Steve DuckettSteven L. Duckett, Jr. was born and raised in the DC suburbs of Northern Virginia. He attended Paul VI High School (1990), University of Richmond (1994) and Valparaiso University School of Law (1997). Mr. Duckett has spent the entirety of his legal career practicing in criminal and traffic law. He created the law firm of Steven L. Duckett, Jr., P.C. in April 2001.
Host: Are their any rules of evidence that could help me in a speeding ticket trial?
Steve Duckett: Well, evidence rules are very complicated. It's an entire semester's worth of course just in law school and once you are out, you spend years trying to fine tune your knowledge as an attorney of the rules of evidence, but there are some tricks that even a non lawyer can try to use when they go to court. The best one is looking at the officer while he is testifying. If the officer is looking at notes that he took from the encounter with you, you should object and say, Judge, it appears as though the officer is testifying from his notes. If he needs to use those notes to refresh his recollection, I know he is allowed to do that, but I also know that I am entitled to look at his notes. Judge will look down; his nose at you, and say, well, this guy knows what he is doing, because that's absolutely true. You are allowed to use notes when you are testifying if you need those notes to refresh a recollection in the case; and let's face it, every officer is going to need to look at his notes to refresh his recollection of the case. He has written probably a hundred traffic tickets in the last couple of months, so he doesn't remember you from Adam. So he is going to be looking at his notes when he testifies, catch upon it and then you get the opportunity to look at any notes that the officer has taken, it should help you greatly in preparing your cross-examination as the officer continues to testify.