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You can beat it! (was: Valentine/WSP (low Audi content))

Fringe Ryder wrote:

> Now I have to find a traffic lawyer in Cowlitz county, Washington.  Any
> suggestions?

Yes - you may beat the system. I did it on my own and with my bad
English. I
won't suggest, you should hire a local lawyer. You may deal with a kind
Maffia - lawyers, cops, judges, prosecutors working smoothly to clean
the wallets.
The system is actually mean: it seems at first, you have very few
choices, and
all they are about losing. You may:

  a) pay the fine in the mail
  b) go to the court (the more far is the court from your home, the
worse) and try
     to negotiate there
  c) hire a (possibly local) lawyer and let him lose your case
bargaining with the
     prosecutor in the court (but you save your time to travel).

Even in an unlikely case, the lawyer will win, you pay the money to a
LOCAL business
(i.e. lawyer) anyway - thus the system is, you lose even if you win, and
the local
county/town/whatever wins, even if they lose (if you go there, in an
average case
you pay a reduced fine, maybe no points - but guess, who will
eat/sleep/etc. in the
local establishments? Forced tourism...)

What you can consider a "win" would be a minor fine (if any) or
(Saturday Driver Education Course, for instance) instead of paying
hunderts and/or
going to the court in Timbuktu.

Well, 2 years ago I was ticketed in a very revenue-centric place in the
State of
NY - around the town of Mamakating(?). It quickly turned out, that the
place was
really going for revenues (the cop did turns over and over the same spot
whomever she found). Supposingly I was going 75 in 55 (I believe, it was
under 70, however).
I signed the ticket as I should do and the incident with the cop was
quickly over.
I "just" had the headache, what to do. Well, I did. A few weeks later we
3000 miles away from Mamakating and going to the court wasn't feasable.
After a few
quick calls it turned out, Mamakating has a fine ticket industry and the
lawyers just LOVE "out-staters" going 75 in 55. (They seemed to be close
of cops, judges and prosecutors). I decided to use U.S. Mail and our
fax machine instead of lawyers - and the formers did an excellent job!

I asked the court (at first just for a training) once to give me an
other court date.
Sure, they did. Next time, a few days before the court date I asked for
Duces Tecum", as of:
  - Topographic Map of the county
  - List of Radar/radio emitting places, like correctional institutes,
    bases, power stations, etc.
  - The cop's radar training certification
  - The cop's "ticketing" history of that very same day
  - The radar brand, manufacturer's data
  - The radar calibrtion logs

and so on. I don't remember, but the list was looooooong and nasty.
Sure, the State
did not know, what to do. So I sent a fax to the court, I could not
pepare myself
for the (self)defense, because the State did not presented the subpoena
I asked for.
The judge had to set an other court date... and this repeated again and
again. Before/
After every court date which could not happen, I made just an other
(reasonable sounding)
motion. Sure, the main accent of the motions was "suppress the evidence
derived from the
radar". I made it sure, the motions where referencing to each other -
thus whoever had
to read the material had to read exponentially more and more after every
minor event
in the case. I lived in Germany for a while - and WE DO KNOW, HOW TO
After a year (almost) the State got the "bight" idea to move in the
court against
ALL (yes, all, including the calibration, etc.) subpoena - saying that
to obtain
all this is "beyond the People's burden". (I do believe, even to read
the material
was well "beyond the People's burden" at that time!).
The next thing I asked for was subpoening of witnesses (well, they don't
have to
be present at the time of ticketing - they may just witness, I am a good
driver and
nice guy...) But the important was, my witnesses where FOREIGNERS (my
parents, in
my case). I asked politely the court to subpoena them ASAP from Hungary
(and some of
my friends from Australia and Germany) because it may take some time for
of State to approve a visitor's visa. Since it is a case in a court, a
usual B1/B2
tourist/business (or "visa waiver") is NOT GOOD. The Dept. of State has
to make the
strategic decision about visa. Anyway, you see the great importance of
the issue of
a visitor's visa of an alien person who is a key witness in a
sensational "75 mph in
55 mph zone" trial hold in the world-famous town of Mamakating, NY.
"Unfortunately", it did not happen. As it turned out, the "People of NY"
the local judge/prosecutor/whoever buddies) begun to fear this ticket
more, than
I did. The court (of course) was VERY confused and feared, I will make a
very loud
case and try to stip them of their revenue "toys" - i.e. basically
illegal moving
radar. I called the N.Y. Justice Dept. with some complains about the
court (remo-
tely related). I was told, I should offer them a plea "60 in 55", no
payment, no
points - unless I will speed in N.Y. again within next 3 years.
Well - I never ever seen a more happy guy than prosecutor, as he asked
the cop and
the judge to accept my offer. It turned out, I am just a "good guy" who
dosn't want
to pay the court and the insurance - and not a professional
After this I never ever heread about them...

All this was done exclusively by mail and fax - I never ever had to go
to the court.

------- * ------- * ------- * ------- * ------- * ------- * ------- *
------- * ------- * 

Your case may be different in one aspect: I was dealing with a (probably
old, outdated
and illegally moving) radar. You where got by "laser". The best is, go
in the bookstore
and look at some books. Research on the WWW, too (use the Alta Vista
search engine).
All this will very well pay off. However, be careful with the laser: if
you do on your
own, you must volunteer to plea-bargain at the end for paying nothin'
and promising to
be a good boy (as I did) or going, say, in the local driver education
school (and fax
the completion of this to the court) or... you can find other minor
just be creative.

As I know, the courts are unsure when, how and waether admit the about
the laser or not.
So, if your goal is to WIN, you have to hire a laser-expert lawyer (not
JUST a lawer).
A lawyer LOSING your case will do bad for you and for all others
involved in the laser
cases. If you BARGAIN by mail/fax (as I did) after a show of nasty
power, you let the
State win on the base that you ADMITTED YOUR GUILT - but not on the base
of judge's
judgement. A bad lawyer + judgement against you in a laser case without
bargaining will
be a major tragedy for other motorists (a case was made where laser was
admitted and used
as evidence) and won't mean a break for you.

I hope, you can repeat what I did. If you have luck, you will deal with
reasonable people.
Don't forget: I basically "won" against an infamous ticket-mill
(documented in the speedtrap
registry on the Net!).


'97 A6QW
'95 Diamante