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An expert in police traffic enforcement

One reason people lose their trial in traffic court is that they don’t know what evidence needs to be called to challenge the evidence of the police. A police officer may take the witness stand and describe the steps they took to conclude that it was appropriate to issue the ticket. The officer may be completely wrong about what they should have done but unless the court has the evidence to contradict it, the police evidence carries the day.

This is something we see regularly with DIY lawyers in traffic court and even lawyers who dabble with tickets. It’s a problem. But there is a solution. Lawyers who make traffic tickets their business will engage the services of an expert in traffic enforcement.

I’m having my hearing. What could go wrong?

It’s amazing the things that police officers will say in court. We have run trials where police officers have testified that their RADAR device can target a specific vehicle in heavy traffic. We have had cases where officers have testified that their mounted RADAR unit is connected to their police cruiser’s speedometer. We have had cases where officers testified that their LASER unit self-calibrates.

None of these things are true. Each time you hear evidence of this sort during a trial you wonder if there is some way it could possibly be true and, if not, how could you possibly show the court that the police officer is wrong. And that’s a big problem even for experienced lawyers if they don’t know how to deal with it.

The trial starts and you hear the evidence. The officer testifies and you need to be able to react. If the officer lies or is simply wrong about some fundamental aspect of traffic enforcement, you need to contradict it. But how can you do that? You need to have an expert in traffic enforcement.

What is an expert in traffic enforcement?

Lawyers may be super skilled, but they are not in the position to give evidence at your trial. They need to know about policing. They need to know about the correct police procedure. They need to know what the officer needs to prove to make out the ticket. But the lawyer can’t take the witness stand and explain what the officer did wrong, nor can they necessarily identify on their own what the police did wrong.

So, what do you do in this type of case? You bring in an expert.

There are former traffic enforcement officers and police officers who were the top traffic cops, who become experts in police traffic enforcement. They make their living in retirement assisting lawyers to defend traffic court cases.

We’re not talking about any retired cop. An expert in police traffic enforcement will almost always have been recognized by a court as an expert. They were usually the officer who taught traffic enforcement to new recruits and gave refresher training along the way to officers to ensure they kept their skills. Only a handful of officers gain this level of skills to be called an expert in police traffic enforcement. And their information is incredibly valuable for the defence.

How can an expert help in my case?

Here is a typical scenario. The lawyer attends court for a speeding ticket. The lawyer meets with the officer, discusses the ticket, and reviews the officer’s notes. The lawyer recognizes a potential problem and then discusses it with the expert. The expert sees right away that the officer failed to follow the correct procedure to use the particular speed measuring device.

When the trial starts, the lawyer is fully prepared to cross-examine the officer on the failure to use the correct procedure. Equipped with the information from the expert, the lawyer can demonstrate that the officer did it wrong.

Then comes the case for the defence. The expert can then testify about the correct procedure and comment on the procedure the officer used.

At this point, the court may be left with a reasonable doubt about whether the driver was guilty and the ticket is dismissed.

A secret weapon?

It’s not a secret weapon to have an expert come to court to testify. The point is to be fully prepared to call the necessary evidence to show that a defence to the ticket is made out. The above scenario is a tidy version representing a scenario that takes place regularly in traffic courts around BC.

An expert in police traffic enforcement is only considered an expert because their evidence is impartial. In other words, if your lawyer has an expert testify in your case, the evidence would be the same if they were testifying for you or the prosecution. An expert in police traffic enforcement is simply there to ensure the court understands what are often very complex principles of police procedure.

How do I get one of these “Experts?”

Your lawyer is in the position to secure the services of an expert witness provided they know who to call. We have been defending traffic tickets for decades. We know the police officers who conduct traffic enforcement. As well, we have cultivated relationships with experts in many areas of traffic enforcement.

When an acquittal or conviction in traffic court comes down to the evidence that’s called, one question to put to your lawyer is do you have an expert witness who you can call to testify in my case? If your lawyer has the connection to an expert in police traffic enforcement, then they may very well be best suited to succeed in your traffic ticket defence.

If you have a traffic ticket and it’s important for you to succeed, ask your lawyer whether they have an expert in police traffic enforcement to aid in your defence.

You can always call us. If we think that an expert may help your case, we’ll connect with the best in the business.

We’re the BC Driving Lawyers. We have been defending tickets all around B.C. for decades. Give us a call and we’ll get to work on your case right away.