Cross-examination questions for speeding/radar ticket

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jsherk
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Cross-examination questions for speeding/radar ticket

Unread post by jsherk on

It would be great if anybody wants to share questions they used when cross-examining the police officer at a speeding ticket trial, with regards to things like training and use of radar (and anything else you can think of).

I defended my wife a couple years ago for speeding so I will dig up my questions and post them below.

Would be great if we can gather a pool of possible questions to use, as it may provide an angle we did not think of ourselves.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

I represented my wife for a speeding charge (133 in a 100) a couple years ago, and although I lost the trial, I won the appeal. The key to winning at the appeal was to have a ton of cross-examination questions that pointed out many different issues (reasonable doubt) at the trial, and although the JP at trial did not accept them, the Judge at the appeal did.

So here is my list I used.
Note that some of these are very specific to the situation, so I would not necessarily use all of them and I would not necessarily use them word for word.

TRAINING
When and where were you first trained to use Radar?

Have you received any other training since then?

How many different makes and models of radar units were you trained to use on that day?

You said in your earlier testimony that you were using the model Genesis II Select on the day you wrote the ticket?

Where you specifically trained on the same Genesis II Select model?
Is it possible you were never trained on this specific model?
Is it possible that this specific model has features or settings or options you were never trained on?

Did you receive a certificate or other form of recognition that you successfully completed and passed the training?
Why was that not provided with the disclosure request?
Possible you never finished the training or never passed the training?

May I approach the officer? (with his training letter)
Do you recognize this letter?

Did you include it with the disclosure that was sent?

ENTER TRAINING LETTER INTO EVIDENCE

Who signed this letter? (letter is not signed)

So who wrote it?

Were they at the training session with you on December 18, 2011?

So how do they know you successfully completed the training?
So all we have is your notes saying you attended radar training but no notes or certificates and nothing else stating that you actually successfully completed the training?
So is it possible that you never completed the training?

TESTING UNIT
Notes say: First test OK
So you stated in your testimony that at 9:35am you Tested the radar unit?

What are those testing procedures?

Could you describe those tests for me please in as much detail as possible?

Where did you learn those procedures?

Are they the same procedures listed in the manual?

Where did you perform each of these tests that morning?
What road were you on?
Was the road straight and level?
What speed did you drive at to test?
How do you know that’s where/when you did that test?

And you performed each of these tests how many times that morning?

Now in your notes you put OK after the word Test?

What does OK mean?

So would you put OK if it was not working properly or if it did not pass some of the tests? (officer should say no)

Does this radar unit you used that day have a Dual Antenna Configuration?

Where are antenna(s) located?

May I approach the officer? (with copy of radar manual)

Do you recognize these pages of the this manual?

Did you include it with the disclosure that was sent?

Is this testing procedure the one you followed that morning?
If YES to Dual Antenna Configuration then have him read section 7.2 and THEN repeat the last sentence THEN note how many times he said he did tests above.

You testified earlier the radar unit you used that morning was a Genesis II Select?

Can you please read what it says on the cover of this manual? (radar manual provided was for Genesis II Select Directional)

Are you aware that the Genesis II Select and the Genesis II Select Directional are two distinct separate models? (officer agreed YES they were)
question not used: Then why does the manufacturer, Decataur, list them as two distinct models on their website?
question not used: And in fact there is also a third model called the Genesis II Select Directional VIP as well.

So you used the testing procedures from the Genesis II Select Directional manual even though the radar unit in your vehicle is a different model?

Could the testing procedures be different?

NOTE: The JP at trial did not accept the fact that the officer used the testing procedure for a different model than the one in his vehicle, however this was one of many points used at the appeal (which we won).

Officers notes say MEDIUM TRAFFIC
You testified that you describe the traffic as medium. What does medium mean?

How many vehicles?
More than X number of vehicle?
How close/far away from each other?

Do you use other terms?

What does (officers term for light) mean?

How many vehicles?
Fewer than 5 vehicles?
How close/far from each other?

You were facing oncoming traffic at the time?

So how many vehicles were coming towards you at the time you observed the vehicle?
You just said it was medium traffic?
Why would you put medium traffic in notes if that wasn't the case?
Your notes are supposed to reflect what happened at that time?
Are your notes unreliable?

You testified that you observed a "Lone Red SUV"?

So where were the other vehicles, in terms of moderate traffic, in relation to this Lone Red SUV?
Were they 1m away? 100m?

Could there have been other vehicles then that could have given a reading on the radar unit?
As many as (medium traffic).
Was not really a Lone was it?

How far away was the vehicle when you observed it?

Was the radar unit already on giving readings before you observed her, or did you turn it on after you observed her?

RANGE
What is the range that you had set on your antenna that day?

What is maximum range of that setting?

So how far down the road could you potentially be picking up vehicles? (officer answered infinity)
Would it be 1000 meters? 2000 meters?

Could there have been another vehicle travelling at 133km/h?

Does the radar unit tell you which vehicle its getting a reading from?

So your not sure of the distance at which the unit can get a reading and there were other vehicles on the road, so is it possible that any of them were causing the reading, including one that was further away than what you had not observed yet?

TONE
You testified something about a Tone. Can you explain what that is and what it means?

Different tones?
What do they mean?
What tone was it?

Did you hear the tone before you observed the vehicle?

So the tone alerted you to a High Rate of Speed?
So the radar unit had already displayed 133 before you observed vehicle?
So you testified earlier that you observed a High Rate of Speed before you heard the tone?

TESTING AT END OF DAY
The last entry in your notes is Off Duty Radar test at 1900 hours?

What does off duty mean?

Where did you perform each of these tests that morning?
What road were you on?
Was the road straight and level?
What speed did you drive at to test?
How do you know that’s where/when you did that test?

Earlier you testified about the morning test that you put OK after the word Test which meant the radar unit tested ok and was working properly?

Earlier you said that you would not put down OK if the radar unit was not working properly or if it did not pass some of the tests?

I notice for this evening test that you say "Radar Test" but you did not put OK and did not put any other indication that says the unit was working properly or that it passed all the tests.

I suggest that you did not complete the tests and that’s why you did not put ok.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


bigbadwolf
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Unread post by bigbadwolf on

Not all of my questions are generic - many revolve around the specifics of my case (http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com/topic7073.html).

- On the day of the offence, where were you parked? (he was on a driveway, clearly visible by traffic moving in both directions)
- Were you hidden or could vehicles passing by see you? (he'd be lying if he said he was hidden)
- In your professional opinion, are people likely to break the speed limit if they see an officer with a radar? (anything but a "no" seems like a fake answer; even a "maybe" looks weird as nobody would break the speed limit if they know there's a cop with a radar)
- When measured the speed, was the car driving away or towards you? (I was driving away, having just passed and seen him)
- So, considering you weren't hidden, they likely saw you, correct? (yes)
- Putting this together, is it fair to say that the driver most likely saw you and even if they were speeding, they would have likely reduced their speed? (err... yes)
- You said you measured 93 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, correct? (yes)
- That's a speed limit in excess of 50% of the posted. Having said all of the above, would you say that this is likely? (no...)
- So is it possible that the car wasn't really speeding, but there was a problem with the radar? (possible but not likely ---- BUT possible, hence some doubt).

---

- When you lock speed, does it disappear after a period of time? (no)
- How do you reset the speed? (by triggering)
- Does the radar also capture a timestamp for the measured speed? (no)
- So if you measured the speed of a vehicle at some speed at one point that day, is it possible to keep that number on the radar for a few hours? (yes!) --- more doubt that something could have gone wrong

---

- Do you always write your own notes?
- When do you write your notes about a citation you hand out for an offence? (during or after) - in his notes he said he noticed a car going fast as he was writing notes for his previous stop
- How focused is your attention to the notes you are writing? (very focused - only you get distracted by other cars)
- Do you always write notes as you’re pulling vehicles over or wait until you have a few and then write them? (likely he writes them in bulk if he has to catch up after he starts chasing another car mid-notes)
-- If #2 - How do you make sure you don’t forget something or write down something wrong or even worse, mix the multiple events?
-- If #1 - but in your notes you say you were taking notes for the previous offence when you noticed a vehicle you thought is speeding, took the radar, etc… (show that it’s possible to mix up stuff)
- You said that when doing notes, you noticed an old address. What document showed this old address? What is the old address? Is it possible that in your notes you’ve written “Mississauga”, when in fact, the city/town is “Milton”? (show that his notes are with mistakes - he had written Mississauga, when the license says Milton)
- You say in your notes that you saw a car go “flying” past. Would it be safe to assume the car was actually on the ground the whole time? Is it a normal practise for you to actually write down one thing, but mean something else? (show that his notes are not taken seriously)

---
- Are you qualified to use this radar? (yes) Do you have a certificate of some sort to show your qualification?
- What makes you qualified? When did you take this course? Any refresher courses since? Who was your instructor?
- Have you read the User’s Manual? When? Ask a tricky question from the manual...

---

I stay away from the "missing second test at end of shift" as I want to use it as an argument to have the case thrown - radar can't be proven to work reliably unless tested after shift, and there's no evidence that it was done. Matter of fact, all these questions were to be used IF they judge didn't accept my motion to have the case dismissed before the cross-examination... with full hope that if I state a clear reason why the Crown didn't establish a prima fascia case by missing a second test, the case would be dismissed before I even have to do the cross-examination.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

@sonic mentioned this (with regards to the officer "usual practice" of testing the unit) in another thread which I thought was useful:

TESTING UNIT.... When they argue (which they most certainly will) that 'usual practice' is sufficient. Make the statement... "Saying that the devices were tested because it is 'usual practice' is the equivalent to me going under oath and saying I do not believe I was speeding because it is my 'usual practice' to go under the speed limit. It may very well be 100% true but cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that the device was working on a particular day."

Then, continue to argue that the law should be consistent and transparent, and if usual practice would suffice for a murder trial to ensure the gun was not tampered with after being placed in evidence - hint: It won't. They try to treat it as if it's less of an issue because the offence is minor, but the law is the law - and you can't twist it for the offence. Don't let them try to fool you and impose the balance of probabilities of a civil case, with the 'beyond a reasonable doubt' of a criminal case. The prosecution has a significantly higher burden in criminal/provincial offences - such as speeding tickets.
+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Just posting this here from another thread as it is relevant when you were paced:
iFly55 wrote:If the officer used pacing to lay the charge, you can still ask the officer questions. Calibration sticker on the speedometer? Tire pressures? Were they set to OEM? When were they last checked?
R. v. Koumoudouros [2005] O.J. No. 5055: https://anonfiles.com/file/41c5ca1ebd22 ... 6fc53aa600
R. v. Sibio, 2010 ONCJ 315 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/2btl3
R. v. Violi, 2011 ONCJ 788 (CanLII): ttp://canlii.ca/t/fphgw




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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