Written by Gregory Monte.
Forget Testimony – It’s all about the technicalities.
Over the last several months, I spent quite a bit of my free time reading through court cases related to stop signs and speeding violations.
To what end?
My ultimate goal was to find innovative ways to fight these types of traffic tickets.
I figured that, if I could understand what the judges in these cases focused on, I could develop a strategy that would help fellow citizens win in court.
Well, based on initial attempts, I was successful.
My son used the strategy I discovered about stop sign law to beat his ticket in the PA Court of Common Pleas. I found out that the sign he allegedly failed to stop at was not properly authorized – so it was not enforceable. If you are interested, you can read all about the details in my 23-page eBook How My Son Beat an Unfair Stop Sign Ticket in Pennsylvania
But back to the court cases, when I analyzed the opinions of these judges, I was struck again and again and, yet again, by one central fact:
Defendants only win if they can find a technicality in the law that a judge has no choice but to accept. In other words, if you think that your personal testimony will be worth anything at all to “his honor,” you are deluding yourself. In actuality, it is not worth s**t. If a police officer contradicts what you are saying, you are f**ked.
Let me give you an example from my own personal experience. I went to court to fight a stop sign ticket in Deer Park, NY, a couple of years ago. The police officer who “witnessed” my failure to stop at that sign radioed to another officer down the road. I was then pulled over and issued a citation. In court, the officer who witnessed the alleged offense wasn’t there.
No witness to the violation?
I should have won, hands down, right?
The police officer who issued the citation lied and said that he personally saw me go through the stop sign – even though this was impossible because he was in a totally different location.
When I protested, do you think that the judge believed me or the cop?
Rhetorical question, of course.
The Case That “Takes the Cake”
So, if your personal testimony is not worth much of anything, you can only win on a technicality – that is what I am arguing.
And with that idea in mind, consider, now, a court case I recently discovered.
Talk about trying to use a technicality to get a ticket dismissed. I am actually laughing out loud as I type this. I think that you will be laughing also when you hear about what Mr. Sorkin attempted in court.
He was found guilty of speeding on October 16, 1979 in Rosemont, PA. Two Lower Merion police officers timed him over a stretch of 670 feet on Montgomery Avenue and determined that he was traveling close to 50-mph in a 35-mph speed zone.
Now, if you know anything about the burden of proof in Pennsylvania speed cases, the Commonwealth has to offer evidence that the speed timing device was both approved by the Department of Transportation and that it was certified as accurate in the past 60 days (Title 75, Section 3368).
This is where it gets very funny.
In his defense, Mr. Sorkin claimed:
“… that the measuring tape used to mark the distance over which he was clocked had not been tested for accuracy within a period of 60 days prior to the alleged violation …”
The measuring tape hadn’t been tested for accuracy?????????
Needless to say, the court didn’t buy this argument:
“There is a presumption in the law that the legislature does not intend an absurd result. It is this court’s position that the result required by defendant’s interpretation of this statute would be an absurdity. Surely our legislature did not intend that a measuring tape be certified as to accuracy every 60 days.”
Don’t Be A Sheep
You have to hand it to Mr. Sorkin.
He had some serious balls to try to get a judge to accept this defense in a court of law.
But now that we have all had our little laugh, can we also admit that he should be applauded for his “intestinal fortitude?”
Unlike Mr. Sorkin, most citizens of our Great Commonwealth choose to act like sheep when they are issued tickets.
Do they feel guilty that they got caught doing what the state has forbidden?
Is that why they so meekly hand over their hard-earned money when they get a traffic ticket?
Do they feel that it is a a civic duty to pay the state?
I started Stop-Sign-Ticket.Com in order to change the minds of citizens when it comes to traffic tickets, and I am writing this blog post in order to encourage as many as possible that they need to fight back.
Hopefully I will inspire many to “be a sheep no more.”