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  • Question for LEO's (former welcome too)

    I had an interesting discussion with a police officer today. (at Dunkin Donuts of course ) The officer explained that due to a politically based policy, they are no longer allowed to give warnings for infractions. We both agreed that discretion should be left to the officer. I suggested not showing up for the traffic court as a way of letting a motorist win by default if the officers didn't believe a ticket was necessary.

    The officer explained that a prosecutor does their talking for them in court, so it wouldn't make a difference. I thought the accused had a right to question his/her accuser in court. Can you explain why this is accepted procedure?
    Last edited by Mr. Security; 09-09-2006, 08:38 PM.
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

  • #2
    Here, officers do not have to show up for court unless directly subponead (sp?). And just getting a court trial for a citation does not mean that they will immediately get a subponea. For every citation, an affidavit must be filled out, this is like a mini-report going over some of the details of the stop such as, "I was driving a marked patrol car..." , "I was parked at so and so block..." , "I was using Radar #12345..." etc...

    Using this, the prosecuting office can defend the citation in court. I'm not sure, but I have always had the impression that the specific LEO is not the accuser, but the Govt. is, and that is why the court cases always read, "State of Washington vs. John Doe" rather than, "Officer James Doe- ABC Police Department vs. John Doe"

    But Im not the one to ask, maybe that question is better answered by your prosecutor?
    "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
    "The Curve" 1998

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BHR Lawson
      Here, officers do not have to show up for court unless directly subponead (sp?). And just getting a court trial for a citation does not mean that they will immediately get a subponea. For every citation, an affidavit must be filled out, this is like a mini-report going over some of the details of the stop such as, "I was driving a marked patrol car..." , "I was parked at so and so block..." , "I was using Radar #12345..." etc...

      Using this, the prosecuting office can defend the citation in court. I'm not sure, but I have always had the impression that the specific LEO is not the accuser, but the Govt. is, and that is why the court cases always read, "State of Washington vs. John Doe" rather than, "Officer James Doe- ABC Police Department vs. John Doe"

      But Im not the one to ask, maybe that question is better answered by your prosecutor?
      Ok. Still, if I were to submit an affidavit in my defense from a witness that was unable to appear, it is my understanding that it's considered heresy since the witness is not present for cross examination and therefore not admissible in court, as opposed to an adjudications hearing. As far as asking the prosecutor, the police officer spoke off the record and it wouldn't take much for them to put 2+2 together and inform the brass that there is grumbling among the rank and file.
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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      • #4
        I think if a cop regularly didn't show up to court, the Crown (opps I mean Prosecutor) would get really angry, really fast.

        By the way in Canada it is not Quebec vs Jacques Leblanc, it's Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II vs Jacques Leblanc!
        I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
        Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HotelSecurity
          I think if a cop regularly didn't show up to court, the Crown (opps I mean Prosecutor) would get really angry, really fast.

          By the way in Canada it is not Quebec vs Jacques Leblanc, it's Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II vs Jacques Leblanc!
          A thousand pardons, your Majesty.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr. Security
            The officer explained that a prosecutor does their talking for them in court, so it wouldn't make a difference. I though the accused had a right to question his/her accuser in court. Can you explain why this is accepted procedure?
            At the two police departments in California I worked for, if a person pleads Not Guilty to a traffic ticket the issuing officer would be subpoenaed to testify as a witness, since the State is the accuser. If the officer failed to appear in court as commanded by the subpoena (without a valid reason, such as illness) the officer would be seriously disciplined by their department. The normal punishment was a 3-day suspension without pay.

            Kwaj is a little different, since the traffic tickets we issue charge the offender under the base's rules and regulations, rather than Hawaii's traffic law; although, we could charge them under Hawaiian law if we really wanted to. If that happened and the offender pled Not Guilty, the offender and the issuing officer would have to be flown to Hawaii to appear in court in Honolulu. That is one of the reasons why we don't charge traffic violators under Hawaiian law. If the offender here pled Not Guilty he would get a hearing in front of the Commander or his designee (usually the base's legal officer) and so far I have not been required to appear at any of the hearings for all the tickets I have issued. The legal officer just uses the ticket I issued as my testimony.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by histfan71
              At the two police departments in California I worked for, if a person pleads Not Guilty to a traffic ticket the issuing officer would be subpoenaed to testify as a witness, since the State is the accuser. If the officer failed to appear in court as commanded by the subpoena (without a valid reason, such as illness) the officer would be seriously disciplined by their department. The normal punishment was a 3-day suspension without pay.

              Kwaj is a little different, since the traffic tickets we issue charge the offender under the base's rules and regulations, rather than Hawaii's traffic law; although, we could charge them under Hawaiian law if we really wanted to. If that happened and the offender pled Not Guilty, the offender and the issuing officer would have to be flown to Hawaii to appear in court in Honolulu. That is one of the reasons why we don't charge traffic violators under Hawaiian law. If the offender here pled Not Guilty he would get a hearing in front of the Commander or his designee (usually the base's legal officer) and so far I have not been required to appear at any of the hearings for all the tickets I have issued. The legal officer just uses the ticket I issued as my testimony.
              Your post seems to support my understanding. In the meantime, I'll do some research on Conn. Law.
              Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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