Steve Duckett: Anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law, you here it on TV all the time; people tend to forget it when they are under stressful situation like encountering an officer. So, the first thing you do is to get a registration and your license and then you just put down your window and show your hands on the side there. That way the officer knows that he not walking into a negative situation. You need to be careful of what you say, and you need to able to communicate well and don't argue with the officer.
However, you should not admit that you are late for picking up your kids from school; you're late for a meeting or anything like that. Whatever the reason was if you were breaking the law, don't tell the officer what that reason was because believe me, they will use against you every single time. No exactly what is it that you are charged with, you can find almost anything law related online these days. Plug in the code section of the thing that you are charged with as it implies in the state where you are. And look at the specific elements of the crime or infraction that you are charged with. If you know these things before you go into court then you will know what the state of common wealth will have to prove in order to find you guilty of that charge.
Absolutely you need a copy of driving record, this is particularly important in cases where you know you are sort of on the edge of a certain speed, if you don't have any particular defenses but you have a good driving record the judge may show some leniency. And if the judge doesn't know about your driving record he can't be lenient on you.
Well the best way to find out what's going to happen to you when you go to court is go to court yourself, a couple of days or even a couple of weeks before your schedule trial day.
Sit in the court room and just observe, if you know what you're doing you walk in there and you know exactly what's going to happen, you know exactly what the judge is going to ask you, you know exactly how to cross examine the officer. That's going to make a very good impression on the judge. If it's your intention to fight a case then you need to plead not guilty. The most common mistake that I see people making when they walk into court room is they go up and they say well, guilty with an explanation, the officers required upon questioning to present calibrations for the accuracy of those instruments, whether it be his speedometer or the RADAR or in some cases both, know what calibration certificates are admissible, what calibration certificates are inadmissible and what the criteria are for a valid calibration certificate by the officer?
The first thing that will have is the judge will ask the officer what happened. The officer will generally go into collogue you that where he was located, where he saw you, and generally will just testify without being asked specific questions by the judge. Then the judge will turn to you and say, do you have any questions for the officer? You need to actually ask the officer questions, and then you will get your turn to testify. When you are testifying, that's when you are going to present any evidence you might have, maps or some kind of graph, but it's helpful sometimes to have visuals, you bring those things when it's your turn to testify, these should be good guidelines to help you get out of traffic tickets.