Monday, October 7, 2019

Preparing for trial – evidence to bring

Now that you've found some legal analysis to argue and/or show to the judge, it's time to collect your evidence for trial.
Aaron Judge - who is obviously NOT the judge we're considering here
Remember, do NOT just bring your phone and/or tablet and/or computer.  Sure you can bring those, but it's best to have EVERYTHING on paper that you can actually hand to the judge.  Well, okay, you won't be personally handing it to the judge.  Most likely you'll hand it to the bailiff who will hand it to the judge.
Presumably your judge will look more like this
But the important thing to remember is you need something on paper in addition to on your phone or whatever.

Here's the possible scenarios that might happen at my trial, and the evidence I brought.  You need to consider all the possibilities for your own trial, and what evidence you should bring to support your position for each possibility.

#1 Police officer fails to show up.  If this happens, most likely the case against me will be dismissed.  Yay!

#2 Police officer shows up.  I talk to him/her before trial and s/he agrees to dismiss the case.  I usually am able to speak with the officer when I'm in court as an attorney representing someone else.  Most of the time [but not always], the officer will agree to reduce the charge to something that doesn't carry any points against my client's license, and allow my client 30 days to pay the fine.  It's rare but not unheard of that an officer will speak with a traffic defendant directly, but if I wear one of my court suits, I might be able to swing this.

#2a Before trials begin, the court usually asks all traffic defendants whose officer shows up, whether they want to change their plea to no-contest and request traffic school.  LOTS of folks plead not-guilty and show up at trial just to see of the officer shows up.  If not, case dismissed.  If so, request traffic school.  If you'd accept traffic school but you'd rather the citation be dismissed, ask the court whether you'll be allowed to change your plea and request traffic school in this situation.  NOTE:  if you wait until after you lose at trial to request traffic school, most likely that will be too late.

#3 Police officer shows up and we proceed to trial.  Officer tells the truth, that he saw me texting while stopped at a traffic light.  I will bring copies of the court cases I wrote about previously, with relevant sections yellow-highlighted.  I also need my phone [because that's where the original text message is located], plus a paper copy of the text message.  I also bring a copy of my son's orders, and a photo of me and my son.

#4 Police officer shows up and we proceed to trial.  Officer LIES and says he saw me speaking on the phone.  Rare, but a possibility.  I need to bring a copy of my phone bill that shows no calls on that date/time.

Next week we'll look at how the trial will proceed and what I should and should not say.

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