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Re: Traffic Tickets and The Legal Process

At 09:46 AM 4/6/96 -0700, The Judge wrote:

>BTW, if you get hooked up for a ticket going 120 in a sixty-five, do not go
>to trial.  Almost every state will have "judicial notice" of the validity
>of radar guns, and they may not allow an expert to testify.  In this case,

Here in Washington, *some* courts do NOT take judicial notice of the
validity of radar guns. At least that was so a few years ago--don't know if
the following is still case law, but I think it is.  (haven't had the
"opportunity" to use this, knock on wood!)

There are a few hoops you, a defendant must jump through (includes finding a
court that understands this decision), and your actions at the time of the
stop are critical (i.e. no admission of anything over speed limit), but many
cases are dismissed because prosecutors almost cannot provide a proper
foundation (legal term of art) for the admission of radar readings as
evidence of speed.  

If you properly object, the radar reading will NOT come in (be admitted),
and typically the case will get tossed.  Don't have the cite, but the case
is Petersen vs. City of Seattle, reported (i believe) in Wn.App--i don't
believe it was a Wn supreme ct decision, which also means it may apply only
in the Wn.App division covering Seattle.  Basically, the court said it is
not enough to prove proper maintenance and operation (typically done), but
also proper *design* and *construction* of the speed measuring device.  

Funny story about this one:  the guy who clued me into this case used it to
beat a speeding ticket while he was in law school.  He works in the King
County Prosecutor's office now :)

have fun.
* linus toy           email:  linust@interramp.com                   *