully explained by the officer. After the police wrote out the ticket the head of the labs (also a radio inspector) asked for the transmitter license or a DOT exemption number. When neither could be produced he confiscated the illegal transmitter
until it was properly licensed. Kept all of the imported radar sets off the streets for the summer. (The ticket was canceled)

w..

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2004\06\23@173025 by Ken Pergola

flavicon
face
Hello Robert Campbell,

I'm not sure if this will help you, but when I was in college something
similar (speeding ticked/clocked with radar) happened to me.

I did the following:

1) Requested a supporting deposition.

2) My brother advised me to dress very nicely at the court appearance (white
shirt, tie, dress pants, shoes, good shave) and be very polite.

3) The officer called me in the office and we chatted. I told him that the
biggest problem was how this would cost me in car insurance over several
years - the ticket was only a small fee compared to this.

4) He offered a bargain - plead guilty to a lesser 'moving violation' and
that the speeding incident would not go on my insurance, or plead innocent
and take my chances. I'm not a gambler, so I swallowed my pride.

5) The judge conferred with the officer.

I paid a fee, but the speeding incident never went on my car insurance
record or affected my SDIP points. I'm not sure if #2 did it, but I sure
stood out in court compared to some of the others there. My brother taught
me a valuable lesson.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I think is the reason I designed a digital
speedometer for my car several months later -- so a lot of good came out of
that incident.

Best regards and good luck Robert! I'm rooting for you! Let us know how you
make out, ok?

Ken Pergola

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2004\06\23@185211 by John Ferrell

face picon face
In North Carolina hiring an attorney can usually greatly reduce or eliminate
the charges. Of course the fee for the attorney is close to $1000. You
usually don't have to appear in court.
It don't seem right, but it works that way.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\23@193101 by Anthony Toft

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2004-06-23 at 18:51, John Ferrell wrote:
> In North Carolina hiring an attorney can usually greatly reduce or eliminate
> the charges. Of course the fee for the attorney is close to $1000. You
> usually don't have to appear in court.
> It don't seem right, but it works that way.

prepaid legal will go to court for you on a non DUI case, free at time
of service (you pay monthly fees)

Not a seller, just a customer

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2004\06\24@031717 by hael Rigby-Jones

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: D. Jay Newman [spamBeGonejayEraseMEspamSPRUCEGROVE.COM]
>
>My advice is to pay the ticket and get a used sedan. Something
>boring and broken in, but not noticible.
>
>This will lower your insurance premium quite a bit (sports
>cars pay a premium), and you'll be less noticed by the cops.


Surely this is a fundamental violation of the freedom that Americans are so
protective of?  Why should he not be able to drive a sports car without
discrimination?

My (very limited) experience of the US highway police was not good.  On a
vacation my fiance and I stayed with friends in New Jersey, and managed to
get a lift down to DC with one of their parents.  He was a very steady
driver, but we got pulled about 100 yards after a set of traffic lights. The
officer claimed we had been speeding, all of us in the car knew we had not
even reached the speed limit.  After getting the ticket our friends father
explained he would simply have to pay up and that arguing against the police
over there was futile.  He also said that mobile speed traps mostly picked
on out of state cars.  "To serve and to protect" eh?  To serve tickets
apparently.

Generaly if you get a ticket from a cop in the UK (as opposed to a speed
camera), you have either done something stupid, or you have "attitude".
There will always be exceptions of course but my experience with UK traffic
police has been for the most part a positive experience.  Interestingly a
significant number of trafpols belive that speed cameras in the UK are for
revenue generation and do not improve road safety.

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\24@051813 by ahid Sheikh

flavicon
face
My thoughts on this are to just pay the fine, take a defensive driving
class and get the points off your record. And maybe get rid of that
sports car. Will make it a bit easier for you to buy text books (not
meant to be a rant but a very friendly suggestion.) Then after you
graduate, start your own company, and your company goes IPO in a big
way, you can buy not just one sports car but hundreds of them.

I got 5 or so tickets in my 13 years I lived in the States. Only one of
them went to court which was for reckless driving resulting in an
accident. It was about 6 am and I had been driving all night on my way
from Atlanta GA to Washington DC to start my first job after graduation,
I was drowsy at the wheel, major traffic jam at potomac mills where the
traffic came to a sudden halt, I slammed on the brakes but it was too
late and I hit the car in front of me which then hit two others in front
of it.

What saved me in court was a gentle demeanor and an excuse that the
pavement was wet because of light drizzle and the car was loaded with
all my stuff. The charges were dropped to an "Unavoidable accident
circumstance" and they let me go. Plus I let my lawyer (a friend that
represented me for free) do all the talking.
The courts simply don't have time to hear arguments on traffic violation
charges. And if you stand there and start to argue no matter how valid
your argument, even the best of judges start to get irritated because
they have a ton of other cases to deal with.

All other tickets were where I was speeding about 10 mph over the limit
on back roads, usually late at night, tired, and trying to get back home
from work quickly. Always told the cop like it was and in most cases
only got a "failure to obey a posted sign" violation. In one case the
cop even started to chat about my VW and I had to excuse myself by
telling him that I was really tired and wanted to get home soon.
A comment was made about that system not being always fair. Let me tell
you the system in the US does work in most cases. In fact it works in
almost all cases. Amongst all the places I have lived in the world, the
States been the best. Its where you will find the most level headed,
unprejudiced people and the best atmosphere to work and raise a family
in. I'm sure there are many other fantastic places in the world to live
an work in but the States is definitely one of the best. I've been very
thankful for getting a chance to go to school there and am looking
forward to moving back there end of this year.

Shahid

{Original Message removed}

2004\06\24@081018 by D. Jay Newman

flavicon
face
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: D. Jay Newman [.....jay@spam@spamEraseMESPRUCEGROVE.COM]
> >
> >My advice is to pay the ticket and get a used sedan. Something
> >boring and broken in, but not noticible.
> >
> >This will lower your insurance premium quite a bit (sports
> >cars pay a premium), and you'll be less noticed by the cops.

> Surely this is a fundamental violation of the freedom that Americans are so
> protective of?  Why should he not be able to drive a sports car without
> discrimination?

Unfortunately it's also human nature.

The OP has the freedom to drive any legal car he wants to. The police
have the freedom to make mistakes.

In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have guessed?

> My (very limited) experience of the US highway police was not good.  On a

I'm not arguing. I think that many places, especially Pennsylvania (one list
lists the entire state as a speed trap), use speeding tickets as a source
of revenue. I do not think that this is the intent of the laws.

I live in State College, PA, which is a large football town connected with
a university (Penn State). There is a lot of revenue generated through
speeding tickets that are pretty close to entrapment.

However, the speeding laws are there for a purpose, and sometimes the
police do seem to be trying to help keep the traffic safe.

Even worse than the police is the judicial system. Unless you've got some
*really* good proof and know the legalites, your main hope of beating
a ticket is that the policeman who gave you the ticket can't show up
at court.

> explained he would simply have to pay up and that arguing against the police
> over there was futile.  He also said that mobile speed traps mostly picked
> on out of state cars.  "To serve and to protect" eh?  To serve tickets
> apparently.

Ayup. No argument.

However, I do find a couple of things very fishy in the OP's story.

He's driving an expensive car and yet can barely afford the time/mileage
to get to the appeals court.

I stand by my advice: sell the car and buy something that doesn't stand
out. It's not fair, but fancy cars get more tickets.

I wish the system was fair. I also wish that there would be penalties to
the police for making mistakes. For instance, if the OP can prove his
case (as opposed to just raising reasonable doubt), I think that *all*
of his expenses should be paid by the policeman (not the police in general,
but rather out of that man's pocket).
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2004\06\24@083339 by rrc124+

picon face
"However, I do find a couple of things very fishy in the OP's story.

He's driving an expensive car and yet can barely afford the time/mileage
to get to the appeals court."

It may sound fishy because you have an extremely limited understanding of the situation. The car was a gift from my parents on my 18th birthday. Also, I said it was a "red sporty car", not a sports car. It is a used 1999 Dodge Avenger ES in very good condition. It costs my parents $15k, minus the $5k I threw in when I was 18 which I had gotten from getting lucky buying my first stocks. I _do_ have limited cash these days because my engineering internship, which used to pay $14/hr, now pays $7/hr because the economy went south. I pay all rent, books, food, , car insurance, and as much tution as my loans don't cover.
Does anybody know how to get an operators manual for a radar gun? I contacted two radar gun companies (not knowing which the cop used as of yet) and both have not been very helpful. I'm thinking they know that people might want the manuals to fight tickets in court, yet don't want to provide them to just anybody because the more people winning these cases, the less credibility and sales these guns might have.





--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "D. Jay Newman" <jayEraseMEspam@spam@SPRUCEGROVE.COM>
To:   <RemoveMEPICLISTspamspamBeGoneMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 6/24/2004 8:06:15 AM

> >{Original Message removed}

2004\06\24@094041 by David VanHorn

flavicon
face
>
>In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
>policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
>a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
>the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
>legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have guessed?

However, when accusing someone of a crime, even a misdemeanor, we should not be relying on a guess.

Innocent until proven guilty is a very important point.
The theory is that while this may let some guilty go free, they will eventually repeat their crime (or some other thing) and be caught.

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2004\06\24@095912 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
This gets closer to a rant than most so far.
Be careful when commenting so the thread does not (quite reasonably) die an
early death at admins hands.

> >In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
> >policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
> >a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
> >the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
> >legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have guessed?

This is what's at the heart of what's wrong with the attitude to "justice"
in the US amd many places elsewhere in the "free world". The values and
rights which were held dear as a matter of principle are being eroded by
expediency. No disrespect meant, but the fact that a respectable member of
the community is here defending the inexcuseable is a good illustration of
this. We get used to the slow changes which erode the basic principles on
which the system is built. Some of this is done from greed (revenue etc),
some from fear (911 etc). The "cooked frog" principle applies. Heatthe water
slowly and you never notice.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. "

This may sound strange coming from me, who was seen apparently defending
speed restrictions etc. What I support is the observation of arrangements
that we have mutually agreed on - until such time as we agree to change
them. I can live with people mutually agreeing on new arrangements, even if
I don't support what they agree on :-). It's the change by force, stealth
and drift that is dangerous.

> However, when accusing someone of a crime, even a misdemeanor, we should
not be relying on a guess.
> Innocent until proven guilty is a very important point.

Absolutely. Fundamental and foundational and, apparently, completely lacking
in this case.

> The theory is that while this may let some guilty go free, they will
eventually repeat their crime (or some other thing) and be caught.

Regardless of WHY the principle was established, and the above is only part
of the reason, the principle is key.



       RM

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2004\06\24@103314 by rrc124+

picon face
I do not want this to become a rant and get killed. I think this thread has the possibility of not only helping me, but others on the list like me who want real suggestions from a pool of engineers on defending themselves in traffic court.

So a few more questions:

Does anyone know if traffic court is like criminal court, where the state must PROVE that you are guilty BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT? So, would it be enough to introduce SOME measure of doubt as to the complete guilt of the subject? This would be much easier then lets say a traffic court mentality of the civil courts which if I remember correctly is something like... you just have to show that there is reasable proof of guilt.. or something.

My second question is going to be VERY controversial and I will never mention it again at the request of the admins, nor can i stress enough that i do not want this starting fights.
Has anyone every built a radar jamming device, perhaps one like:

http://www.textfiles.com/anarchy/MISCHIEF/radarjamming.txt

The reason I ask this is because I feel like in the end, I will lose this case no matter how much proof I give. I feel like the cards -at least in PA- are stacked against the citizens when it comes to traffic court. Between ignorant judges who automatically side with cops, to speed traps, to the difficulty in arguing physics to judges.. whatever, I PERSONALLY BELIEVE that I should give myself some power. If they are unfair in using the law, why can I not play on the same field? Please nobody start arguing the metrits of this idea, I think it was even talked about a week ago or so on OT. All I ask is that if anyone can offer help or advice in making such a device, I would be very thankful. Whether or not this device is legal in whatever location on earth i chose to use it, that should not come into play in my opinion because i take full responsibility for how I use any offered information. Thank you to everyone, and I appologize if this upsets some people. I'm just so frustrated and feel defenseless.





--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Russell McMahon" <spamBeGoneapptech@spam@spamPARADISE.NET.NZ>
To:   <RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 6/24/2004 9:59:15 AM

This gets closer to a rant than most so far.
Be careful when commenting so the thread does not (quite reasonably) die an
early death at admins hands.

> >In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
> >policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
> >a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
> >the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
> >legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have guessed?

This is what's at the heart of what's wrong with the attitude to "justice"
in the US amd many places elsewhere in the "free world". The values and
rights which were held dear as a matter of principle are being eroded by
expediency. No disrespect meant, but the fact that a respectable member of
the community is here defending the inexcuseable is a good illustration of
this. We get used to the slow changes which erode the basic principles on
which the system is built. Some of this is done from greed (revenue etc),
some from fear (911 etc). The "cooked frog" principle applies. Heatthe water
slowly and you never notice.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. "

This may sound strange coming from me, who was seen apparently defending
speed restrictions etc. What I support is the observation of arrangements
that we have mutually agreed on - until such time as we agree to change
them. I can live with people mutually agreeing on new arrangements, even if
I don't support what they agree on :-). It's the change by force, stealth
and drift that is dangerous.

> However, when accusing someone of a crime, even a misdemeanor, we should
not be relying on a guess.
> Innocent until proven guilty is a very important point.

Absolutely. Fundamental and foundational and, apparently, completely lacking
in this case.

> The theory is that while this may let some guilty go free, they will
eventually repeat their crime (or some other thing) and be caught.

Regardless of WHY the principle was established, and the above is only part
of the reason, the principle is key.



       RM

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2004\06\24@105012 by llile

flavicon
face
Traffic Court, in my experience, is like Kangaroo court.  In Traffic
court, it is your word against the Policeman's.  Who are they going to
believe?

THe City of Columbia has gone on record proving that the lights on my car,
which worked fine the day I was stopped, worked fine the next day, worked
fine at the mechanic's, passed a state licensed inspection, are defective.
So there you have it.  Did they believe me?  The Mechanic? No they
believed the Cop.

The standard of reasonable doubt is only, AFAIK, used in death penalty
cases and murder cases.

I won't touch the other topic with a ten foot pole.

-- Lawrence Lile





rrc124+@PITT.EDU
Sent by: pic microcontroller discussion list <PICLISTspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
06/24/2004 09:33 AM
Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list


       To:     EraseMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamSTOPspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT:] i need advice...


I do not want this to become a rant and get killed. I think this thread
has the possibility of not only helping me, but others on the list like me
who want real suggestions from a pool of engineers on defending themselves
in traffic court.

So a few more questions:

Does anyone know if traffic court is like criminal court, where the state
must PROVE that you are guilty BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT? So, would it
be enough to introduce SOME measure of doubt as to the complete guilt of
the subject? This would be much easier then lets say a traffic court
mentality of the civil courts which if I remember correctly is something
like... you just have to show that there is reasable proof of guilt.. or
something.

My second question is going to be VERY controversial and I will never
mention it again at the request of the admins, nor can i stress enough
that i do not want this starting fights.

Has anyone every built a radar jamming device, perhaps one like:

http://www.textfiles.com/anarchy/MISCHIEF/radarjamming.txt

The reason I ask this is because I feel like in the end, I will lose this
case no matter how much proof I give. I feel like the cards -at least in
PA- are stacked against the citizens when it comes to traffic court.
Between ignorant judges who automatically side with cops, to speed traps,
to the difficulty in arguing physics to judges.. whatever, I PERSONALLY
BELIEVE that I should give myself some power. If they are unfair in using
the law, why can I not play on the same field? Please nobody start arguing
the metrits of this idea, I think it was even talked about a week ago or
so on OT. All I ask is that if anyone can offer help or advice in making
such a device, I would be very thankful. Whether or not this device is
legal in whatever location on earth i chose to use it, that should not
come into play in my opinion because i take full responsibility for how I
use any offered information. Thank you to everyone, and I appologize if
this upsets some people. I'm just so frustrated and feel defenseless.





--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Russell McMahon" <RemoveMEapptechKILLspamspamTakeThisOuTPARADISE.NET.NZ>
To:   <spamBeGonePICLISTspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC:
Date: 6/24/2004 9:59:15 AM

This gets closer to a rant than most so far.
Be careful when commenting so the thread does not (quite reasonably) die
an
early death at admins hands.

> >In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
> >policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
> >a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
> >the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
> >legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have
guessed?

This is what's at the heart of what's wrong with the attitude to "justice"
in the US amd many places elsewhere in the "free world". The values and
rights which were held dear as a matter of principle are being eroded by
expediency. No disrespect meant, but the fact that a respectable member of
the community is here defending the inexcuseable is a good illustration of
this. We get used to the slow changes which erode the basic principles on
which the system is built. Some of this is done from greed (revenue etc),
some from fear (911 etc). The "cooked frog" principle applies. Heatthe
water
slowly and you never notice.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. "

This may sound strange coming from me, who was seen apparently defending
speed restrictions etc. What I support is the observation of arrangements
that we have mutually agreed on - until such time as we agree to change
them. I can live with people mutually agreeing on new arrangements, even
if
I don't support what they agree on :-). It's the change by force, stealth
and drift that is dangerous.

> However, when accusing someone of a crime, even a misdemeanor, we should
not be relying on a guess.
> Innocent until proven guilty is a very important point.

Absolutely. Fundamental and foundational and, apparently, completely
lacking
in this case.

> The theory is that while this may let some guilty go free, they will
eventually repeat their crime (or some other thing) and be caught.

Regardless of WHY the principle was established, and the above is only
part
of the reason, the principle is key.



       RM

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2004\06\24@110115 by rrc124+

picon face
BTW, forget my question about building a radar jammer. This guy's website pretty much explains why it's either way too expensive or way too hard to build for an amature like me.

http://www.amalgamate2000.com/radio-hobbies/radio/jam%20doppler%20radari.htm






--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: <llilespam_OUTspamSALTONUSA.COM>
To:   <RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC: Date: 6/24/2004 10:50:44 AM

Traffic Court, in my experience, is like Kangaroo court.  In Traffic
court, it is your word against the Policeman's.  Who are they going to
believe?

THe City of Columbia has gone on record proving that the lights on my car,
which worked fine the day I was stopped, worked fine the next day, worked
fine at the mechanic's, passed a state licensed inspection, are defective.
So there you have it.  Did they believe me?  The Mechanic? No they
believed the Cop.

The standard of reasonable doubt is only, AFAIK, used in death penalty
cases and murder cases.

I won't touch the other topic with a ten foot pole.

-- Lawrence Lile





rrc124+@PITT.EDU
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       cc:
       Subject:        Re: [OT:] i need advice...


I do not want this to become a rant and get killed. I think this thread
has the possibility of not only helping me, but others on the list like me
who want real suggestions from a pool of engineers on defending themselves
in traffic court.

So a few more questions:

Does anyone know if traffic court is like criminal court, where the state
must PROVE that you are guilty BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT? So, would it
be enough to introduce SOME measure of doubt as to the complete guilt of
the subject? This would be much easier then lets say a traffic court
mentality of the civil courts which if I remember correctly is something
like... you just have to show that there is reasable proof of guilt.. or
something.

My second question is going to be VERY controversial and I will never
mention it again at the request of the admins, nor can i stress enough
that i do not want this starting fights.

Has anyone every built a radar jamming device, perhaps one like:

http://www.textfiles.com/anarchy/MISCHIEF/radarjamming.txt

The reason I ask this is because I feel like in the end, I will lose this
case no matter how much proof I give. I feel like the cards -at least in
PA- are stacked against the citizens when it comes to traffic court.
Between ignorant judges who automatically side with cops, to speed traps,
to the difficulty in arguing physics to judges.. whatever, I PERSONALLY
BELIEVE that I should give myself some power. If they are unfair in using
the law, why can I not play on the same field? Please nobody start arguing
the metrits of this idea, I think it was even talked about a week ago or
so on OT. All I ask is that if anyone can offer help or advice in making
such a device, I would be very thankful. Whether or not this device is
legal in whatever location on earth i chose to use it, that should not
come into play in my opinion because i take full responsibility for how I
use any offered information. Thank you to everyone, and I appologize if
this upsets some people. I'm just so frustrated and feel defenseless.





--- Begin Orginal Message ---
From: "Russell McMahon" <spam_OUTapptechspamKILLspamPARADISE.NET.NZ>
To:   <RemoveMEPICLISTRemoveMEspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
CC:
Date: 6/24/2004 9:59:15 AM

This gets closer to a rant than most so far.
Be careful when commenting so the thread does not (quite reasonably) die
an
early death at admins hands.

> >In the situation described I don't think it was unreasonable for the
> >policeman to jump to the wrong conclusion. The radar buzzed, and he saw
> >a sports car driving by a young man and an SUV. If the SUV had seen
> >the police and slowed down so that they were both going close to the
> >legal speed the policeman had to guess. Which way would you have
guessed?

This is what's at the heart of what's wrong with the attitude to "justice"
in the US amd many places elsewhere in the "free world". The values and
rights which were held dear as a matter of principle are being eroded by
expediency. No disrespect meant, but the fact that a respectable member of
the community is here defending the inexcuseable is a good illustration of
this. We get used to the slow changes which erode the basic principles on
which the system is built. Some of this is done from greed (revenue etc),
some from fear (911 etc). The "cooked frog" principle applies. Heatthe
water
slowly and you never notice.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. "

This may sound strange coming from me, who was seen apparently defending
speed restrictions etc. What I support is the observation of arrangements
that we have mutually agreed on - until such time as we agree to change
them. I can live with people mutually agreeing on new arrangements, even
if
I don't support what they agree on :-). It's the change by force, stealth
and drift that is dangerous.

> However, when accusing someone of a crime, even a misdemeanor, we should
not be relying on a guess.
> Innocent until proven guilty is a very important point.

Absolutely. Fundamental and foundational and, apparently, completely
lacking
in this case.

> The theory is that while this may let some guilty go free, they will
eventually repeat their crime (or some other thing) and be caught.

Regardless of WHY the principle was established, and the above is only
part
of the reason, the principle is key.



       RM

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2004\06\24@112937 by David Koski

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On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 10:33:10 -0400
rrc124+@PITT.EDU wrote:

> Does anyone know if traffic court is like criminal court, where the state must
> PROVE that you are guilty BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT?

Here in California, speeding tickets (and most vehicle code violatoins) are
infractions and you are not entitled to a trial by jury. Never mind the
constitution. Unless the law has changed since I beat my speeding ticket some 20
years ago, you are given a choice of representation or not. If not, the cop has
to represent himself (no layer) as well. I chose not.

David Koski
@spam@david.nosphamSTOPspamspam@spam@KosmosIsland.com
!.nospham

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2004\06\24@115336 by Robert B.

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In Tennessee the courts are pretty much run under presumption of guilt, the
idea being that guilt is implied when the officer writes your ticket.
Traffic court is more like an appeal after a guilty ruling :(  so much for
the scales of justice being balanced.  A similar instance to what you've
described happened to me a few years ago, and I must emphasize the
importance of a well-scripted statement to deliver to the judge.  Know
exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it, placing emphasis on
clear explanations.  The judge hears the common arguments day in and day
out, and also knows how to question the police officer to make most of them
moot.  On another note, be sure to respect the polieman and do not call him
a liar or pig, etc.  The judge and the policeman have probably known each
other to some extent for a while.  With luck you might get a judge with a
grudge agains the officer who will dismiss the case just because.  In my
case he didn't actually even listen to what I said, and just asked the
police officer questions about his radar gun calibration to skirt the issue.
It felt like a total setup on the part of the state, like a routine they go
through with any not guilty plea.  With the "complicated" subject of doppler
shifts in radar, a visual aid might not be a bad idea to get your arguments
across, and explain what you think happened.  As far as printed materials
go, IME its best to use state-issued manuals if you can find them, as the
judge could easily throw out any accepted text on the subject due to his own
ignorance, but something published by the state department is a little more
sound.

Also if you ask politely and explain the situation to the judge, you can
sometimes plea-bargain to a nonmoving violation with just a fine (no
insurance premiums).  I've also heard of people offering to make a
charitable donation in the amount of the ticket, but I'm not sure how the
legality of that works.  If all else fails you can file an appeal, and make
sure you get the appeal form in front of the judge - they hate that.


{Original Message removed}

2004\06\24@120547 by Roy J. Gromlich

picon face
I have had two experiences with local traffic courts in recent years -
both were rather eye opening. The "Standard of Proof" in these courts is,
as was said above, who does the judge/magistrate believe.  Guess what - he
ALWAYS believes the officer.

I was told as much to my face by one judge, when I explained why the
offense I was accused of was physically impossible.  It has been several
years, but his response was something like "that's very interesting, but I
don't have to understand what that means or if it is possible or not -
Officer XYZ states that he observed it and that is good enough for me". He
also entertained me with a discussion of how generous the township had
been in building him a new paneled office with a built in bar, indicating
this was a result of the monies his traffic court provided.

The other traffic court experience was even more interesting in that the
story told by the officer was so improbably that the judge questioned him
at some length as to how he had done what he said he did, and why he would
have done it.  She was clearly unsatisfied with his answers, but had no
choice but to take his word for what he had written on the report, as the
alternative was to call him a deliberate liar.  Clue - not going to
happen. She did suggest to me indirectly that I should appeal to a higher
State court, but having to live in that town (at the time) I felt it wiser
to not get the local town cop and his buddies out hunting for me.

So, did what you describe happen?  Probably -- almost certainly.  Can you
actually do anything about it?  Unless you have deep pockets or a family
law firm, and plan to leave the area permanently, I doubt it.

Sorry, but that is life in this here US of A.

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2004\06\24@123322 by David Koski

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On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 12:05:43 -0400
"Roy J. Gromlich" <spam_OUTrgromlichSTOPspamspamPA.NET> wrote:

> Sorry, but that is life in this here US of A.

Please speak for your own community. "Your milage may vary".

david

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2004\06\24@125711 by John Ferrell

face picon face
There is a considerable disance between reality and the ideal solutions in
the US and every where else. Most of us are still upset by OJ's
non-conviction and the recent POW treatment revalations. With issues like
these, it is too easy to let "little" problems like unwarranted traffic
citations to get proper attention.

It especially bad when the unjustice falls on someone who is already
struggling to make ends meet.
Proving discrimination is pretty hard, we are speculating about that.

John Ferrell
http://DixieNC.US

> Surely this is a fundamental violation of the freedom that Americans are
so
> protective of?  Why should he not be able to drive a sports car without
> discrimination?

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