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Washington State

 

  • Washington State has changed the rules in 2001. There is reference to this in the new Tipmra. This page is the original Rant on the subject from 2002 with a few additions.

 

  • There is a new defense being tried by some Tipmra defendants on an experimental basis. It is too early to determine if this defense suitable for inclusion into the Tipmra. When it has proven itself there will be an announcement and inclusion into the Tipmra.

 

  • They may try to say that the ticket is the evidence against you. The ticket is a pleading. In that event copy and present this to the Judge.

 

RCW 5.40.010


Pleadings do not constitute proof.


Pleadings sworn to by either party in any case shall not, on the trial, be deemed proof of the facts alleged
therein, nor require other or greater proof on the part of the adverse party.


[Code 1881 741; 1877 p 151 746; 1854 p 219 484; RRS 283.]

There is also a rule in the state Rule 6.6 and it may be confusing. It deals with Judicial notice  that the speed measuring device works. Some trial Judges are trying to expand this to trial by affidavit with no prosecutor. It is important that you understand the differences. The tipmra will work properly in this State provided you do not let them buffoon you. The following is what I wrote to one defendant. I have made the attachments viewable as a web page so that you don't have to download them. They are at the bottom of the page.

 

What we have here is a "failure to communicate" (from the movie Cool Hand Luke) The sleazy municipalities are manipulating the law for efficiency. They are intimidating the speeder by communicating a wrong idea.
 
First: As Judicial notice that the speed measuring device is approved and works as advertised the document specified in rule 6.6 may be introduced without a prosecution attorney. In most states where Judicial notice exists there is no formal requirement to introduce the Judicial notice unless it is asked for by the defense. Care must be taken to separate two distinct issues. One, Judicial notice and two, the calibration of the unit used to determine your speed.
What this form does is to eliminate the requirement of having experts on laser or radar testify in every trial that the laser or radar gun works as advertised. I have no objection to that. That is all that the form stipulates. It does not specify that the specific gun used on the day of your arrest was functioning properly.
 
The devil is often in the details. I have attached City of Belleview v. Hellenthal. The lower court ruling is upheld, The form is admissible. What is important is that that is all they upheld. That the form is admissible and does not have to be signed by a police officer but anyone qualified. It is admissible as Judicial notice and as such it is not necessary for a prosecutor to present it. What is important that by reading both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinion fore anything else to be entered into evidence a prosecutor is necessary otherwise the Judge has the appearance of acting as both prosecutor and Judge, something the Supreme Court of the USA has ruled as improper.
 
This piece of paper in no way stipulates that the specific unit was tested and working properly on the date of your arrest. To stretch things it appears as if local courts are admitting into evidence a affidavit from the arresting officer that he has tested the unit correctly on the date of the arrest. Rule 6.6 makes no mention of the admissibility of such an affidavit or the necessity of it being presented by a prosecuting attorney. It deals specifically with Judicial notice that units of this type work, not that this specific unit was working correctly.
 
Furthermore an affidavit from an arresting officer can not be cross examined and is in violation of your sixth amendment rights which the State may not abridge. If the arresting officer is not present and only his affidavit is available then motion should be made for the inadmissibility of the officers affidavit on the Hearsay rule.
 
At the bottom of the rule is this statement:

 

(c) Continuance. The court at the time of the formal hearing shall hear testimony concerning the infraction and, if necessary, may continue the proceedings for the purpose of obtaining evidence concerning an electronic speed measuring device and the certification thereof. If, at the time it is supplied, the evidence is insufficient, a motion to suppress the readings of such device shall be granted.
 
This refers to contesting that the device does not work In that event a continuance is granted and evidence that the device works must be presented. This does not refer to the device calibration on the date of your arrest. It deals with the specific device in general.
 
This rule does not avoid the requirement for foundation to include the certification of the recent test of the tuning forks or the laser device used on the day of your arrest. This deals with calibration and testing of specific functionality, something rule 6.6 does not address.
 
I hope that this has clarified the situation for you. Now go and beat that dam ticket.

Last but not least, on the back of the ticket it states that speeding is an infraction. This is because there is no jail time that can be imposed. Further more it states that the Preponderance of evidence will be used as the degree of proof. California has tired this and I found the statute that expressly forbids this in a speeding case. Washington state has something similar but I have not found it yet.