Monday, September 26, 2011
Attorney gets Traffic Ticket thrown out using Client’s GPS Log
(Houston, TX) The next time you’re ticketed for speeding when you actually weren’t, your GPS tracking device could prove your innocence, thanks to a clever maneuver used by a local attorney at the law firm of Sullo & Sullo, LLP.
“I like thinking outside the box, “said Attorney Tej R. Paranjpe, who came up with the idea to use his client’s GPS log to prove that the ticket issued by a Stafford Police Officer, had no merit.
In the case, the defendant was alleged to have been driving 80 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone. The Stafford Municipal Court Judge however, dismissed the ticket after the defendant’s GPS logs showed the maximum speed reached by the defendant’s vehicle was 70 miles per hour.
The 80 miles per hour measurement, Paranjpe said, was done by radar. He added that in many traffic cases, an officer’s word is the only evidence offered up to prove the commission of a traffic violation.
“Aside from that, they often do not come to the table with anything else,” Paranjpe stressed. “No records, documents, [or] anything tangible to prove up the state’s case, aside from their verbal testimony, are brought to the table in a trial setting.”
In fact, the first-year attorney said he knows exactly how nine out of 10 officers will likely testify on the stand.
“It’s a basic and easy script across the board,” he said. “For these lower violations, I wanted to start bringing something different to the table and catch everyone off guard.”
Paranjpe said his mission as an up-in-coming attorney is to put pressure on the state to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“At the end of the day, even though these offenses are lower crimes and traffic offenses, they still require the same burden of proof,” said Paranjpe.
Asked if attorneys at Sullo & Sullo, LLP make a habit of using unconventional tactics to prove their client’s innocence, Paranjpe said, “What is considered unconventional for these lower offense representations is actually the norm for higher profile cases, so really, we’re just doing our jobs more appropriately and more to the ability of what we’re being hired for by doing what we’re doing.”
Paranjpe added that the fact the officer who issued the ticket was not present during the pre-trial is a small indicator on how routine most traffic tickets are. In this particular case, Paranjpe said, the prosecutor should have dismissed the case during pre-trial based on the same GPS evidence presented to the judge.
As for the judge’s decision to dismiss the traffic ticker, Paranjpe, explained, “We are supposed to be zealous advocates for our clients. I was just doing my job in the manner I felt needed to be done.”