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TAS Police Issued Caution for Something I Didn't Do?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Anon1, 3 October 2016.

  1. Anon1

    Anon1 Active Member

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    The police pulled me over for 'talking' on the phone while driving.

    They checked my drivers licence, all clean. They then checked my phone record, including Facebook (as it is the only social media I have), with my permission of course. There were no outward messages and no inward or outward phone calls at least within the last 20 minutes of them pulling me over; in fact, I hadn't been on my phone for over an hour. They spent about 5-10 minutes looking through my phone, trying to find something that was not there. I was obviously in no fault of my own.

    After this, they gave me an ultimatum, to admit to the offence and be issued with a caution; or to not admit, and be issued with a fine risking losing my license (as I am only on my provisional license). An unethical ultimatum from what is suppose to be a respectable person, has really struck me hard.

    Upon request of this ultimatum, I stated that I genuinely wasn't on my phone, but I will admit to doing something I did not do, given that I won't receive a fine which I cannot afford. They said, "well, what do you want me to put down?"

    I am a uni student, which was evident by my provisional licence, a university parking sticker on the front of my car, and the fact I was right outside the university I attend.

    Given that I am poor, I clearly had to admit to something I did not do. I can not afford a fine, and they must have known that I couldn't afford a fine. Now I have a criminal record, for something I did not commit.

    Facts:

    - I was not talking on my phone

    - There is not and will never be a record of a phone call on on my phone or from service provider, nor will there be any social media calls taken during this time; for the above reason.

    - I am right handed and my phone was in my left pocket

    - I was wearing a black jacket ; coincidentally the same colour as my phone

    - My car is an old 1989 car, clearly I am not wealthy

    Do I have any legal standing to overturn the caution under traffic law? Is the ultimatum legal? Is the ultimatum discriminating against the obviously less well off? If there is no hard evidence, can they legally charge me or caution me beyond reasonable doubt?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Did you receive an informal caution or a formal caution?

    What happened to you can be challenged but is it really worth it?
     
  3. Anon1

    Anon1 Active Member

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    It was a formal caution with an infringement notice.

    Considering, that it will be on my criminal record, and that the occupation I am studying for is human resources; it may be quite detrimental if a potential employer sees it as willingly endangering lives.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Then elect to take the matter to court and challenge police evidence.

    They need to prove their case, you do not need to prove yours. Having said that however, keep a record of calls and sms and facebook posts all around this time.

    Write up your record of events while they are still fresh in your memory, including what the police said to you, and what you said to them. Describe in detail where you were, what you were doing, where you were going, weather conditions etc.

    Some things have no relevance to guilt or innocence (eg phone in left pocket, being right handed - I always keep my phone in a left pocket and I'm right-handed) but it does serve to indicate you have a clear recollection of what happened on the day.

    Write up closed questions for the police and others like, where were they when they saw your car. Try to create doubt in the magistrate's mind.

    It was a mistake handing them your phone, they may have noted down the make and number so in their evidence they may now say I saw anon1 with a 'make/model' phone in his left hand.

    BTW, not many employers will look at minor traffic offences when employing someone unless there is a clear pattern of misbehaviour.
     
  5. Anon1

    Anon1 Active Member

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    Thank you very much for your response. Will an official complaint to the police service be of use?
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Realistically - No, waste of time.
     
  7. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi anon1,

    The police have lied to you.

    The police told you that your choices were:

    Confess to wrongdoing and get a warning;

    Or

    Deny wrongdoing and get a fine and due to your provisional licence, maybe lose it.

    Did they inform you that you could also:

    Deny wrongdoing and challenge their allegations.

    Your evidence is that your phone record shows no calls. They told you they saw you "talking" right?

    This is a traffic offence, which is not the same as your criminal record.

    Many people are victims if this sort of unethical behaviour. Traffic offences are often cheaper than fighting it... remember two police officers will be saying "I saw him talking in the phone".

    Is a Complaint worth it? Yeah, they start to add up and the cop gets a record for pulling that little unethical stunt, can limit their career later on.

    Regards,
     
  8. Anon1

    Anon1 Active Member

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    Thank you for your response Gorodetsky.

    They stated I could go to court, but I stated that I cannot afford court.

    I can get the call log which will present no calls, and a new Facebook feature, enables me to also get all archived data. ie, Online times, messages, ect. Which again will go in my favour, as it should.

    Apologies I meant to specify a police record check, On the Tasmania Police website, traffic offences are included.

    What would a complaint lead to?
     
  9. Gorodetsky

    Gorodetsky Well-Known Member

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    Hi Anon1,

    Ok, so being represented by a solicitor in court would cost thousands. Representing yourself for something small like this might work out. Dunno how much it'll cost to represent yourself, but if you lose, you might have to pay court costs.

    You told them you couldn't afford to defend yourself in court, they heard "I won't fight any dodgy charge you drum up".

    Police often drop dodgy charges on the day of the hearing if you challenge them. No guarantees.

    Your position sounds pretty good.

    Incidently, police are not meant to take guilty pleas if the person says they are not guilty.

    Don't worry too much about traffic offences in your record and your job prospects, but I hear you...if you didn't do it why should it be on your record?

    A Complaint?
    Tasmania Police | Compliments and Complaints

    You write an essay, the act requires they keep records of it...down the track this unethical cop gets 25 or 30 complaints about issuing dodgy fines, and gets passed up for promotion.

    Regards
     
  10. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking a promotion for efficient policing :(
     

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