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Tim, I started off doing ticket cases at JP courts in Harris County. I can tell you, ticket cases are much harder than felony cases. Particularly if you get a Republic of Texas defendant.
Amen to that one. Of course, you can sometimes just sit back and let them ramble on (usually after you've objected for the 40th time in 5 minutes to relevancy of the UCC - and the judge gets tired of telling them to move it on to the case at hand) and before too long, the jury will get so sick of listening to them ramble about something that makes no sense that they get p.o'ed and look to hang him or her by the toes.
I did not intend to suggest that prosecuting tickets was not difficult. I was just revealing my lack of experience in the area as a matter of disclosure. I did assist a county attorney once with the prosecution of a Republic of Texas person on a ticket, I think it was for not wearing a seatbelt. It was an experience. The JP or the officer who wrote the ticket actually lost the original of the ticket so you can just imagine what kind of conspiracies we were accused of for that. This guy actually brought his own flag to court and set it out on counsel table, where he, of course, represented himself.
must be a little different. First, everyone on the panel is looking at the defendant with a "there but for the grace..." attitude - after all, there isn't a speed limit on county and FM roads, is there?? (grin) Then, they want to know that the officer remembers this stop, that there wasn't a reason for speeding, that there was no mistaken identity of the vehicle, and so forth.
I can talk forever about the officer "always" does it this way, that there is no mistake, and that a reason or mitigating factor would have resulted in a note on the trooper's copy of the ticket. However, those six tobacco chewin', hay munchin', tractor drivin' jurors will acquit before I can grab a cup of coffee.
On the other hand, if an officer can say "I remember this case because I made a note that this was the day I saw / heard / did and I remember this person and the stop clearly", then that same group will convict with a max fine before I can grab the self same cup of coffee.
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