When the officer comes into court to testify, he or she has to bring proof that there was a valid survey done within the last five years that justifies the posted speed limit. He or she also has to prove the circumstances that day indicate that you driving above the posted speed limit and the speed was not reasonable and prudent under the circumstances. Most people, they just think they’re guilty because the speed limit said 40 miles an hour, they were going 48, and they don’t realize that they still have defenses out there that are valid.
Interviewer: Okay, do you recommend that people document what happens to them before, during and after their traffic stop to help them remember and to help their attorney?
Limit Your Conversation
Mark: There are a couple of things people can do that are helpful. The main thing is the conversation with the officer. This because there are so many times when a person tells me, “Okay, I talked to the officer, he seemed polite, but I don’t remember. I just think I told him that I wasn’t going that fast,” and then it comes up later where the officer wrote on the back of his ticket that the person admitted that they had been going ten miles an hour over the speed limit, but says they weren’t going 20 over.
Document the Details
As soon as you pull over, jot down real quick, the answers to a few questions. Was the officer was driving the opposite direction when he or she saw you? Were there other vehicles that he or she could have mistaken for yours? Was the officer standing outside of the police vehicle holding a radar gun? That detail can make a big difference too, as far as where the officer was physically located. If the officer was inside the vehicle there could be some interference that occurred from other instruments.
Those are the sorts of things that take only a few minutes to finish but can be invaluable to your defense. Also, you should note your exact location because sometimes the officers will write down the wrong place. They’re supposed to put down just south of such and such road on Highway 99 and oftentimes they’ll write down the wrong place. So take a quick look at the speeding ticket, see if it matches up, and then write down your own notes real quick. It will be an immense help.
Interviewer: What if someone calls their voice mail, using their cell phone, and leaves a message as to what happened? It might be an easy way to document it quick.
Mark: Absolutely, and I can type out the details that are relevant.
© 2012 by Mark J. Bigger . All rights reserved.