I was recently at the Queens North TVB office to fight a red light ticket for one of our clients. The issuing police officer was present and prepared for trial.
The officer’s testimony was quite detailed. He remembered where it happened, direction of travel, the set up of the intersection and where my client was throughout his observations. He testified that the signal lights were working properly and that there was a clearly marked crosswalk at the intersection where motorists must stop on red.
The relevant part of the officer’s testimony went something like this (I’m paraphrasing):
“I first saw the motorist at the time the light in question turned to red. I saw the motorist four car lengths from the marked crosswalk. I saw the motorist continue to drive over the crosswalk and straight through the intersection without stopping. I pulled the motorist over on the other side of the intersection…”
Right away it was obvious that a key piece of testimony was omitted. The officer never set forth what color the light was at the time my client crossed over that crosswalk and entered the intersection. The light may have been red when his vehicle was four car lengths prior to the intersection but we need to know if it was still red when he went through the intersection.
I made a motion to dismiss and the judge (reluctantly) granted it. No points, no fine.
Sometimes it’s just a simple omission that leads to a victory. You just need to know what you are looking for so if you happen to hear it (or don’t hear it as in this case) you can take advantage.