1. #1
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    Evidence requirement in traffic court?

    So essentially, in criminal court, proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required. In civil court, it's knocked down to a preponderance of evidence.

    What is the requirement in traffic court?


    Thanks,
    Steve

  2. #2
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    In a State where a traffic offense is a violation or a misdemeanor, proof beyond a reasonable doubt is still required. This proof is normally established by Officer/witness testimony. or in the case of a DUI, by evidence of intoxication at time of arrest. These trials are conducted under the same "adversarial rules" as are criminal trials. In states where traffic violations are "Civil Infractions", the burden of proof doesn't shift, and the trials are conducted before a Judge/Civil Hearing Officer in much the same manner as the violation/misdemeanor trial I referenced previously. You should be certain how traffic violations are classified and handled in your state.

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    It also needs to be pointed out that a lot of traffic laws are considered "strict liability". That means either you did it or you didn't and all the excuses and reasons in the world cannot be used as a defense to justify action.

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    In Ca most traffic court evidence is testimonial. The officer will articulate the facts surrounding the violation and what his observations were.
    In radar/lidar tickets the officer will have to disclose 1) traffic survey 2) radar/lidar maintenance record 3) officer has to disclose his training on said equipment.

    I usually bring pictures of signs or road marking to help the bench officer see how clearly a particular location is marked.

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    I'm trying to understand this question. Traffic court is still criminal court so you've already answered your question.

  6. #6
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    In Vermont traffic court works via a preponderance of the evidence due to almost all traffic violations being civil. Just a note of interest, in Vermont the Police Officer who wrote the ticket is also the "prosecuting attorney".
    "My give a damn's busted"

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    Quote Originally Posted by leesrt View Post
    I'm trying to understand this question. Traffic court is still criminal court so you've already answered your question.
    Apparently I hadn't, which is why we've had several different answers going from criminal to civil, each with their own evidence requirements.



    Thanks to everyone for the answers, they were helpful

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by leesrt View Post
    I'm trying to understand this question. Traffic court is still criminal court so you've already answered your question.
    Depends on the state. In Indiana most traffic court cases are civil only.

    Speeding ticket = civil

    Driving while Suspended = criminal

    So its only preponderance for a speeding ticket but beyond reasonable for DWS.

  9. #9
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    In Wisconsin, a traffic citation is technically a civil matter, but it carries a slightly higher burden of proof than a traditional civil trial. A traffic citation must be proved by clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence. This is higher than the civil court standard of by a preponderance of the evidence and is lower than beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Quote Originally Posted by kontemplerande View Post
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.
    Strong is what's left when you've used up all your weak.

  10. #10
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    Violations- Clear and Convincing evidence...this level of proof is one step above "Because I said so."
    "The wicked flee when no man pursueth
    but the righteous are bold as a lion"

    Proverbs 28:1, inscription beneath NLEOM lion.

  11. #11
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    I wondered how some states would deal with the new texting laws. Simply a quick view as a car speeds by sure doesn't give solid proof they were texting. It appeared they were doing something on what looked like a cell phone....
    Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

    nom de plume

    This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

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