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If I accept your answer as being a correct interpretation of the law and act on that, am I protected that you did not make a mistake and send me to the hearing to find out that I did not correctly understyand the law.... abd am found guilty.
I am under the impression that if I hire a lawyer to give me advice, his/her practice insurance guarantees me that I am protected if I go to court and use his advice to protect myself.
So.... do I get some sort of protection if I accept your advice and
compensate you for it?
Thanks for your response,
You may thin this is a silly what if....
What if I rely on your answer and go to a court hearing on the citation and the Judge tells me....
the officer is correct in assuming my guilt because he has electronic recordings of his telephone interviews and can represent what he learned from those two drivers to substantiate the citation based upon two unrelated
people accusing you of Careless Driving.
What do you say if the judge then throws the proverbial book at me?.
I don't think you're silly at all. The Oregon Evidence Code is in force for any trial of a traffic violation. If you visit this website for the City of Tigard, you can see that it confirms substantially what I have explained. Similarly, the Official Justice Court Rules Gen. Ord. 2009-1(3) in Tilamook County provides that the Oregon Evidence Code is adopted in full. ORS 40.315 Rule 602 provides, "Subject to the provisions of ORS 40.415, a witness may not testify to a matter unless evidence is introduced sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter. Evidence to prove personal knowledge may, but need not, consist of the testimony of the witness." In Brown v. JC Penney Co., 688 P. 2d 811 (1984), the Oregon Supreme Court held that witness statements reproduced in a police report is inadmissible hearsay, "if the purpose was to prove the truth of the statements of the various complainants of criminal activity."
A voice recording is a "writing," no different than any other. The recording is admissible to prove that a recording was made by the police officer. But, it's not admissible to prove the truth of the statements made by the persons whose voices are heard on the recording. Those voices could be manufactured by the police officer to corroborate his testimony. It's inadmissible hearsay. I could go on, if you like -- but, if you are looking for an ironclad statement of law that provides that you cannot lose your case at trial, then I cannot possibly accommodate that request -- because, if nothing else, traffic court judges are highly disposed to rule against driver defendants, and they bend over backwards to find ways to avoid having to play be the regular rules of evidence. So, I can't say you will win. If you really want to win, then hire a lawyer, because my experience is that, generally speaking, laypersons always lose in court (except small claims, where the courts are expected to give laypersons an edge). It's really all up to you. I know that the officer cannot testify to what the witnesses said -- it's inadmissible hearsay. And, the officer cannot testify to your committing the crime, because the officer never saw you commit the crime. So, if the witnesses don't show up, then there will be no one to testify to any of the evidence of the crime, which means you must be found not guilty.That's the academic argument. In a real traffic court, the judge could ignore the rules of evidence and find you guilty -- no doubt about it. But, that's something beyond my control. In the end, it's entirely up to the judge to uphold the incorruptibility of the legal system. Hope this helps.
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