Traffic Violation:

Getting the Officer's Notes

After giving you a traffic ticket, many police officers write notes on the back of your ticket with details of why you deserve the traffic violation. During a traffic violation trial, many officers will refer to his or her notes. Luckily, in many states you have the right to access these notes through a process called “discovery”. Obtaining these notes before a traffic court trial can help you discover the officer’s strategy for convicting you. To acquire these notes, you must make a written request for disclosure of all notes pertaining to your case. Send the discovery request to the police agency and the local prosecuting agency. If you receive no response to your request within three weeks, go to the court and make a pre-trial motion to ask the judge to order the police to release the notes.

When you receive the notes, study them carefully. Look for the amount of detail present and what the notes don’t say. If the notes lack details, you may be able to challenge the officer’s memory. See if the notes mention what lane you were in, your speed or weather conditions.