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The Traffic Stop page

 

More cases are lost in Georgia Kangaroo traffic Kourts by a defendant's own admission of guilt, than by any good police work X 10.

Do not ever admit to any speed or any guilt at the scene of the traffic stop. Once you have admitted guilt, by the words from your own mouth, you have lost, and not even the Georgia $peedingTICKETKILLER system can save you!

 

 

*WARNING*

Were you caught on video at the traffic stop? Don’t know? Maybe? Definitely? Many Georgia law enforcement officers use video cameras and audio recording devices. And YES, they do sometimes use them for routine minor traffic stops and then use the tapes at trial to convict you. If you were caught on audio tape admitting guilt, or even the possibility  (you expressing doubt or uncertainty) you might have been speeding, or any statement that might support the possibility you were speeding, NOT even the Georgia $peedingTICKETKILLER system can help you.

There is no more damaging evidence than your own admission of guilt, and even more so if they have that admission of guilt on an audio/video tape.

Not all Georgia law enforcement officers use audio/video recordings, but some do. You need to think back clearly, as to what you might have said that could have been recorded on tape, if such was being used. Do not expect them to tell you they are recording you or that they even have a recording.

Audio/video tapes are NOT scientific reports as defined by the Georgia Appellate Courts, and therefore are NOT discoverable under Georgia’s discovery laws. They do not have to give you a copy in advance to view. They will not bring the tape to kourt unless it is damaging to your case. If you see a TV in the kourtroom, and a VCR tape on the prosecutors table, be prepared for the worst.

In a very recent August 2005 speeding case in the Cobb State Court, a defendant was convicted when the deputy introduced into evidence an audio/video tape of a speeding charge. The person stated in response to the deputies’ question at the traffic stop as to why he was going so fast; “I must have being going faster than I thought when I caught second gear.” The judge convicted him on that statement alone from the audio/video tape.

When you are stopped – pulled over by a Georgia law enforcement officer – NEVER EVER admit to any type of guilt at the scene of the traffic stop. Any guilt you admit will be used against you. Never admit doubt; never admit uncertainty as to the actual speed you were traveling. Do not volunteer any information.

  • If you are asked if you knew how fast you were going, simply answer, “YES, the speed limit.”
     
  • If you are then asked if you know what the speed limit is, answer “YES.”

If you are asked again, what the specific speed limit is, NEVER give a numerical answer. It is a trick question. Do NOT allow yourself to be tripped up by the officer’s trick questioning, especially if he is recording you, or there is the possibility he may be recording you. You have answered enough investigatory questions. Simply remain silent as to anymore of those types of questions.

Remember, there are NO Miranda Warning rights in a routine traffic stop! You are not officially under arrest, therefore Miranda does NOT apply. What you say CAN and WILL be used against you. NEVER EVER ADMIT GUILT or even doubt as to the speed you may have been traveling.

In virtually all criminal cases, an officer (a witness) cannot testify as to what another witness told him. That witness MUST be in kourt to testify. There is one exception. It is called the Res Gestae exception to the Hearsay Rule, and this exception allows the officer to testify to anything that you tell him at the scene of the traffic stop. It is NOT hearsay for the officer to testify to anything you say at the traffic stop.

RES GESTAE –

38 states recognize this exception to the hearsay rule. Where the res gestae exception exists, a party is allowed to admit evidence, which consists of, among other things, everything said and done in the course of the incident or transaction that is the subject of the trial. The evidence admitted under res gestae can be hearsay or non-hearsay. Georgia is one of the 38 states that recognize "res gestae", and this exception allows anything you say in the presence of the officer to be admitted in as evidence.

The following type statements, and many possible variants of, made at the scene of a traffic stop, would be used as evidence in kourt to convict you, regardless of the lack of proper radar or laser evidence to your alleged speed.

  • Was I really going that fast? (a question you may make to the officer)
     
  • I do not believe I was going that fast.
     
  • I must have been going faster than I thought.
     
  • That is the correct speed limit for this road? (a question you make to the officer)
     
  • My speedometer is not working right. (That is an admission of two crimes since Georgia law requires functioning speedometers)
     

Such statements like the examples above, made to the officer at the traffic stop, means you do not KNOW how fast you were going, and could have been and probably was speeding. The officer may record such statements you make either in his notes or on the back of his copy of the ticket. He will have them at trial and will testify as to the statements you made.

The kourt will then believe the testimony of the officer as to your alleged charged speed since you do not have a clue (by your own statements) as to how fast you were actually going. You give the kourt no other choice.

The most important part of any traffic stop is what YOU do not do. You want to make (your behavior and your uttering) as uneventful and unmemorable as possible to the arresting officer. You want this officer to remember NOTHING specific about you or this particular stop.

Keep silent, say nothing, volunteer no information, let the officer do his job in such conditions he will have no special cause to remember you when you meet him once again in kourt.

Not all law enforcement agencies make audio/video recordings of routine traffic stops. Any law enforcement agency “might” however be using one at any time. I have recently heard that the City of Atlanta PD removed their cameras from their patrol cars because the evidence recorded in DUI cases was actually damaging to the officers when the tape revealed the officers not following correct DUI testing and arrest procedures. You MUST always behave as if you are being recorded!

 

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