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Sledgehammer
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Well, if I understand the situation, the officer's story is that cars went faster than him? What would he put on the ticket as your speed, required by OCGA 40-6-187? How could he prove it? Let's say he was doing 50 and cars passed him going faster. How could he testify what the speed of the car passing him was?
 

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Sledgehammer
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It's hard enough to estimate the speed of a car that passes you when you are stationary. It's harder still to guess the speed of a car that already is ahead of you, and that speeds up. It is yet harder to guess the speed of a car that already is ahead of you, and that speeds up when you yourself are moving. Is your speed static, or are you accelerating? A car that accelerates away from you quickly might just be accelerating (i.e., increasing its speed), without exceeding the speed limit. People just are not good at determining the speed of a car. Given that the law requires the officer to write the speed on the ticket, whatever number he picks is going to be his subjective guess as to the speed, and will be open to vigorous attack on cross examination.
 

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Sledgehammer
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Gunstar1 said:
My sister got a ticket that way. She passed a cop who was doing the limit.
While the officer's testimony of this fact might be convincing, there still is the problem of the actual speed having to be written on the ticket. There also is the law that prohibits charging someone with speeding based on a radar reading unless the speed is 10 mph over the limit. One might argue that it would not make sense and would be grossly unfair to convict someone of speeding based on "eyedar" unless the evidence shows the speed was at least 10 mph over.
 

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If the speed limit was lower than 50, then he would just write you for 50.

I once wrote a guy for 95 under similar circumstances.

I was driving over the Interstate overpass south of the town where I worked at 3-4 a.m. when I saw tailights go blazing by. I floored the gas pedal and turned onto the onramp and just left my foot on the floor for the 5 miles or so back to my jurisdiction. I still could not catch up.

I topped my vehicle out (127 or so) for several miles but I was barely able to keep the tailights in sight.

We went into my jurisdiction and were about to exit it when I had a stroke of luck (and the driver had misfortune).

One of the very few cars on the road changed lanes in front of him. I saw the brake lights come on, and I knew I had him. I did not hit my brakes or back off the gas until I was almost on top of him. I could now see that it was a minivan. I was in the far left lane, and the driver switched lanes in front of me and floored the gas.

When I looked at my speedometer, it was at 90 (this was after hitting the brakes). As the minivan accelerated, so did I. By the time I hit 95 mph, however, we were swiftly approaching my jurisdictional limit, so I leveled off at 95, watched the minivan increase the distance between us, and flipped on the blue lights.

I wrote the ticket.

The man shows up in court and defends on the theory that "My car won't go that fast." My presentation was something like what I wrote above. He was doing at least 95.

I actually felt sorry for him when the judge gave him 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

That particular municipal court judge really did not like people perjuring themselves.
 

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Gunstar1 said:
My sister got a ticket that way. She passed a cop who was doing the limit.
Big deal. No points on the license until you hit 15 over, I think.
 

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Sledgehammer
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Malum Prohibitum said:
I actually felt sorry for him when the judge gave him 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
This is the very reason why simple traffic violations should not be crimes. They should be civil offenses, punishable only by fines. Ninety days in jail would ruin many a person's life (loss of job, inability to pay mortgage, foreclosure of house, default on other loans).
 

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jrm said:
This is the very reason why simple traffic violations should not be crimes. They should be civil offenses, punishable only by fines. Ninety days in jail would ruin many a person's life (loss of job, inability to pay mortgage, foreclosure of house, default on other loans).
From the description it sounds like the judge did this more for the perjury than the actual traffic violation. I would rather the judge gave him a standard fine for the traffic violation and then also charged him with perjury/contempt and then jailed him for that. It would've been more open and honest about what's going on. (of course, for all I know that is what happened...)
 

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Sledgehammer
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This was a municipal court hearing on an traffic ticket. The judge had no business sentencing someone for a crime that had not been charged, let alone for which no conviction had been obtained.
 

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jrm said:
This was a municipal court hearing on an traffic ticket. The judge had no business sentencing someone for a crime that had not been charged, let alone for which no conviction had been obtained.
Well, then there was that lady who demanded a trial by jury for her speeding ticket and was sentenced to 12 months in jail and a $1000 fine.

The court of appeals said that was ok, because that is a punishment that is allowed by the law.

After all, we cannot just have everybody demanding their constitutional rights, can we?
 

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jrm said:
This was a municipal court hearing on an traffic ticket. The judge had no business sentencing someone for a crime that had not been charged, let alone for which no conviction had been obtained.
Even so, during sentencing, the trial court stated that "it is incredible for anyone to get up on the stand and say that you have never sped." The trial court then sentenced Hamilton to serve two days in jail because the court believed that Hamilton lied during her testimony as to prior speeding. The trial court also sentenced Hamilton to 12 months on probation, a $1,000 fine plus court costs, and 80 hours of community service.

Hamilton v. State, 233 Ga. App. 463, 504 S.E.2d 236 (1998) (emphasis in original).

And at footnote 5

We note, however, that the trial court's statements during sentencing indicate that Hamilton's sentence possibly was influenced also by Hamilton's demand for a jury trial. The trial court admonished Hamilton that "[c]ollectively literally thousands of dollars have been spent, in attorney time, police officer time, in the Court's time, delaying other matters that had ... been previously scheduled, so that you could have your day in court, that there is a cost to all of that. You understand what I'm saying?" The trial court also lamented the cost of a jury trial during the hearing on Hamilton's motion for reconsideration.

On motion to reconsider the jail sentence:

Counsel made an oral motion to the court to reconsider the jail sentence. According to the transcript of the hearing, the trial court repeatedly reiterated that Hamilton was sentenced to jail because she lied to the jury as to prior speeding. After the trial court denied the motion, counsel requested that the court set an appeal bond. Although Hamilton owned a home, was employed, had family in the area, and stood convicted of a misdemeanor, the trial court set a bond of $10,000.

The court reversed based on the speeder not knowingly waiving her right to counsel. The court also commented:

For example, there is no indication in the record that Hamilton was apprised of the real possibility of a jail sentence, even though she never before had been charged with speeding and no other aggravating circumstances were present; it is unlikely that one would anticipate a jail sentence following a conviction based on a first offense for speeding 17 miles over the speed limit, even though such sentence is statutorily authorized.

No comment on lying to the court and jail time.
 

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Sledgehammer
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If I were czar of the universe, that stuff just wouldn't happen.

But, you mentioned something that brings up another thing I never have understood about GA sentencing. I'm familiar with systems where a defendant can do community service as a sentencing alternative, or as part of a probation option, but I don't get how a court can impose community service as a sentence. Doesn't that violate the 13th Amendment? I haven't researched it, but it just doesn't seem right.
 

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jrm said:
. . . I don't get how a court can impose community service as a sentence. Doesn't that violate the 13th Amendment?
Nope. Breaking big rocks into little ones is fine, too.

Pertinent provision of the Thirteenth Amendment follows:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted . . ."

I think caning is ok, too.
 

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What was this thread about again?

Oh, yeah.

If you have a license, you can carry concealed in your car.

:D
 
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