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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Criminal Defense Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 27764
Experience:  18+ years of high-volume criminal defense work from arraignment through plea or trial.
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Just inquiring about the burden of proof required (or proof

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Just inquiring about the burden of proof required (or proof to the contrary, doubt) for a failure to stop at a stop sign ticket
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Alabama
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Just got the ticket an hour ago
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: 2 blocks from my houze house


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

As Alabama moving violations are misdemeanors, the burden of proof for criminal matters would apply. The state must prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt with any criminal case.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
a preponderance burden is not an issue in Alabama?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What tactics should I throw in there to create doubt? I can litigate, but I am not a lawyer. I'm a Risk Manager for an Insurance company...
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Would it help if I took a photo of the ticket and uploaded it?

A misdemeanor MUST require proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So a preponderance burden should not be an issue unless the town is doing something unconstitutional by falsely labeling it a civil infraction to increase revenue. This has happened in your state here.

As far as what tactics to use, to create reasonable doubt, a reasonable doubt is just a doubt for which you can give a reason. So what you want to try to do is to muddy the water with regard to the officer's ability to have observed what you did and also his ability to have any independent recollection of it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Such as having I'm recall...1) Was I speeding? [no]. 2) Was I rude? [no] 3) Was I cooperative? [yes} 4) Did I offer to show you registration, even though it wasn't asked to be produced? [yes] 5) Did you review the registration? [yes] 6) Was I wearing a seatbelt? [yes] 7) Did I use a turn signal? [yes]...and then, IF he tries to use the standard response, "I do not recall", then I can impeach his credibility by stating that since he cannot recall the incident, then how can he testify to the facts surrounding the offense that he deemed warranted a ticket? Or IF he does answer the questions correctly, what is my next chess move?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Such as having him recall...

You'd also want to ask him questions about the incident itself, such as where he was located, the weather conditions that day, the traffic flow, visibility issues, where he was stationed. Also his ability to recall your specific incident and have any independent recollection is important. For example, how many other cars did he ticket that day. How many cars has he ticketed between your ticket and the court appearance. You want to try to establish that he's busy enough with other similar matters to show that he couldn't possibly have any independent recollection of what you did or didn't do.


Customer: replied 1 month ago.
How about obtaining video of police officers in our city that ALSO perform "California rolls" /not a complete stop at stop signs? I see this with some frequency...Would this be enough to have the ticket dropped?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I guess I don't understand why the independent recollection is important...

Are you saying that you want your defense to be the fact that when the police do something similar nobody arrests them?

First of all police are immune from prosecution when in the course of their duties. And secondly, it's not a defense that others got away with it. It just makes them luckier than those who got caught.

Independent recollection is important because the officer is testifying to what he saw you do. And if he doesn't have any real basis to remember that, then he can't meet his burden. If the officer goes out on patrol every day and writes a dozen tickets -- as an example -- and many days have transpired between your ticket and the arrest, do you seriously believe he could remember what you dit/what he actually saw? He'll tell you he can, but that's why you muddy the water.

Best of luck.

Zoey, JD and 3 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you... last question, should I ask for a continuance if he appears at the first court date, to allow his memory more time to fade?

Sorry for the delay. I was on the telephone.

If this is a trial and he doesn't show up, you could ask for a dismissal. But if this is a criminal case, then your first court date will be your arraignment where the formal charges get read into the record and you're asked how you plead. You would plead not guilty if you want to fight the case and then you could ask the judge to have the other side turn over any discovery material they have. You could get a continuance that way.

But yes, delay is always a friend of the defense bar. Memories grow stale.