Speeding ticket but cop doesn't show up for the trial

This is interesting. So the judge must have known that “not guilty” was not true in most cases, but he just didn’t care.

According to police officers and lawyers I’ve spoken with, 5 mph over is the standard around here. Anything less than that not only doesn’t stand up in court in most cases, but can also has the potential of getting the ticketing officer reprimanded. I didn’t know enough about the law or radar guns at the time to contest it.

This one I sympathize with. But your own personal cruise control is not a good source for what speed you were going. How would you prove that?

Even if my cruise control wasn’t properly adjusted, it certainly wasn’t far enough off for a 13 mph discrepancy. I’ve only been pulled over a handful of times in my life, and the one other time I was pulled over for speeding, as soon as I told the officer that I had my cruise control set he let me go.

Sometimes I think the police write tickets because they can but more often than not I think people just do not take responsibility for their own actions.

I’d agree with this. I have a friend who almost always has a stack of unpaid tickets in his car. He has a “good” reason absolving himself of responsibility for each and every one of them.

You can request that the Judge dismiss due to the fact that the officer Failed to Appear. Nothing wrong with that and the Judge will usually do just that. you never attempt to address the issue of your Guilt or Innocence so no Moral or Ethical conflict.

If I were a cop, one of my biggest joys would be actually wasting my time to show up just so all those people who like to use the system just to get out of a ticket would have to pay.

But I asked how you could prove it. If you fight the ticket and you say “my cruise control was set” That is not proof. Nor is it really all that creative. I’ll bet that is quite a common excuse.:smiley:

5 is usually the standard. Personally I have never got a ticket for anything 10 and under. But I have been pulled over for as little as 1 over. Early in the morning when I used to work the night shift or go to adoration. I did not mind, the cop would never give me a ticket and was obviously pulling over to check for DUIs which as a person who used to drive a lot at night I actually appreciated.

In court, the accused has a right to confront their accusers. If the officer does not show up, then you have a right to have your case dismissed. There is nothing immoral about it.

BTW, police officers usually have assigned court days and are required to be there. They can get into serious trouble by having their tickets tossed out.

I have heard of people who were given tickets that were out of line with the law and go to court to challenge it. The officer, knowing that the ticket was bogus and will probably be tossed, will step outside of the courtroom right before the case is called. How is that for Justice?

When one pleads in court, it is arguable that the plead means only this:

Guilty- I judge the evidence likely to see me convicted, hence I plead to minimise the consequences for me;

Not Guilty - I judge the state to have a case unlikely to see me convicted.

In both cases, I make no admission of my guilt or innocence. The problem with a guilty plea is that it may lead to a requirement to explicitly lie to the court later.

Question: Under the legal system, if a client admits to his lawyer that he did the crime, can the lawyer support a plea of not guilty?

Good point. A friend of mine did beat a ticket by having his cruise control tested by a mechanic. I think the ruling was that since his cruise control had been tested and calibrated more recently than the radar gun, his car was considered more reliable.

5 is usually the standard. Personally I have never got a ticket for anything 10 and under. But I have been pulled over for as little as 1 over. Early in the morning when I used to work the night shift or go to adoration. I did not mind, the cop would never give me a ticket and was obviously pulling over to check for DUIs which as a person who used to drive a lot at night I actually appreciated.

We have a few small towns around here that are notorious speed traps. The local sheriffs sit at the town limits, right where the speed limit changes from 55 to 25 and nab anyone who doesn’t slow down in time. I have friends and relatives who have gotten tickets for 1-2 mph over in those places, but mine was on the highway and not in a speed trap.

The big ploys for suspected DUIs around here, at least when I was in college, were flashing your brights/driving with your brights are (you weren’t, really, but the officer “thought” you were), and swerving within your lane. I have one friend who earned himself a 30 day vacation at the county’s expense for fighting with an officer who felt he was swerving within his lane.

You have the right to plead not guilty and to face your accuser (the cop who gave you the ticket). Pleading not guilty is not the same as pleading innocent. If the judge dismisses the case, then lucky you: STOP SPEEDING!

I’m not a fast driver and haven’t had a speeding ticket in probably 30ish years.

In my state, the law specifically says that unless you’re in a school zone or a strictly residential zone (has to be a limit under 35 to be strictly residential) then you have to be going more than 10 miles over the speed limit to receive a ticket by radar.

In the United States, you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Some people go to court because there are circumstances they want considered before getting a fine. It isn’t unusual that by going to court, you might get a lesser charge or lower fine. In any traffic court that I’ve attended, they ask if you’re guilty or not guilty. If you say you’re guilty, there is no hearing, you just pay the fine. To be able to present to the judge, you have to plead not guilty. Under these circumstances, I would think it is not an immoral act. It is the government’s burden to prove the crime. If they cannot or choose not to do so, I’ll be losing no sleep.

As to someone going 1-3 miles over the speed limit in a 60 mph zone, what’s more dangerous? The 1-3 mph over the limit or someone staring at their speedometer rather than the road. I would talk my way out of that ticket without feeling the least amount of guilt. Also, if you do the slightest amount of research, radar is not as accurate when the radar is moving (as in a moving police car).

Depends on the type of radar and how recently it was calibrated. At any rate, radar is just one tool that a LEO will use to determine moving violations. He/she also has their eyes, their ears and their “cop sense”.

If you are guilty, you’re guilty. The LEO showing up or not showing up really has nothing to do with it. The Lord knows.

Absolutely. As I said, it is the State’s burden to prove its case. A not guilty plea is merely saying that you don’t believe that the State can prove its case and you are requiring them to try to do so.

When a jury finds a person “not guilty” that doesn’t mean that all the jurors agree that the person is “innocent”. It merely means that the State failed to prove him guilty. For example, if a police officer obtains a confession, and the person actually doesn’t dispute the confession, but that confession was improperly obtained (for example the police failed to inform the person they had the right to remain silent), the confession is not admissible. Absent other evidnence of guilt, the jury would be required to find the person “not guilty”. That doesn’t mean that the person did not commit the act (was “innocent”) , or that the jury even believes the person didn’t commit the act, but merely that the proof of guilt was insufficient.

I tend to go with the technicalities. I’m old enough to know right from wrong. If I know I was in the wrong, I’m wrong, whether any court in the land says I am or not. The fact is I could commit murder and with the help of a very talented attorney get off scot free. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m still guilty and will get my judgment. It won’t be in the form of a monetary fine, but I will be found guilty.

Actually it does change the fact that you are “guilty”. You are found "not guilty’ by a jury, so you aren’t guilty. PERIOD. You may have done the act. You may be morally culpable, but you aren’t “guilty”. “Guilty” is a legal term. It has a specific definition that is different from the layman’s definition. In a court of law, the legal definition applies.

Courts aren’t in the business of determining moral cupability. That is for a different tribunal.

The OP’s question was “would it be “immoral” to plead “not guilty”.” The short answer, which I state with absolute confidence is NO. I say this because the term “not guilty” has a specific meaning in a court of law, and that meaning is NOT the same as saying “I didn’t do it”.

Now, whether speeding in and of itself is sinful is another question. That isn’t the question the Court is dealing with and the OP may have to handle that issue in the “other tribunal”, which our Lord specifically referred to in his visions to St. Faustina, i.e. the confessional.

I’m no lawyer but in my understanding of moral theology, pleading not guilty is not pleading “I didn’t speed” and therefore not a lie. It simply states that the court has to prove you are guilty.

Both the speeding laws and the laws governing the courts are just laws. To say that I must follow the speeding laws which are just, but I can’t follow these court room laws which are also just, then I am contradicting myself.

In my opinion, it would be no less a moral decision to plead not guilty as to plead guilty.

Your conscience will be more of a judge to you in a case like this than our opinions here however. What does your conscience tell you about this? I know mine would tell me, “Gary you know you were speeding so go pay your fine before the court date. You got what you deserve now take your medicine.” If I were to go against this conscience feeling, I would be acting immorally. I cannot speak for anyone’s conscience but mine.

:thumbsup:

Yes;

americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/rule_1_6_confidentiality_of_information.html

I respectfully disagree. Pleading “Not Guilty” simply means the govt. has to prove it by either a preponderance of the evidence or beyond a reasonable doubt.

If there is no witness against you, you are pleading not guilty “within the law”, so IMO, there is nothing immoral about it.

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