Standards Of Proof
What exactly are standards of proof
in a speeding ticket trial?
By Damon Dallah
To put it simply, the standard of proof in a speeding ticket trial is basically the amount of evidence needed by the prosecution (or plaintiff in a civil trial) in order to convict the accused.
The higher the standard of proof, the more evidence is needed. There are only two standards of proof we need to deal with:
1. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
2. Preponderance of the Evidence
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:
This standard of proof is the higher of the two. This is the standard of proof in a criminal trial. This means that the case must be proven without any reasonable doubt as to whether or not the defendant is guilty of the crime against him/her.
Preponderance of the Evidence:
This is the standard of proof in a civil trial. This one basically states that if it is more likely than not that you committed the offense then you will be found guilty.
Both are very important issues one must consider when fighting a speeding ticket in court. In order to know which standard of proof is required in the courthouse you will be contesting your ticket, all you have to do is know how your state regards speeding ticket offences.
Some label them as a criminal offense (also known as a misdemeanor) while others label them a civil offense.
I can’t stress this enough… you absolutely MUST know how your state labels speeding violations.
The reasoning behind this is simple. If you go to court with a defense based solely on the notion that you are going to create reasonable doubt, but you are in a state that labels speeding tickets as a civil offense, you will be laughed out of the courtroom.
By creating reasonable doubt you have to contest the evidence against you. This is just fine and dandy if your ticket is a criminal offense (i.e. a misdemeanor). However, in civil cases your rights to contest the evidence will sometimes be denied.
Remember, there is no “beyond a reasonable doubt” in civil cases! The standard of proof is by “preponderance of the evidence” which means that after the officer gives his testimony and submits all of his evidence to the court, the trial is pretty much over for you.
By “preponderance of the evidence”, if it is more than likely that you committed the crime, then you will be found guilty. The evidence only has to weigh more towards the officer by only 1% (51% likely that you committed the offense).
Technically speaking though, I have come across individuals who have successfully beat their speeding tickets by contesting the evidence in a civil trial. But more and more these days the courts are denying defendants their lawful rights at contesting evidence in civil trials. There’s really not much you can do about it.
If your speeding ticket is a criminal offense, then you’ll be happy to know that beating it in court is a relatively easy task to accomplish. The standard of proof is so high (beyond a reasonable doubt) that all you have to do is create a hint of doubt and your case should be dismissed.
If you happen to find yourself in a state that labels speeding tickets as a civil offense, don’t lose hope. Although you may not be able to shed reasonable doubt on the evidence against you, there is actually a very powerful defense you can utilize to your advantage.
This defense does not require you to attack the evidence. Instead, you will take advantage of a little known federal law that will almost always help you win your case.
By not being able to attack the evidence, you really only have one recourse.
I know you’re wondering what it is. Well, if you get the chance to enroll in my 5 day mini course, then you will have the answer.
I lay out for you exactly how to go about doing this.
It involves getting a copy of the Engineering and Traffic Survey for the particular stretch of road you were caught speeding. Please enroll in my mini course for the details on how to do it.
Knowing what the standard of proof is for your trial is an essential element to beating your ticket.
This is also the number one flaw you’ll find in many books on the subject of beating speeding tickets. Heck, you won’t even find the term “standard of proof” anywhere in their books.
They all have the same rehashed, lame, and useless information. All of them are based on the “beyond a reasonable doubt” defense. But how does that help you if you happen to be in a state that classify speeding tickets as a civil offense (about half of the states), where the standard of proof is by “preponderance of the evidence”?
Their system WILL NOT WORK!
Do not waste your money!
Think about it, their information is only applicable to those of you in the half or so states that currently label speeding tickets as a criminal offense. What about the rest of you?
I think the least they could do is mention this on their websites so that people can make informed decisions on the product they are buying. But, it just goes to show the true motivation behind selling their products and it is not in the best interest of their customers.
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