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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Ask-a-Cop: Can I Find Out Why I Got A Ticket and How He Knew I Was Speeding?

"I just have a quick question regarding traffic violations.

So I was visiting VT for the first time and ended up getting pulled over in Windsor VT.

Pulled out of the hotel's parking lot where i could see the police vehicle about 200ft down the road on the opposite side. The speed limit there was 25mph.

Waited until other cars passed by and i got out of the hotel's parking lot. Proceeded towards the police vehicle down the road.

I noticed immediately that the cruiser was right behind me, following me very closely for about .3 miles where he pulled me over.

Now...My driving record is not perfect by any means. I got speeding tickets when i was younger and "dumber" 

The officer gave my girlfriend and i a hard time about not having the insurance card. We don't have those in Massachusetts. I asked him what was the reason of him stopping me. He said i was going 45mph in 25mph zone. He stated on the ticket that he got me in the hotel area. (the place i was leaving)

I asked how did he determine my speed and what was used to determine the speed. I got no answer from him. He brought me a ticket and said that if i disagree with it i can go to court.

It does not say on the ticket was what was used to determine the speed. Was it lidar, radar or visual observation only? I called Windsor police department and sought for answers. Never got one.

I was not going more then 30mph. Ever since i took and passed my state trooper exam i literally follow speed limit to the T. Last thing i need is  the 23vsr 1007 violation code SL 2 and 3 points on my record which is exactly what the officer cited on the ticket. 

How can i make sure the officer was experienced enough to operate radar and if the radar was properly calibrated? If he was using Lidar did he have the proper certification to use lidar? Was it properly calibrated on that day? if it was how do i check that he logged that?

I was told that i was probably pulled over because i am out of state and there is no way i will drive 3 hrs to court to handle this. 

Please let me know what would be the best way of going about it. At the end of the day I am taking my state trooper career very seriously and i was to be super professional and knowledgeable."



This is a great question, and one that lots of folks who get issued tickets have.  The short answer is yes, you are entitled to know the answer to virtually all of the questions you asked, including how and when the officer was certified, the tool or method he used to detect your speed, when and how it was calibrated and tested, and how the officer knew it was working properly.

The way to obtain this information is to request it of the officer through the Vermont Judicial Bureau.  That is the organization in Vermont that handles civil violations such as these.  You can get a lot of questions answered at https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/judicial-bureau, as well as the forms you’ll need to make requests. 

As a defendant, you are entitled to all of the above as well as any documents the officer created related to your stop.  That includes the notes that he wrote on the back of his copy of the ticket and any report he may have written.  You’ll want to get these things before the hearing so you can review them and prepare a defense, if you feel you have one.  You can get your questions answered and request these items most effectively by going to the judicial bureau and using the motion form, not going to the department itself.  The Bureau will order the department to give these things to you. 

Don’t worry about upsetting the department or officer by doing this.  My department (Brattleboro Police) gets literally thousands of requests such as this for Vermont criminal and civil matters.  I’m sure the agency
that issued your ticket is used to it as well.

If you have a question for the Brattleboro Police “Ask-a-Cop” please email it to info@ibrattleboro.org with Ask-a-Cop in the subject line.


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this was in Windsor? they do appear to go after tourists!

This was in Windsor County?
Brattleboro is in Windham,
south of Windsor.

I live in Windsor County,
and I certainly get the impression
that cops go after Tourists.

You could ask a few more questions:

(1) from the Police Dept. the Officer is from
how many out-of-state tickets
do they issue
as compared to in-state drivers?

(2) Does that Police Dept. require
that Officers get so many tickets per week
or per month?
Would the Officer testify
as to how much pressure
the Officer is under
to issue tickets and to target out-of-state drivers?

(3) as to the specific town the Officer was in when
you were ticketed, does that Town
depend on Ticket Revenue to balance its Budget?
How much of the Town's budget is based on
speeding ticket revenue?


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