By Damon Dallah
If you asked this question to the hundreds of other so-called traffic ticket defense websites out there they would emphatically respond with a YES!
Most, if not all, recommend obtaining the officer's notes before going to court.
This process is called 'discovery' and you have every right to do so under our legal system. Before heading to court, you can subpoena the officer to submit all of his notes and evidence he plans to use against you.
One person likened it to getting all the answers to a difficult exam the night before you take it. I mean, if you know what the officer plans to use against you beforehand then you'll be in a better position to counterattack. Right?
Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. Discovery spells BIG trouble for you if you decide to use it.
If you petition the officer to submit his notes to you before trial, you have just increased the chances of you losing your case.
By doing so, you send red flags to both the officer and prosecutor that you are planning a good defense. They will take this as a threat and will better prepare their case against you.
I highly advise you to steer clear of this strategy. However, there are rare instances where it might be a wise decision to do so. But, for the most part, it's a very bad idea.
When you motion for the officer or prosecutor to give you their notes and evidence, you essentially tip them off that you are familiar with the court process and know a thing or two about how to defend yourself.
Now, they will throw everything aside, focus on your individual case and make certain to come prepared with a whole assortment of tactics that will make your job of beating your ticket much, much harder.
I know first hand that the prosecutor and police officer will do very little to build a solid case against you in traffic court. Keep it that way.
Never hint to the prosecution you are familiar with the legal system.
Never contact the prosecution for any reason.
Your whole objective is to catch them off guard and by surprise, so keep quiet about your intentions until the trial starts. Like a hungry tiger lying in wait, you want to pounce on them when they least expect it.
This is how you win traffic court cases. Not by exposing your intentions and announcing you are preparing an exceptional defense by asking for the officer's notes.
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