Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Fought The Law And The Law...... Part 1

My faithful readers, and Mr Anonymous, know that back on February 11, 2009, I received a speeding ticket in Boulder City, Nevada. Without going into details, here is the Blog post from May 12, 2009:

Since that Pretrial conference with the Boulder City City Attorney, I had not done much research into anything related to Nevada State law regarding their traffic laws. Mr Anonymous gave me several things to research and made many very good suggestions. But that would have required reading and researching. And if you know me, you know I can't read, and I'm too lazy to do any research.

But I did have a plan. There were two key points I had to make at my trial to try and win my case. One was to prove that there were no Speed Limit signs, and the other was to convince them that I was not driving in an unsafe manner. The former was easy. I had a video of the Highway showing that there were no Speed Limit signs until well after I was caught speeding. The latter not so difficult, but I had to ask the right questions.

Today was my Court trial. DUN DUN DUN! As in anything in life, you must be prepared for anything. The first thing I did was call the Courthouse 3 days prior, to see what type of Audio Visual equipment was available in the Courtroom. It would be dumb to show up with say, a USB thumb drive with the video recorded on MPEG-4, when all they may have is a VHS tape player. I was told that they had a DVD player hooked up to the Courtroom TVs.

I spent a good hour trying to figure out, and eventually recording the video from my computer to a DVD-R disc. I used the S-Video output from my Laptop, connected it to a DVD recorder outputting to my TV, and set the Laptop to "Graphics Output - Television." After 3 separate recordings, I finally had a full sized image of the video on the DVD-R disc.

On Wednesday, I drove to Las Vegas, taking a detour to Boulder City first. I wanted to see if my foresight would be correct and that what I thought might happen, would happen. This was something I didn't want to talk about in comments about my case. What if someone from Boulder City found this Blog and was monitoring it? Would my "Secret Weapon" of justice be neutralized, if they had prior knowledge about it?

You see, 6 months ago, they were finishing up the roadwork on the Highway where I was caught speeding. It was this roadwork that I believe was the reason there were no Speed Limit signs. And guess what? Two new signs were put up, one right before the "Boulder City City Limit" sign, and one after. The one before read, "45 MPH Speed Zone Ahead," and the other was a "45 MPH Speed Limit" sign. I took a picture of the sign, and several other signs leading to and from Boulder City from the South and North.

Then I went to Walgreens and had 3 of the pictures printed. I magnified and cropped the pictures to make sure that the signs were legible, and I had them printed on 8 X 10 photo paper for $9.00. I eventually used only the picture of the two signs near the "Boulder City City Limit" sign at my trial.

I spent the night at Bally's for $40. It was a special Expedia rate, and the room was very nice. The person giving me the room was talking to her Manager, who just happened to have the same last name as mine. My family name is not too common, so we talked a little, and found out our Fathers were from Hawaii, but from different Islands. I know we must be related somewhere down the line, but who knows how. It didn't matter, I didn't get the Super Luxury Suite upgrade. But the Standard room was really nice and roomy. I had a great night's sleep.

I woke up early, and went next door to the Paris Hotel. Bally's and Paris are connected by a hallway. Paris Hotel is my favorite Breakfast Buffet in Las Vegas. I stuffed myself with Eggs Benedict, Ham, Apple Crepes, Belgium waffles, Smoked Salmon, Corned Beef Hash, Strawberries, Coffee, and Orange Juice for $15, $10 after I used a $5 off coupon. Score! I went back to my room, cleaned up, changed into Courtroom appropriate attire, checked out of the Hotel, and headed to Boulder City. I had to be there by 9:30 am.

I got to Court 25 minutes early, and while waiting for my trial to begin, I finally wrote down on paper, some key questions that I would ask the Police Officer during the trial. You really can't rely on your memory, or "my" memory since I'm getting senile. Plus, it helps you keep your questions relevant and in order.

There were many other Court cases to be heard, people who were jailed for one reason or another came first. Most plead "Guilty" to their crimes, some plead "Not Guilty." They were all released on their own recognizance and given a trial date or instructions to follow for pleading "Guilty."

Finally, it was time for those who had a Court case. There were two of us. Even the Bailiff was surprised. I overheard him say, "We're going to have a trial" almost incredulously.

The other person was also caught speeding, on a different Highway, by the same officer that caught me speeding. His defense was the unreliablity of Radar guns. He even brought copies of Judgments from other Court cases and gave copies to the Judge and City Attorney. They didn't care. During the cross examination of the Officer by the Defendant, the Officer stated that they do not physically keep a log of when they calibrate their Radar gun. I thought, "This guy won. The Officer didn't even document his calibrations." But the Judge said, the Officer's word was good enough for him, and if he said he did the calibrations at the beginning and end of every shift, and after every traffic stop, then that's what he did. The Defendant was at a loss for words. He wasn't a Lawyer. In his final words he repeated what he said about Radar guns, and thought that the Officer should have kept a written record of his calibrating the Radar gun and by not doing so, his case should be dismissed. The Judge found him guilty of speeding, and he was fined 127 dollars.

Now it was my turn. The City Attorney went first, stated the facts of the case, went over and repeated the Officer's qualifications to judge speed, and use of a radar gun. The City Attorney even stopped at one point and asked the Judge, "I have to go over this again, don't I? I can't skip it?" Of course the answer was "No." He did try to make my Speeding ticket worse than it was, saying I was cited at 20 mph over the speed limit by going 65 mph. You see, the Officer had wrote on the ticket that the Radar caught me driving at 65 mph. But the Officer only wrote me up for going 50 mph. I was guessing that by the time he caught up to me, I was going 50 mph.

Now it was my turn to question the Officer.

Aw, this is getting too long, and I have to go to bed. Good Night. I'll finish this on my next day off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous here:

The suspense is killing me! That previous guy should have nailed it, if he knew to ask the question "Do you know what a tuning fork is?"

The officer most likely meant flicking the switch on the radar detector unit detector itself, and NOT the actual process of calibration per the operation manual.

Here's to hoping yours ended on a positive note!