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Got screwed by a park ranger.

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by Number6, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    First off. I did get a ticket in this park back in Oct.

    Tonight I got on the parkway, and less than a minute after getting on the parkway a car passed in the opposite direction with a park ranger behind it. I had the cruise control set to 49-50, mph in a 45 zone.

    The ranger hit his lights, made a 2 point u-turn, turn his lights off and hung back for about a mile. As we came up to a bridge with a parking area on the other side he got on my rear bumper and hit his lights so I pulled over.

    He asked me if I know how fast I was going, To which I replied honestly "50 mph". He claims he clocked me going 76mph.

    I immediately told him there's no way, that I had my cruise control set and my friend in the passenger seat can vouch for me.

    Some time during the exchange of words and license/registration info, another ranger pulled up. He approached from the passenger side to try and make it look as if he was in the original vehicle. We had an exchange of words (nothing profane or threatening) and he laughed in a cocky manner during our exchange. I told him the camera footage would not show me passing him doing anywhere near 76mph, to which he replied "Well his radar gun was calibrated at the beginning of his shift".

    I was given a ticket to which I signed but I have no intent of paying.

    I will be contacting a lawyer, my friend has said he will be a witness and I will make sure video footage is subpoenad to help with my case. What other options do I have or actions should be taken?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Once you hire the lawyer, the lawyer will tell you what your options are.
     
  3. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'll be able to get it throw out. I got pulled around 11:30 on 11/11/17, the Ticket is listed as either 12:30am or 2:30am on 11/11/17. Most likely done purposely to keep me from getting the correct camera footage.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If I were your lawyer I'd subpoena the camera footage (assuming it exists) for the entire shift.


    As suggested, once the lawyer agrees to represent you, allow the lawyer to do the lawyering.
     
  5. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Dashcams are designed to activate as soon as the lights are hit. They'd have to delete it in order get rid of it.

    I had my friend give me a written statement to give to the lawyer I emailed last night, and I emailed the national park service on instructions to file a complaint against the officer.
     
  6. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I've found the form to file a complaint. Is it possible if I win my case to pursue a case against the officer or park service to reimburse my legal fees?
     
  7. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Your lawyer will be able to answer your questions.

    You do realize that going 50 in a 45 mile zone is speeding, correct?
     
    KatDini and hrforme like this.
  8. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    That I do but I'm not going to be bullied into paying for a 31mph over the limit ticket.

    I've done a bit of research and the best thing to do besides subpoena the dashcam recording is subpoena both the calibration form from the beginning of his shift as well as the radar form shows what he clocked me at. Radio records and bodycam records wouldn't hurt either. Both officers had bodycams, but they may not have been turned on.

    Also researched dashcams and they do indeed turn on upon flipping the emergency lights on. I found a few places that also say the recorder captures footage from 30 seconds before the lights were flipped on that will show me passing the officer at close to the speed limit. All dashcam systems either store the video in a cloud network or on a CD/Flash Drive.This would explain why the 2nd officer went from smug/arrogant to nervous when I brought up dash footage. Without skipping a beat he brought up the calibration before the shift start without me asking to see the radar reading.

    My hopes are he'll realize he has very little chance of convincing the judge and not show up, or he'll show and it'll be reduced to 5 over.

    I'll also make sure we know if the park service in this area uses radar or lydar. Lydar is known for showing readings well over the actual speed.

    I've already done the math and at 50mph it takes me 5-6 minutes to travel from the road I turned onto the parkway at and where I pulled in after he hit his lights a second. I was pulled at the K25 marker, all I need to do is find out which marker is closet to the entryway I took onto the parkway. However that'll wait until my friend visits again so I have a witness if they pull anymore bs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  9. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why you think any dashcam video (if it even exists) is going to exonerate you. It won't show anything useful to you.
     
    army judge likes this.
  10. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    It won't show me blasting by at a high rate of speed, that's for sure.
     
  11. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Dashcam video will only show you passing by. It does not indicate your speed. The video is useless. Not all vehicles have cameras so there might be no video anyway. If video does exist you should expect that it also contains audio of the entire stop, including any statements you made about knowingly exceeding the speed limit with your cruise control set.
    Your best hope is to have the citation reduced, not thrown out.
    In the long run this will be cheaper for you to just pay the ticket. Paying an attorney a bunch of money to reduce a fine by a hundred bucks or so is impractical.
    Unfortunately traffic school may not be an iron for you but you can look in to it. That will keep this off your record.
     
  12. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    School will only get it reduced. Most dashcams display the speed of which the officer is traveling.

    The radio logs along with dash footage will show if my friend and me's suspicion of the first vehicle being and undercover is true. The cop was tail-gating the car in front of it prior to hitting the lights, which will show he didn't have a clear line of sight for his radar gun, and that his view was obstructed prior to me passing him. Even if it wasn't the second officer in an undercover vehicle it will still help the case along.
     
  13. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    That's absolutely wrong. Even if it was true it would be totally irrelevant here.

    You have no clue how radar works. None whatsoever. Your statement is not true.

    That's pretty ridiculous as well.

    You can tell yourself that all you'd like - it won't change the fact that it will NOT help your case.

    Based upon my experience your silly arguments will simple annoy the judge and end up with you being convicted.
     
  14. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is just the info I'm going to relay to my lawyer. He'll know which routes to take, but there's too much BS in this whole incident to not raise suspicion.

    And I'm well aware of how radar works. From his position in the driver seat he would had to reach over and aim the radar out of the driver window, only after having a clear view of my vehicle. Either way the speed was falsified and that's all I need to prove. It may not end with a case being thrown out but my fine will be greatly reduced and the officer will look crooked as can be, especially with a complaint of this magnitude on his record.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Did this encounter occur in a federal park, or a state park?

    Very few lawyers, especially a friend, will make a mountain out of a molehill over a traffic ticket.

    Traffic courts operate very much like small claims courts.

    I doubt you'll be successful with subpoenaing dashcam video for a speeding citation.

    As told you by several posters, there would be very little information of a probative nature revaled IF you were allowed to use the video.

    What will happen is this, the prosecutor puts the cop on the stand.
    The cop is asked to tell what was observed, what was done, and you'll get a chance to ask a few questions.

    Again, it is rare to have the calibration records entered into evidence.
    If they are allowed, again very little will be revealed of a probative nature, other than the officer did exactly as he said.

    There is no GUARANTEED way out of a traffic citation other than traffic school.
     
  16. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This was a federal park. The lawyers I have contacted are well reviewed and perceived by their peers and are on the mid to high end of the price spectrum.

    I'll spare no expense to fight this, I suspect my family may be behind it.

    The paperwork from my first thread regarding being TDO'd on false pretenses has gone missing. I live with my Grandfather and Friday he made a smart comment about picking a lock, and today when I confronted my family on the missing items during a visit I got a shit eating grim from an aunt who has ties to law enforcement and has used them before to get information. They're more than irate at me for wanting to take the hospital to court and have the BS ruling overturned.
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You'll see a federal magistrate, make your plea, a trial date will be set.
    Successfully defending a traffic citation in federal magistrate's court is about 100 times harder than in a state court or county court, depending on the jurisdiction in which you were cited.

    An attorney's rate charged isn't determinative of his or her ability to successfully defend a client. The rate one charges isn't simply what the market allows with a little more based on jail-house recommendations.

    Your success in a federal court is about 1/8th of that in other courts.

    A person cited for a traffic violation doesn't have that great of a chance in state court, either.
     
  18. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Apparently not.

    Handheld radar sets are not used while vehicles are in motion. I guess you are not aware that there are vehicle-mounted radar sets which the officer doesn't have to aim or even touch, other then to start/stop transmitting.

    Vehicles in front of the officer's vehicle do not obstruct the beam of the radar or in any way prevent getting the speed of opposite-bound vehicles.
     
  19. Number6

    Number6 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not giving up on it. The cop claims I can pay online bit given he lied and cited 31mph over the limit it's a mandatory court appearance and there will be a fine plus jail time.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Jail is extremely unlikely on what federal law deems a civil infraction.
    Had you been charged with reckless driving, jail would be possible, even then unlikely absent serious injuries to a bystander.

    If convicted a hefty fine is to be expected.

    No traffic offense in federal or state court wants to jail you for speeding alone, but all want to take lots of money if convicted.

    Ask your lawyer about a deferred adjudication option.
    That's the easy answer.
    You'll pay a fine, fees, and costs; get probation.
    Once they get your loot, you avoid any traffic citations for 90 days, maybe 120, the entire incident gets wiped away.
    It won't be reported to your DMV, it won't impact your insurance costs, because it will have never happened.
     

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