Recently I was issued a summons for allowing an improper person to operate an ATV. I never handed the individual the keys and the choice to drive was his because at the time I was not present. The officer who wrote up the report issued false statements of what I said. What recourse can I take prior to my court date. At that point he will be perjuring himself and I can go from there. I have already contacted the prosecutor who informed me of his statements, and have contacted the officer who has stated his report is accurate but would meet with me to discuss the issue. I have three other witness who were there and can attest to what I said and did not say.
State/Country relating to Question: New Hampshire
Contacted both the prosecutor and the officer.
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On the police report he states that I said I let him drive all the time and that I allowed him to knowlingly drive my ATV while being aware that his license was suspended. None of which is true.
My thought would be to have the three witnesses type out statements as to what their testimony would be. They could describe their perspective as to what occurred which, hopefully, would contradict the officer. Their statements should also include their name, address and phone number. Additionally, notarizing the statements would be helpful as well.
You could then present the statements to the prosecutor. With the three witnesses (hopefully one of those is the operator of the ATV) providing testimony contradictory to the officer, the prosecutor would quite likely dismiss the charge, or certainly, at the very least, extend a very favorable offer of resolution.
Please let me know if anything requires clarification.
Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
Just a quick follow up to this, as it turns out the operater of my ATV was not even in the town that arrested him. I was issued a summons by my local town but when I checked the maps he was pulled over about 50 yards short of the town line. So the alleged offense took place in a different town. So I was issued a summons by a town that my "infraction" didnt even occur in. Wouldnt this be a quick way to get it thrown out when I go to court?
It certainly could be. As you have alluded to, police officers can typically only write reports for offenses that occurred within their own jurisdiction. If the offense was outside of their jurisdiction, it is certainly possible to have the charge dismissed altogether.
I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Following up once again I dont know why it still says accept answer when I clicked on it. Anyway got the ticket thrown out because of jurisdictional issues but now the town that it occured in is charging me. The worse past is instead of just plainly issuing a summons for a minor violation they called me up while I was about to go to a very important meeting with a potentially new client and said there was a warrant out for my arrest. They classified it as a class b Misd which it isnt. I explained to the officer that it was only a violation and there must be a typo and stated that I had to work or I would lose an account. He told me either you come down here now or Im coming to get you. So I had to go obviously, they booked me, printed me, mug shot the whole deal for a mere violation. I spoke with the chief the next day who is also the prosecutor and he informed me that there was a typo on the level and it would be fixed prior to my court date but that in New Hampshire the police are allowed to process you even for minor violations. I thought violations were a non arrestable offense? Not only are the charges erroneous but now Ive missed out on a rather large account because I was the last one they were to meet with and I had to cancel. It was going to be close to 50K a year. What re course do I have this is insane. Thanks.
I apologize but before proceeding, I need to clarify something. In your first sentence, you stated that you "clicked on" the accept. That is not indicated on my side of the screen. As I have stated, I am only compensated if you do, in fact, click on the "accept". Are you stating that you believe you have already clicked the "accept" for my answer?
I did so again so hopefully it went through this time. Could you please respond to my most recent question, thanks so much!
Do you have the specific charge that was leveled against you? It should be on the summons that you received. This information will help me give you a more accurate answer.
Sure RSA 263:1-a allowing an improper person to operate. Its a Violation.
As you alluded to, this is a violation. Furthermore, violations are not considered criminal in nature and are not punishable by incarceration. However, a second offense under this statute becomes a criminal offense. As such, my speculation is that the "typo" in your case was that there was a prior offense. This would explain the matter being treated as if it were criminal.
As to your "recourse", you could consider filing a civil lawsuit for what you went through. the lawsuit would be based on a violation of your civil liberties. You could seek damages for being booked and processed.
Having said that, please know that this could be a difficult lawsuit for you to pursue. Law enforcement officers are protected by qualified immunity. This legal theory states that officers that act reasonably within the scope of their duties are protected from suit. While there is no doubt that what you went through was wrong, prevailing in court may be difficult.
My thought would be to consult with an attorney in your area about the matter. If you are interested, you would be seeking a civil attorney that focuses on lawsuits against law enforcement agencies. You might consider looking outside of your immediate area. As you can imagine, attorneys may be hesitant to sue police officers within their own geographic area. Contact a few attorneys and discuss the matter in detail. If they suggest that you have a viable lawsuit, then certainly consider pursuing the matter further.
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