Saturday, December 6, 2008

Traffic Court Peeve...

It really drives me nuts when an officer comes into traffic court and testifies by reading a few paragraphs they typed up that morning.

They get that droning tone and stare down at the paper. It's totally obvious that they're reading.

Do everyone a favor, and learn how to testify verbatim. Refer to your notes to refresh your recollection, but don't just stand there and read.

8 comments:

Me said...

What court lets an officer have notes on the stand? Try that here, and defense counsel will demand a copy of those notes--as is his right--and will also ask that the officer be instructed to testify from memory...and woe to the officer who cannot do so.

You're right--officers need to be prepared, and that includes reviewing one's notes ahead of time to at least allow for credible testimony.

Berserk said...

Yeah, that's a problem. I mean, I hate testifying, but I'm pretty damn good at it. There's really no excuse for a cop to not be good at that.

*Goddess* said...

Sounds like you've been watching "Speeders Fight Back";)

Albany Lawyer said...

In my world officers get away with all kinds of things like that -- testifying from notes, contradicting themselves, not remembering details -- and the judges will still find against the defendant. And of course, since they get away with it routinely, laziness in the courtroom is commonplace. Aside from laziness, the problem for many officers is the delay from the time of the incident to the time of the hearing. How can you possibly remember the details of a simple traffic or DUI stop that happened six months earlier?

Berserk said...

Six months isn't so long to remember a DUI or a traffic stop. Unless the defense attorney gets away with asking for irrelevant and obscure details.

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Officer "Smith" said...

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