Many people who have a traffic trial are not prepared, and lose. Preparation is key to the best chance of winning your traffic trial. Proper witnesses and evidence are crucial to being able to present a winning case. Traffic accidents are on the rise. You are more likely to need to fight your charges now more than ever.
Theory of Defense in a Traffic Trial
Going to traffic trial without a theory of why you should win is a mistake. So, starting with the charging statute and following through the police officer’s report and body camera recordings, you should know how the state intends to convict you. From there, you need to know what you intend to prove in theory. Then, you need to plan what witnesses and evidence you will need to prove that theory.
Witnesses in a Traffic Trial
First, create your theory of defense. Then, you will need to subpoena the necessary witnesses to prove the facts that support your theory of defense. Hearsay evidence is generally not admissible. So, people cannot write statements instead of showing up to testify. They will need to appear, sear/affirm to tell the truth, and testify. Traffic trials that involve accidents will often require a traffic reconstruction expert to refute the police officer’s conclusions. These experts usually cost $3000 or more for trial testimony. These witnesses often perform a full investigation of the scene, take measurements, photographs, etc.
Evidence in a Traffic Trial
Usually, testimony is not enough to win. Evidence will need to corroborate some facts, such as photographs of the scene, measurements, traffic patterns, etc. Evidence will almost always need to be introduced through a witness who can testify to the authenticity and relevance of the evidence.
Use of a conviction in civil case
Many people involved in accidents are worried about their civil liability to the other party’s involved in the accident. Generally, the fact of a conviction in the criminal/traffic case cannot be used to prove liability. CRS 42-4-1713 “[N]o record of the conviction of any person for any violation of this article shall be admissible as evidence in any court in any civil action.” However, restitution issues and personal injury may require you to go to trial to attempt to shield yourself from liability.
Preparation is key to success in any traffic trial. Experience in trials is also crucial. Your traffic trial may involve a jury. An experienced defense attorney can help you prepare and win.