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Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Hello everyone,
I will be representing my wife at her speeding trial next week. Mostly everything is pretty much run of the mill but since she wasn't speeding we will be having her take the stand. Since this opens up the opportunity for the prosecutor to cross examine, I am just wondering if anyone here knows what kind of questions we should expect from the prosecutor in order to best prepare.


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:02 pm 
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Most likely questions will be along the lines of trying to get her to admit that she was speeding or could have been speeding.

Basically if she agrees that she WAS speeding, then she will 100% be convicted of speeding.

If she agrees that she could have been speeding (because she can't say for sure that she absolutely was not) then this simply does not help your case at all. It does not really hurt your case either, but it does not help.

If she is able to maintain that she absolutely was not speeding all the way thru the cross examination, then this will help your case, but if comes down to the officers testimony (including radar readings) versus her testimony, the JP will most likely believe the officer.

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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Generally we do not have a client present for trial on a Speeding matter unless they can absolutely and unequivocally state under oath that they were at or below the speed limit the entire time. It is important to keep in mind that these charges are generally issued based on the peak speed of the vehicle regardless of the length of time that the vehicle was at that speed. The disclosure package from the Prosecutor's Office should outline the relevant observations of the Officer.

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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:59 pm 
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It was heavy traffic and she was in the curb lane frequently slowing or stopping behind vehicles turning into parking lots. The officer's notes state that the speed was obtained at 170 meters, so if I find the next intersection beyond that and have her testify that she was not speeding from that intersection until being pulled over, it should be sufficient?


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:06 pm 
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It's really not a good idea to have her testify.

Have you received disclosure? If so please post it so we can better assist you.

How does your wife know she wasn't speeding?


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:18 pm 
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It also sounds like the officer was using Lidar, which will give a range to the target. It's advantage is that the officer can pick out a single vehicle in heavy traffic which appears moving faster than the others.


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:09 pm 
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lolwut wrote:
It's really not a good idea to have her testify.

Have you received disclosure? If so please post it so we can better assist you.

How does your wife know she wasn't speeding?

The disclosure is just a simple form the officer fills out when operating a speed trap. It has road conditions, laser test times, vehicle information (make/lane/speed). It looks to be all in order except that it is not noted that the device passed or failed the tests. I also received the testing pages for the laser device in which it states to note several items from the tests, so I will be questioning the officer's "usual practice" (http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2007/2007oncj266/2007oncj266.html).

She knows she wasn't speeding because it was heavy traffic in a shopping area. She was in the curb lane and there were multiple vehicles slowing down to turn into parking lots. In fact just before she was pulled over she had to stop for several seconds behind another stopped vehicle.

Decatur wrote:
It also sounds like the officer was using Lidar, which will give a range to the target. It's advantage is that the officer can pick out a single vehicle in heavy traffic which appears moving faster than the others.

True, but this officer was standing on the opposite side of a four lane road, so there were three lanes of traffic between him and the car. The lidar is capable of measuring speed of both approaching and receding vehicles and the direction of measurement is also not indicated on the notes. The car is a sedan so it would be obstructed by almost any other vehicle.

A mistake was made, but this was a speed trap ticket farm so the facts really don't matter that much. I plan to point out as many mistakes as I can and hope for the best, but I expect to lose so I won't be surprised if a conviction is entered. I do know of one case (http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2009/2009oncj77/2009oncj77.html) wherein an acquittal was entered solely due to the defendant's testimony. Our insurance is going to increase whether she gets convicted at trial or pleads guilty to a reduced speed so I see no harm in trying.


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:17 pm 
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Good for you for wanting to go all the way!

If you haven't already read these threads, they might be helpful:
topic7039.html
topic7041.html

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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:37 pm 
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One more question - what should I do if during trial it comes up that I was only disclosed half of the officer's notes? I am suspecting that he didn't know how to use a photocopier properly so the page of notes is cut off.


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:27 am 
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I would object if the officer tries to say/read something that was not in the notes you were provided. Actually at the beginning of the trial when the officer first takes the stand, the prosecutor will ask him a few questions about his notes and then ask permission from the JP to be able to use them. The JP should ask you if you have any questions about the notes first, and you can say "how many pages of notes are you planning on referencing? what page numbers?" Then if officer states more than what you were given you can say "well I only got copies of these pages X, Y, Z but I did not get copies of A, B, C so I am okay if he uses X,Y,Z but I am opposed to him using A,B,C"

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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:25 pm 
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I'm hoping by that you submitted another request for disclosure when you noticed some was missing. It is on you to make sure the disclosure is compete and not up the the prosecutor to predict what you need or require.


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:23 am 
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Realistically, it's difficult to know whether there might be "missing" pages. Instead, if the officer happens to state something that's not in the notes you've received, you could then question the officer as to where in his notes that evidence is shown. If it's on a page that has not been disclosed, you can then object. The officer may claim that he remembered that fact independently. Remember...the officer's notes are not evidence; they are simply there to help him refresh his memory. However, if he suddenly "remembers" something that's not in his notes and is not otherwise "routine," you could then ask him questions that would challenge his independent recall of other things (how many people were in the car, the weather, etc.).


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Decatur wrote:
I'm hoping by that you submitted another request for disclosure when you noticed some was missing. It is on you to make sure the disclosure is compete and not up the the prosecutor to predict what you need or require.

It did say page 1/1 so without examining the original it would not really be possible to tell. I didn't realize the defense can examine the officer's notes that he brings to the stand.

Anyway, I now believe that it was not cut off and that the officer didn't test the device before his shift ended. The prosecutor decided to withdraw the charge after speaking with the officer. I didn't ask why but in my opinion that could be the only reason as they were seeking adjournments for other cases that had absent witnesses.

From what I can gather this was a speed trap with one dedicated laser operator and three ticket dispensers. Kinda makes me feel bad for probably hundreds of people who got invalid tickets that day but still paid them!


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Re: Speeding Trial - Prosecutor Questions to Defendant
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:51 pm 
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So you won! Congratulations!

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