Originally Posted by fas
I'm surprised he wrote that up. He must be behind quota. I always try to support the cops, but that ticket is telling me he was having a bad day. As others suggest, go to the court and you probably will benefit. Here in OH, if he does not show for court you walk, no blood. You do not need an attorney, just show up early on the right day. I know. Owning an M3 for six years, I have some experience on this issue in four states!
With all due respect, your generalizations seem to fall a bit short. Quota? Hah! Quotas are generally illegal. Besides, most officers have no quota, they get to write as many as they want.
Seriously, I see nothing that qualifies a judgment of whether the officer was having a good day or a bad day. While I am not the only LEO who chimed in to say that I would not ordinarily have written a ticket for ten over, there may be other reasons why the citation was issued. Some of these reasons were outlined in this thread, such as STEP or Zero-Tolerance enforcement campaigns. The truth is, I don't know either; I wasn't there and I don't know the officer. Perhaps he was having a bad day, but I can't say.
Most, if not all, states are like Ohio in that if the State's witness (the officer) is not in court, the prosecution has no witness and the case is either dismissed (assuming the defendant shows up) or the prosecutor requests a reset. I can't speak for all departments, or even any given "x" number of departments, but I can tell you that in departments that I am familiar with, an officer may be subject to disciplinary action for missing a court date unless there is good cause. Again, the prosecutor often requests a reset in such cases (at least around here).
I am not an attorney, but I feel safe in believing that your advice against needing an attorney may fall short. My experience has always been to expect the officer to show or the state to request a reset for cause. In other words, if you show up for court, and the case goes to trial, an attorney could be helpful. I haven't seen many self-represented defendants get out of a ticket, while many good tickets have gone to the wayside because an attorney was involved.
You say you always try to support the police. I don't know you -- and perhaps you are a supporter -- but it seems more like a fair weather support if your support is so easily shaken by sketchy information. Then again, that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong (nod to Dennis Miller).