Written by Gregory Monte.
I have written many blog posts about using technicalities to beat traffic tickets. If you have the time or interest, feel free to check them out:
- A Bit of Humor from the Bench (“Good” vs. “Bad” Technicalities in the Law)
- Another Creative Way to Fight a Speeding Ticket – Challenge the Odometer.
- Beating a Traffic Ticket in New York – Using the law to defeat the law.
- Looking for a Creative Way to Fight a Speeding Ticket? This One “Takes the Cake.”
- The Local Ordinance – A Great Way to Beat a Traffic Ticket
- Ticket for a Nonconforming Traffic Sign/Signal?
- Traffic Ticket Humor
- Using “Case Law Technicalities” to Beat Traffic Tickets
- Winning a Speeding Ticket Case on a Technicality – Part Three.
If you do get the time to read through some of those posts, you will notice that not all of the technicalities actually worked in court. Some stretched the wording of the law way beyond any reasonable interpretation and fell flat before the judge deciding the case.
But I focus so much on technicalities because that is the only sure-fire way to beat traffic tickets. If you think that you can show up at court and just rely on your personal testimony, pictures or even other witnesses who support your version of events, you are bound to lose. The judge almost always believes what the police officer says.
After my son got a stop sign ticket last year, I spent three months finding all of the possible ways to beat it. All of that time and energy led me to every possible technicality in the traffic statutes surrounding stop signs. My son then won his case based on the technicality that the stop sign that he allegedly didn’t stop at was never properly authorized by the local town. If you want to get an idea of the strategy he used in court, I suggest you check out my free PDF The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Defense Strategy in a Nutshell. If you like what you see there, you can also check out the two books I wrote which provide details about this strategy.
The Police Jurisdiction Technicality
Which brings me to another technicality that can possibly be used to fight a traffic ticket. I wrote about this one in a previous post back in May (The Dukes of Hazzard and Police Jurisdiction), but I wanted to do a follow-up because I found an interesting court case which is relevant to the issue of “police jurisdiction.”
In case you are not familiar with this term, it refers the ability of police officers to act outside of their jurisdictions in order to enforce the law. This ability is restricted by Pennsylvania Title 42, § 8953(a). Statewide municipal police jurisdiction.
The case I want to discuss today is Commonwealth v. Boyles, Superior Court (2014). In April of 2013 a Slippery Rock University Police Officer stopped Randall Boyles’ car after he clocked it going 43 mph on Kiester Road in violation of the posted speed limit.
At first it sounds like a pretty open and shut case – but that is before you consider the police jurisdiction factor. It turns out that Kiester Road was not owned by the University even though the property on both sides of the road were part of the school. This turned out to be bad news for the police officer who issued the ticket …
“… Officer Davis testified that Slippery Rock University does not own or maintain Kiester Road … Further, Officer Davis admitted his jurisdiction is limited to ‘[a]ny campus property. Any property that is owned by the university….’ … Officer Davis had no authority to stop Appellee’s vehicle for a Motor Vehicle Code violation that occurred outside the officer’s primary jurisdiction …”
As you can clearly see, technicalities in the law tend to win in court. So, if you can’t find a good technicality related to your case, you might want to rethink even going to court to prove your innocence. Unfortunately, justice in the court room isn’t always about innocence or guilt. I guess that is why it is commonly referred to as a court of law rather than a court of justice.