General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Will this counter work for stop sign violation in court?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635points) March 1st, 2012

Since it is up to the officer to prove the plaintiff wrong can the plaintiff ask for video evidence? And if the officer doesn’t have the video, they are considered wrong? How’s it all work?

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11 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think you mean defendant not plaintiff, in this case the plaintiff would be the states attorney or the DA.

You can ask, but most judges will take the word of an officer over the word of a defendant. It most likely would not be an acceptable defense.

Traffic court only needs a preponderance of the evidence not beyond a reasonable doubt in most jurisdictions.

jaytkay's avatar

Almost every conviction ever in history throughout history was obtained with no video evidence.

So I’m gonna say no.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

No, get a lawyer. You need a lawyer, not a “counter” in court.

marinelife's avatar

No, the officer does not have to provide video evidence. Generally, it is your word (the defendant) against the cop’s word. The court is likely to take the cop’s word unless you have a very compelling story.

whitecarnations's avatar

But logically, if the officer cannot prove it, the officer could be lying correct? Why would the judge side with something that is not concrete in this particular case?

*Note I don’t have a ticket. Just curious. With Officers vs Defendants when officers have no evidence.

WestRiverrat's avatar

The court sees the cops all the time, they only see the defendant once. Any cop caught lying in court would jepordize not just that case, but any case they ever worked.

Very few cops will risk their careers and possibly a felony record for a misdemeanor traffic violation.

zenvelo's avatar

The defendant has to demonstrate that the policeman is not being honest. That’s pretty had to do.

And be careful what you wish for. More and more police have video, and if the judge sees you pushing against the police, he/she might penalize you more.

tedd's avatar

No. An officers testimony is just as good, if not better, than video evidence. They are “sacrosanct” and the judge will believe what they say in all cases. If it’s your word vs his, he wins. If it’s yours and another persons word vs his, you may have a chance.

If you want to take it and show up at court, usually the prosecutor will be there and before you even go up to the judge they will offer you some plea deal… even in cases as simple as failing to stop at a stop sign.

I had one early on in college that they dropped entirely because the cop didn’t show up. I’ve had friends who got theirs reduced to no seatbelt, or no front license plate, or whatever.

john65pennington's avatar

No, it does not work this way. If you want to dispute your citation in court, both will be placed under oath to tell the truth. The judge makes his decision on several factors, one of which is your past driving violations record.

To my knowledge, no police department video tapes stop sign violation, only traffic signal violations.

An officers sworn testimoney is rarely doubted in court.

Why not just go online and apply for the traffic school and left it go?

whitecarnations's avatar

@WestRiverrat That makes sense. @john65pennington Oh it’s not for me per say, just the scenario intrigued me. It’s interesting though with the advancement with memory and us being in the thick of the digital age, one would think it would be easy to record digitally all day from the cop car. I know it all costs something however.

dabbler's avatar

Police officers are considerred expert witnesses, and a judge is likely to take their word for it in the absence of contradicting evidence.

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