Getting a ticket is never fun. Especially when you know you were not doing what you were accused of. Unfortunately, there is no right to have counsel provided for Infraction cases so many of these cases go uncontested even when there was misconduct or an available defense.

Before opening up my own firm I practiced as a prosecutor. I really enjoyed the litigation experience this gave me. I also like that I was granted discretion over which cases to prosecute and dismiss. If I knew a case could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt or had some sort of misconduct I would dismiss it and be able to train Law Enforcement as to why I did.

In prosecuting infractions the vast majority of defendants were self-represented or did not show up to trial. For those that do not show up to trial the court enters default, and I saw a lot of defaults get entered. For those who were self-represented I would do my best to present the evidence in accordance with the rules of evidence so that there wouldn't be any reason for the defendant to object. I did this partially as a favor for the self represented defendant who is usually not trained in the rules of evidence, but it also worked as a way to refine my litigation skills. In fact, many prosecutors use infraction court trials to refine their litigation skills.

After presenting my evidence, I would then do what I could to not object to the defendant's testimony. I never once had a self-represented defendant come to trial and not testify. I would generally only object if the defendant was rambling on about something that was irrelevant. In almost every trial I prosecuted with self-represented defendants the defendant would get close to building a defense in their testimony and then ruin it by confessing to the infraction. In many ways they did not know that was what they were doing but they did never the less. Once a person confesses it does not matter how strong or week the prosecutors case is the Judge is going to find the person guilty unless there is a solid defense.

Many of these defendants may have had a solid defense but once they confess they forget to finish the argument they were making. As I said before, they were usually on their way to building a solid defense but then confess. This is why it is important to consult with an attorney when cited with an infraction. If you do have a solid defense, here at Hansen Legal we will be able to spot it and put it up for consideration in a court trial.

  • - Daniel Hansen -

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