Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

PA court question, ameding a citation

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PA court question, ameding a citation

    Can an officer amend more points onto a citation at the hearing? Change the charge and make it worse than if you don't even show up and just plead guilty?

  • #2
    We can. For instance, we can charge you with violation of traffic control device/speed limit sign if you're going 70 in a 45, which is $141 and 3 points on your license. At any point between the issuance of the citation and the time it's disposed of (either by you just paying the fine, or going to court), we can change that to speeding 70/45 (25 over), which is 300+ and 4 points on your license.

    Comment


    • #3
      might as well just amend it upto murder and give me some time, better than my wife seeing the insurance premiums go up that much hahahha

      But there are no rules against changing the citation after its already been filed with the court house? Also I've noticed in a local municipality here they don't use a prosecutor but just the judge and witness(the officer/trooper etc). Surprised this flies, don't people object to this arrangement? It seems that the general public is just pushed through this system, and doesn't seem to be very curious of it, or care that they might not be getting a fair trial with the benefits of a separate person to represent the people of the commonwealth.

      As I understand it, a witness can't enter evidence, what happens when people try to fight tickets and you need to submit proof of calibration for equipment, or logs or whatever else?

      -J

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, if it works like Florida, that's not quite accurate. Here, you have the judge (hearing officer), defendant, and the officer IS the prosecutor. When we're in traffic court testifying, we're expected to know all the rules of the court just as a local prosecutor in criminal court would. I've done everything to dismissing tickets (when someone wants to plead no contest to three of his tickets, but wants to argue the 4th... it's just easier to dismiss it and go home), to amending them down (from 20 over to simple violation of speed limit sign), to amending them up.

        If you think about it it's essentially the same as criminal court. You'll see all the time where the officer charges someone with one thing, and then the prosecutor will charge them with something else, such as simple battery instead of battery on LEO. You'll also see it where the state will actually add criminal charges. Once, i arrested someone for the 2nd time in a few months. Well the first time he used his head to break my back window, so I charged him with criminal mischief. The second time, he tried to do the same thing (new car with plexiglass, didn't work for him), and when he plead no contest and I got the disposition sheet I saw that the state actually added the charge of ATTEMPTED criminal mischief.

        Comment


        • #5
          hahaha what a dope, do the new cars come with plexi from the factory? Was it a vic or another?

          Comment


          • #6
            The "Rules of Criminal Procedure" spell out how a citation can be ammended. Most ammendments are to correct minor errors on the citation. It's been my experience that District Judges will allow a change of section only if it benefits the defendant. It is up to the defendant to show the DJ that the ammendment is predjuicial to him.

            Also in Pennsylvania the arresting officer is officially the prosecutor. I know the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Rules of Evidence as well as any attorney. I am perfectly capable of representing the Commonwealth in prosecutions of summary violations. Why do you think that defendants would get a better break if a District Attorney tried the case? The DA's interest in any criminal prosecution is a conviction the same as if the police officer is the prosecutor. The District Judge is the one who is the neutral arbiter in summary trials. He/she is not a rubber stamp for the prosecution. The DJ is not dependant the production of fines or costs for his/her income. DJ's are paid a salary by the state from the general fund. What he/she does rely on is the preception of the voters in his/her district that he/she is fair and honest in his/her rulings in criminal and civil cases.

            You complained that a citizen can't get evidence introduced. The problem is that the evidence has to be relevant. In a speeding trial the accuracy to the defendant's speedometer is not relevant. Traffic violations require no level of intent by the defendant. In other words, I don't have to prove why you were speeding or even that you knew that you were speeding. I only have to prove that you were speeding. The only speed timing device that has to be proved accurate is the one that the officer used to time the violator. If you have relevant evidence it can be entered and it is up to the Judge to determine the weight that the evidence carries. Most DJ's that I've dealt with bend over backwards to give the defendant every due consideration because the officer is experienced in the ways of summary trials and the defendants have no idea what the rules are. A little research in the law library at your local county courthouse would go a long way in explaining the rules.
            When Society makes war on its police, it better be prepared to make friends of its criminals.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ty so much, this explains a lot, and gives me some info to look further into it.

              Compared to any of you guys, I really have next to no court experience, I'm just trying to figure out how it works, not really sure if it would be more beneficial or not to have a DA present, my understanding was that there is supposed to be one, thats really it, but as I see its not how it works in real life

              As far as a citizen introducing evidence, let me clarify, I'm speaking about the officer being the prosecutions witness, as such is not able to enter evidence? How ever you also just said that the officer acts as the prosecutor, who is allowed to enter evidence. But in that case, how can you call yourself to the witness stand or direct examine yourself?

              So the relevant information would be, for a state trooper in PA possibly radar equipment details. And for everyone else in PA, details on the calibration of the speedometer, details on the edis or vascar equipment. I'm not sure what evidence a defendant would want to enter really, I guess it depends on whats going on, I have common moving violations in mind though as I wrote my original post.

              Thats nice to hear about the DJ bending over backwards for the defendant since, like you said, they have no idea what the rules are. I mean for me, and im sure most people, court is something you don't want to be in so its easier to just try and distance yourself, and lets face it the most knowledge people have like me comes from watching law and order marathons haha. I very curious though and I like to learn about things like this, so thank you very much for the info, and now I have a new resource to tap, I wasn't aware that my county courthouse probably had a law library.

              Cheers
              -J

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jbeez View Post
                might as well just amend it upto murder and give me some time, better than my wife seeing the insurance premiums go up that much hahahha

                But there are no rules against changing the citation after its already been filed with the court house? Also I've noticed in a local municipality here they don't use a prosecutor but just the judge and witness(the officer/trooper etc). Surprised this flies, don't people object to this arrangement? It seems that the general public is just pushed through this system, and doesn't seem to be very curious of it, or care that they might not be getting a fair trial with the benefits of a separate person to represent the people of the commonwealth.

                As I understand it, a witness can't enter evidence, what happens when people try to fight tickets and you need to submit proof of calibration for equipment, or logs or whatever else?

                -J
                In PA If and when I cite for speeding, I have either A-used a stopwatch and will need to bring a small pice of paper showing it was calibrated within the required time frame
                B- used ENRADD and will have a small piece of paper with me that shows the unit was calibrated within the required time frame AND the officer running the ENRADD unit or C- Ive used my speedo of my patrol car and will have to bring a small piece of paper with me that shows my speedo was calibrated within the required time frame,
                ALL set by the great state of PA.

                ANd no its not deck stacked against the motorist. Ive written a few hundred cites at my my dept., only one Ive lost was the speeding one where the guy hired a lawyer.
                I got nothing for now

                Comment


                • #9
                  If someone is guilty of something, theoretically a lawyer shouldn't make a difference on the outcome of the hearing(but we all know thats not how it works), how was it that he got out of it? Did you fail to do something or fail to prove something in court?
                  Last edited by jbeez; 09-03-2008, 10:13 PM. Reason: added ()

                  Comment

                  MR300x250 Tablet

                  Collapse

                  What's Going On

                  Collapse

                  There are currently 6012 users online. 308 members and 5704 guests.

                  Most users ever online was 26,947 at 07:36 PM on 12-29-2019.

                  Welcome Ad

                  Collapse
                  Working...
                  X