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  • Court Advice?

    First court appearance tomorrow.

    I go to court a lot, transporting inmates for hearings or advisement, but tomorrow will be my first time on the stand.

    They had us doubled up with patrol deputies for a special event a few months back. We pulled over a vehicle with no front plate, obtained consent to search and found an open beer bottle and an open marijuana container. I wrote the summons as a training exercise... so guess who gets called into court when the subject decides to take the matter to trial?

    On the plus side, I was scheduled to work anyway so it's not happening on my day off like seems to always happen for everybody else.

    I suspect the subject is hoping I won't show. Sorry dude, I was going to be in court anyway that day with a string of ******bags in tow.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

  • #2
    Eye contact with the judge or which ever attorney asks you a question

    Speak clearly and carefully

    Tell the story as it happened, ask before referring to notes.

    If you don't know the answer to a question...............tell them . If you need a repeat........ask for a repeat.
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

    Comment


    • #3
      look over your report or notes as you sit and wait. in the future if your cites have room for notes on the back fill it out along with your call log. the more you can short hand the better. shows your not guessing. calm your nerves and block others out
      I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

      It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

      Comment


      • #4
        Make sure the ADA knows you were in training with another Deputy. It may be important...
        Now go home and get your shine box!

        Comment


        • #5
          Let the judge know immediately that you are in charge and will take no crap from the bench.
          Retired

          Comment


          • #6
            Take only your report in.Even Pocket Note books if used can be subject to discussion,That means anything written in it.

            Dont let the defense attorney get under your skin.As Iowa mentioned, speak clear and slow and think about your answer.Twisting words is what defense attorneys do best.

            Good Luck

            Comment


            • #7
              If the prosecutor objects to a question asked by the defense, keep your mouth shut until the judge rules on the objection.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jdthor View Post
                Take only your report in.Even Pocket Note books if used can be subject to discussion,That means anything written in it.

                Dont let the defense attorney get under your skin.As Iowa mentioned, speak clear and slow and think about your answer.Twisting words is what defense attorneys do best.

                Good Luck
                This

                Comment


                • #9
                  Give the prosecutor any written notes you have on the incident. Any notes relating to the incident are Brady material.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all for the advice.

                    The only notes I have are on the back of the summons.

                    The biggest problem is we had probably 6-8 stops that were exactly the same during the day.

                    Sorting out which one this guy was is what's bothering me. Hopefully all goes well.
                    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                      Eye contact with the judge or which ever attorney asks you a question

                      Speak clearly and carefully

                      Tell the story as it happened, ask before referring to notes.

                      If you don't know the answer to a question...............tell them . If you need a repeat........ask for a repeat.
                      This. Remember that defense attorneys aren't your friends but you still have to be civil to them. Hopefully you'll have a Prosecutor to help you with your case.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                        The biggest problem is we had probably 6-8 stops that were exactly the same during the day.

                        Sorting out which one this guy was is what's bothering me. Hopefully all goes well.
                        I found out that MOST of the time when I got to court I recognized the defendant and the details came back to me.


                        FYI-------------a couple weeks ago we had an officer come in for court on a stop sign violation. He was sitting at my desk chatting before court and the defendant signed in ...................the officer then said to me---"I don't remember him or the stop at all" He then marched into the County Attorney's office and had them drop the citation

                        It happens
                        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hopefully you'll have a Prosecutor to help you with your case.
                          Nope. The citing officer acts as prosecutor. Yay me.

                          Lost both counts. I didn't realize at the time of citing that I had to prove that MJ was smoked IN the vehicle to get the open MJ container. That one was dropped at the outset. I proved all the elements of the open alcohol container, but the judge STILL found not-guilty since I didn't show that the driver or passenger consumed alcohol from the container while driving... which isn't an element of the crime, but the judge thought it was important. It was pretty clear based on his followup questions from the bench that he was trying to find a way to let the kid off.

                          I'm OK with it. The experience was good, even fun, and I learned about an aspect of the job I don't get exposed to very much in my current role. My Captain happened to be there for a different case, so we went over the whole thing afterwards. Next time I'll have a tighter case and better notes, but you have to start somewhere.

                          The kid was shaking like a leaf thru the entire thing, so on the whole I think justice was served. I even respect him for taking it to trial and seeing it thru even tho he was clearly scared spitless. At least I knew the judge and have been in that courtroom about twice a week for the past several months.
                          Last edited by tanksoldier; 11-10-2014, 09:53 PM.
                          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Open marijuana container? Lol Is it ok to have your weed in a tied up plastic bag?

                            -edit- Just realized your in Colorado. Have fun with that.
                            Last edited by JDCOP; 11-10-2014, 10:31 PM.
                            Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JDCOP View Post
                              Open marijuana container? Lol Is it ok to have your weed in a tied up plastic bag?
                              No, the bag or bottle has to be sealed like it came from the store, or in the cargo compartment or otherwise inaccessible by driver and passengers. It's essentially the same as the alcohol law, but adds the element of proving MJ was used in the vehicle.
                              "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                              "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                              Comment

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