The Traffic Stop
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
system can save 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
expressing doubt or uncertainty) you might have been speeding, or any statement
that might support the possibility you were speeding, NOT even the
system can help you.
no more damaging evidence than your own admission of guilt,
and even more so if they have that admission of guilt on an
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
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.
are stopped – pulled over by a Georgia law enforcement officer –
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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