Cross-Examining the Officer

At trial, you will be amazed at the officer's recollection of the street and where your vehicle was parked. He has been walking those streets everyday for years and will know the buildings, the condition of the road, the location of obstructions, etc. He knows the signs, where they are and what they say. He may not remember the details of your vehicle but he will know a lot about where it was parked.

You would be wise to tread carefully when questioning his recollection of the street signs. His recollection of the day, the weather, the number of doors your vehicle has are a different matter.

During cross-examination, ask the officer what the weather was like, what color is your car, how many doors does it have (coupe, 4-door, hatchback). You are testing his recollection. If he can't remember any details, then all he is doing is reading his notes. He is not providing evidence; he's simply reading the license plate number he wrote down without recalling whether in fact it is the correct plate. By implication this means he can't remember if it was your vehicle parked on that street.

The point here is to create doubt about his testimony. Typically you will not be able to completely refute his testimony during cross-examination but you can shave away at the edges with questions that raise doubt about his recollection of the facts.

If your charge is against paying a parking meter you can argue that the parking meter does not provide a receipt so evidence exonerating you cannot be produced. It's his word against yours and you must be given the benefit of doubt.

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