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Old 08-13-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
4,980 posts, read 2,773,039 times
Reputation: 3779

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Quote:
Originally Posted by etrigan View Post
How would I go about requesting dash cam footage? Will I even have time now, seeing as how arraignment is on Thursday?
That is only to enter your plea. If you plead not guilty the trial will be on a different day, that is when evidence will be presented.

 
Old 08-13-2012, 09:05 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,110 posts, read 17,058,310 times
Reputation: 9959
It's standard procedure for your criminal lawyer to file what is called a discovery motion. The discovery motion orders the prosecution to turn over material they are using to charge you with a crime (police report, lab report etc). You can additionally request a copy of the video tape, police dispatch recordings and 911 calls that citizens made to report your travelling horror show on the street. The police agency is allowed to charge you for the time it takes to retrieve the recordings, the cost of making the recordings and the cost of mailing them. You usually have to submit a deposit of say $500 to cover their costs. They will return the money they didn't need or bill you for the extra.
 
Old 08-14-2012, 10:42 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,482,854 times
Reputation: 814
The move over law is inappropriate for metro Atlanta because it can cause accidents or backups as drivers try to clear lanes.

Btw, I was just in court for a property code violation in Atlanta because the tenant abandoned and someone broke in, leaving it unsecured (we were checking it every week). It was very confusing and I got the charges suspended by proving my case, but it was very scary. What I can say is they were even harsher with the traffic violations and I wouldn't go to court without a lawyer. I'm not sure how they do it in Gwinnett, but I imagine it's much the same. That's my personal opinion.

If you think you were following the law, I would also try to get your story on the news.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 03:03 AM
 
513 posts, read 1,427,123 times
Reputation: 207
etrigan, I feel your pain. Same thing happened to me near Macon (total trap in Forsyth). Stopped in that town to deal with a crying baby in the car. When I pulled back on the highway I didn't move into the faster lanes because of traffic. I remember thinking I was being safe staying in the far right lane.... and then passed a cop who was giving someone else a ticket. When I was pulled over for that I was so surprised that I was sure I was going to get a warning. I wasn't even going the speed limit yet and thought I was being safe with my child in the back. Nope. I totally get the need to protect people on the side of the road. That's not really much of an issue with me, but as suggested, it's so subjective AND the fine is ridiculous. $500. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! What's a super speeder ticket? Half that?

I ended up paying it because it would have taken two trips to Macon to contest. This happened to me three years ago and it still angers me.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 06:14 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,052 posts, read 1,353,129 times
Reputation: 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
The move over law is inappropriate for metro Atlanta because it can cause accidents or backups as drivers try to clear lanes.

Btw, I was just in court for a property code violation in Atlanta because the tenant abandoned and someone broke in, leaving it unsecured (we were checking it every week). It was very confusing and I got the charges suspended by proving my case, but it was very scary. What I can say is they were even harsher with the traffic violations and I wouldn't go to court without a lawyer. I'm not sure how they do it in Gwinnett, but I imagine it's much the same. That's my personal opinion.

If you think you were following the law, I would also try to get your story on the news.
If you do not mind me asking what did you get charged with in Property Code Violation? I use management companies for my rentals. I love the tenants who do not pay rent, get evicted, act surprised, all while driving a Mercedes!
 
Old 08-15-2012, 08:03 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,301,514 times
Reputation: 3517
Quote:
Originally Posted by etrigan View Post
How would I go about requesting dash cam footage? Will I even have time now, seeing as how arraignment is on Thursday?
As Alttechdude said, that's the pre-trial hearing I was telling you about. You plead however you want. They tend to encourage people to plead guilty or no contest and pay the fine. Sometimes they will offer incentives for doing so like reducing points or just threatening people by saying if they plead not guilty and proceed to trial that the judge can hit them with an even more severe penalty if found guilty.

So you have time. The actual trial will likely be months off and like I said before, try to reschedule it if need be to get it during the holidays. No cop, no case.
Call the courthouse and tell them you have a scheduling conflict.

As for requesting the dash cam video, just a disclaimer, I have never personally had to do this (yet!) but I have heard of people obtaining the video through an open records request. (freedom of information act) You could first try making this request verbally in person at the PD. They'll probably tell you either what you need to do or tell you to go jump in a lake. I'm guessing the latter. If so put the request in writing, and mail it certified return receipt requested. If you're really confident it will clear you of any wrong doing and they won't cooperate I'd try motion for discovery with the court to get them to release it. Still no guarantee they will cooperate. Just get some kind of proof that you requested it. If you're unsuccessful, there's always the hire a lawyer route. It would really depend on what you think is more valuable to your case... a video or a denied request to see the evidence.

The footage very well might show the frequency that cars are passing by and their speed. This could help you make your case that it was not safe to change lanes. If the footage doesn't show the whole picture, you might go back out there at the same time and day of week and take some pictures showing the conditions to help illustrate to the judge what it was like when you were faced with the decision to pull over. Set your camera up to do a time stamp on the pictures or video.

I'm really curious how they're going to go about proving how fast you were going. Does the citation say how fast you were going and what method they used to determine this? I don't know if this works in GA or not but if they used radar and it comes up in court, you could try asking for proof of calibration and proof the officer was trained to use the radar gun.

Please keep us updated and let us know how it goes. Others searching the web on this can learn from your experiences.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 08:29 AM
 
2,134 posts, read 2,119,381 times
Reputation: 1471
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post

I'm really curious how they're going to go about proving how fast you were going. Does the citation say how fast you were going and what method they used to determine this? I don't know if this works in GA or not but if they used radar and it comes up in court, you could try asking for proof of calibration and proof the officer was trained to use the radar gun.
That's the problem with the law: there isn't a threshold speed you have to exceed, and they don't have to clock you with anything. It's solely at the officers discretion as to what "reasonable and proper speed" you should pass them at. You could pass them at 10 miles an hour and still be flagged. Personally, I feel like 25 mph (typical residential speed limit) is a good measuring stick. If avoiding unexpected things in the road and having adequate stopping distance is the name of the game (emergency responders, children, etc), why not apply that speed limit to the move over law as well?
 
Old 08-15-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,301,514 times
Reputation: 3517
Quote:
Originally Posted by red92s View Post
That's the problem with the law: there isn't a threshold speed you have to exceed, and they don't have to clock you with anything. It's solely at the officers discretion as to what "reasonable and proper speed" you should pass them at. You could pass them at 10 miles an hour and still be flagged. Personally, I feel like 25 mph (typical residential speed limit) is a good measuring stick. If avoiding unexpected things in the road and having adequate stopping distance is the name of the game (emergency responders, children, etc), why not apply that speed limit to the move over law as well?
That's up to the judge to decide then.
If they didn't measure the driver's speed then it's just their word against the driver's word. If they can't prove the driver didn't slow down (at all), then what case do they have?
 
Old 08-15-2012, 11:42 AM
 
2,134 posts, read 2,119,381 times
Reputation: 1471
Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
That's up to the judge to decide then.
If they didn't measure the driver's speed then it's just their word against the driver's word. If they can't prove the driver didn't slow down (at all), then what case do they have?
When has this situation ever proven to be a good one to find yourself in? The "word" of a law enforcement officer is gospel in traffic court.
 
Old 08-15-2012, 10:14 PM
 
9 posts, read 37,777 times
Reputation: 24
There is no reported speed on the citation. I'm in court for arraignment tomorrow morning, so we'll see how it all plays out. I've got a summary of events that I'll try to go off of when explaining everything to the judge. I'm hoping s/he at least offers a reduction in the fine or reducing points in response.
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