Radar speeding ticket help/info - MVAgusta.net
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Radar speeding ticket help/info

Any recommendations on fighting a speeding ticket from a motorcycle cop with a radar gun in AZ?

thanks,

MikeCgaz
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeCgaz View Post
I made several turns and he lost complete sight of me. How can he prove it was even me if he did not get my plate #? Can he ID me based on a red Ducati with a red helmet?
Mike,

Police often lose sight of a defendant during the pursuit and apprehension process. This doesn't go to the admissability of the police officer's identification testimony, it goes to the weight. In other words, the fact that the cop lost sight of you doesn't mean he/she can't testify to what he/she saw; it only means that you can attack the strength, (i.e.,"weight") of this testimony.

Several factors come into play: One is the length of time/distance the officer lost sight of you. Obviously, the longer he/she lost sight of you, and the farther away you were when you were next seen, the weaker the ID is.

Another factor is the specificity and distinctiveness of the description. The more specific, the more unusual the description is, the stronger the ID is.

These first two factors work in concert. So, if the officer's initial description of you was very distinct, (say, for example, he/she testified that when he/she first saw you, you were wearing a pink polka dot dress, riding a matching pink polka dot motorcycle), the court would likely put a lot of weight on the officer's ID testimony even if the officer lost sight of you for over an hour! Conversely, the less unusual/precise the officer's description was, the more impact a time/space interruption in the officer's observations would be. So if the officer testified that he, observed a man wearing a black leather jacket riding a red motorcycle, and that while following this man, he momentarilly lost sight of him when the cyclist made a left turn, and then he saw the same man again, about a minute later and eight blocks away, this gap of one minute and eight blocks could be significant given the rather general nature of the description.

As with all ID cases, opportunity to observe is always an issue. In an MV stop, common factors are: lighting conditions, (was it dark out?, etc...), distance between the officer and the perp, and the amount of time the officer followed the perp.

Finally, there's the issue of, "credibility." Anybody who testifies puts his/her credibility at issue. This includes cops. Police officers are no different than anybody else. Sometimes they come off with an attitude, or present as incredible. Generally speaking, attacking a witness' credibility requires the skills of a competent defense lawyer, and is beyond the ken of the average lay person. But when all is said and done, if the judge doesn't believe the officer, you win regardless of the strength, (or weakness), of the ID.

A word of caution: As a matter of evidentiary law, (as well as common sense,) you can't testify to what somebody else can or can't see. You may very well be right that the officer lost sight of you, but you don't really know that for a fact and you can't testify to that. If you try, the prosecutor will object and the objection will be sustained.

On cross-examination, the officer may or may not admit the he/she lost sight of you. You may be unpleasantly surprised to hear the officer testify, (either truthfully or not), that he/she never lost sight of you! You're free to attack the credibility of the officer's claim, but you can't testify that the cop lost sight of you. Bear in mind that most police officers are trained to observe detail, and have lots of practice in accurately estimating time and distance. If the officer admits he/she lost sight of you, if will probably be for less time/distance than you think. Generally speaking, momentary gaps in observation, (for example, "I momentarilly lost sight of the defendant, for approximately 5 seconds, when he turned left off of North 6th Street onto High Street, and dissappeared from my view behind the Hanley Building."), do not weaken the overall strength of the officer's ID. If anything, the fact that the officer is willing to admit that he/she momentarilly lost sight of you only adds to the officer's credibility.

So, in summary, the fact that the officer lost sight of you, (assuming he/she actually did), doesn't mean you automatically win, or that the officer can't ID you as the person he/she saw commit the MV offense. The District Attorney bears the burden of proof. After a trial, the judge will either be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that an MV infraction occurred and you're the person who committed it, or alternately, the judge won't be convinced. If the Judge is satisfied with the ID testimony and is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you're the same person the cop saw commit the offense, you lose. If the judge has a reasonable doubt about the ID, you win.

My advice: Get a lawyer! Your defense is mistaken ID. A firm grasp of the rules of evidence as well as trial advocacy skills are needed to mount an effective ID defense. This is not the kind of thing a lay person can just, "wing." You'll need a lawyer to do this.

Good luck, Elton

Last edited by mrinflux; 04-08-2010 at 06:34 AM.
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrinflux View Post
Mike,

Police often lose sight of a defendant during the pursuit and aprehension process. This doesn't go to the admissability of the police officer's identification testimony, it goes to the weight. In other words, the fact that the cop lost sight of you doesn't mean he/she can't testify to what he/she saw; it only means that you can attack the strength, (i.e., "weight") of this testimony.

Several factors come into play: One is the length of time/distance the officer lost sight of you. Obviously, the longer he/she lost sight of you, and the farther away you were when you were next seen, the weaker the ID is.

Another factor is the specificity and distinctiveness of the description. The more specific, the more unusual the description is, the stronger the ID is.

These first two factors work in concert. So, if the officer's initial description of you was very distinct, (say, for example, he/she testified that when he/she first saw you, you were wearing a pink polka dot dress, riding a matching pink polka dot motorcycle), the court would likely put a lot of weight on the officer's ID testimony even if the officer lost sight of you for over an hour! Conversely, the less unusual/precise the officer's description was, the more impact a time/space interruption in the officer's observations would be. So if the officer testified that he, "observed a man wearing a black leather jacket and pants riding a red motorcycle, and that while following this man, he momentarilly lost sight of him when the cyclist made a left turn, and then he saw the same man again, about a minute later and eight blocks away," this gap of one minute and eight blocks could be significant given the rather general nature of the description.

As with all ID cases, opportunity to observe is always an issue. In an MV stop, common factors are: lighting conditions, (was it dark out?, etc...), distance between the officer and the perp, and the amount of time the officer followed the perp.

Finally, there's the issue of, "credibility." Anybody who testifies puts his/her credibility at issue. This includes cops. Police officers are no different than anybody else. Sometimes they come off with an attitude, or present as incredible. Generally speaking, attacking a witness' credibility requires the skills of a competent defense lawyer, and is beyond the ken of the average lay person. But when all is said and done, if the judge doesn't believe the officer, you win regardless of the strenth, (or weakness), of the ID.

A word of caution: As a matter of evidentiary law, (as well as common sense,) you can't testify to what somebody else can or can't see. You may very well be right that the officer lost sight of you, but you don't really know that for a fact and you can't testify to that. If you try, the prosecutor will object and the objection will be sustained.

On cross-examination, the officer may or may not admit the he/she lost sight of you. You may be unpleasantly surprised to hear the officer testify, (either truthfully or not), that he/she never lost sight of you! You're free to attack the credibility of the officer's claim, but you can't testify that the cop lost sight of you. Bear in mind that most police officers are trained to observe detail, and have lots of practice in accurately estimating time and distance. If the officer admits he/she lost sight of you, if will probably be for less time/distance than you think. Generally speaking, momentary gaps in observation, (for example, "I momentarilly lost sight of the defendant, for approximately 5 seconds, when he turned left off of North 6th Street onto High Street, and dissappeared from my view behind the Hanley Building."), are not particularly probabitve, nor do they tend to weaken the overall strength of the officer's ID. If anything, the fact that the officer is willing to admit that he/she momentarilly lost sight of you only adds to the officer's credibility.

So, in summary, the fact that the officer lost sight of you, (assuming he/she actually did), doesn't mean you automatically win, or that the officer can't ID you as the person he/she saw commit the MV offense. The District Attorney bears the burden of proof. After a trial, the judge will either be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that an MV infraction occurred and you're the person who committed it, or alternately, the judge won't be convinced. If the Judge is satifsfied with the ID testimony and is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you're the same person the cop saw commit the offense, you lose. If the judge has a reasonable doubt about the ID, you win.

My advice: Get a lawyer! Your defense is mistaken ID. A firm grasp of the rules of evidence as well as trial advocacy skills are needed to mount an effective ID defense. This is not the kind of thing a lay person can just, "wing." You'll need a lawyer to do this.

Good luck, Elton
did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night???


Elton....as you pointed out, you cannot testify what the officer saw or witnessed.......i would think that if you did testify something of that nature, would you not be basically incriminating yourself???

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:47 PM
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Were you speeding?
If so, accept responsibility and pay the ticket.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:42 PM
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Elton,
You're damn good.
Very interesting read.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:10 PM
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Elton,
You're damn good.
Very interesting read.
+1

Tim
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:11 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrinflux View Post
Mike,

Police often lose sight of a defendant during the pursuit and aprehension process. This doesn't go to the admissability of the police officer's identification testimony, it goes to the weight. In other words, the fact that the cop lost sight of you doesn't mean he/she can't testify to what he/she saw; it only means that you can attack the strength, (i.e., "weight") of this testimony.

Several factors come into play: One is the length of time/distance the officer lost sight of you. Obviously, the longer he/she lost sight of you, and the farther away you were when you were next seen, the weaker the ID is.

Another factor is the specificity and distinctiveness of the description. The more specific, the more unusual the description is, the stronger the ID is.

These first two factors work in concert. So, if the officer's initial description of you was very distinct, (say, for example, he/she testified that when he/she first saw you, you were wearing a pink polka dot dress, riding a matching pink polka dot motorcycle), the court would likely put a lot of weight on the officer's ID testimony even if the officer lost sight of you for over an hour! Conversely, the less unusual/precise the officer's description was, the more impact a time/space interruption in the officer's observations would be. So if the officer testified that he, "observed a man wearing a black leather jacket and pants riding a red motorcycle, and that while following this man, he momentarilly lost sight of him when the cyclist made a left turn, and then he saw the same man again, about a minute later and eight blocks away," this gap of one minute and eight blocks could be significant given the rather general nature of the description.

As with all ID cases, opportunity to observe is always an issue. In an MV stop, common factors are: lighting conditions, (was it dark out?, etc...), distance between the officer and the perp, and the amount of time the officer followed the perp.

Finally, there's the issue of, "credibility." Anybody who testifies puts his/her credibility at issue. This includes cops. Police officers are no different than anybody else. Sometimes they come off with an attitude, or present as incredible. Generally speaking, attacking a witness' credibility requires the skills of a competent defense lawyer, and is beyond the ken of the average lay person. But when all is said and done, if the judge doesn't believe the officer, you win regardless of the strenth, (or weakness), of the ID.

A word of caution: As a matter of evidentiary law, (as well as common sense,) you can't testify to what somebody else can or can't see. You may very well be right that the officer lost sight of you, but you don't really know that for a fact and you can't testify to that. If you try, the prosecutor will object and the objection will be sustained.

On cross-examination, the officer may or may not admit the he/she lost sight of you. You may be unpleasantly surprised to hear the officer testify, (either truthfully or not), that he/she never lost sight of you! You're free to attack the credibility of the officer's claim, but you can't testify that the cop lost sight of you. Bear in mind that most police officers are trained to observe detail, and have lots of practice in accurately estimating time and distance. If the officer admits he/she lost sight of you, if will probably be for less time/distance than you think. Generally speaking, momentary gaps in observation, (for example, "I momentarilly lost sight of the defendant, for approximately 5 seconds, when he turned left off of North 6th Street onto High Street, and dissappeared from my view behind the Hanley Building."), are not particularly probabitve, nor do they tend to weaken the overall strength of the officer's ID. If anything, the fact that the officer is willing to admit that he/she momentarilly lost sight of you only adds to the officer's credibility.

So, in summary, the fact that the officer lost sight of you, (assuming he/she actually did), doesn't mean you automatically win, or that the officer can't ID you as the person he/she saw commit the MV offense. The District Attorney bears the burden of proof. After a trial, the judge will either be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that an MV infraction occurred and you're the person who committed it, or alternately, the judge won't be convinced. If the Judge is satifsfied with the ID testimony and is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you're the same person the cop saw commit the offense, you lose. If the judge has a reasonable doubt about the ID, you win.

My advice: Get a lawyer! Your defense is mistaken ID. A firm grasp of the rules of evidence as well as trial advocacy skills are needed to mount an effective ID defense. This is not the kind of thing a lay person can just, "wing." You'll need a lawyer to do this.

Good luck, Elton
All correct and right on the button of course but pray, why do lawyers need so many WORDS to explain simple things?

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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:41 PM
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"I'm not guilty - I was driving so fast the officer couldn't keep up therefore he can't identify me"

The court will love that one
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 06:15 PM
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Speaking from the opposite side of the room as Elton:

Get a lawyer.

One like Elton.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 07:43 PM
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as much as I like to speed (damn these bikes don't like to go slow). I think you should just man up and pay the ticket.

One of my biggest pet peeves is hiring a lawyer to get you off or get a lesser punishment when you know in fact you broke the law. it all snowballs from there. Next thing you know you have the Oj simpsons of the world murdering ex wives and getting off beacuse of a lawyer. No offense to those of you lawyers with ethics.

Last edited by kawininja; 04-07-2010 at 08:00 PM.
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