Unsworn testimony from officers

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Latest post Fri, Aug 28 2015 7:45 AM by david wilson. 6 replies.
  • Thu, Jul 23 2015 8:24 PM

    • Ian S
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Jul 23 2015
    • FL
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    Unsworn testimony from officers

    I attended a traffic hearing on an exceeding the speed limit citation (FL). During the hearing, two officers gave their testimony, which is the only evidence for the prosecution. The prosecutor was not present at the trial. My cross-examination took "too much time" for the judge, and he stopped me before I was complete. He told me I could submit my testimony, additional evidence, and closing statements by written document within 10 days, and he would make his judgment.

    Upon reviewing the events in court, I realized that the officers were never sworn in and gave unsworn testimony. I will, of course, include this in my written document to the judge (along with my other points). But what are the possible legal outcomes? Obviously the judge could find the testimony inadmissible, and rule for dismissal. However, could he rule for a mistrial, and require a new hearing? Or could he obtain a sworn affidavit from the officers stating that the testimony they presented over one week earlier was "the truth, the whole..."? Could he even just accept the unsworn testimony?

    Thank you very much

     

  • Fri, Jul 24 2015 7:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Unsworn testimony from officers

    The judge has the power to do many things but I'm guessing that unsworn testimony of police officers is routine in traffic court and the judge will just accept it.

    You don't say what your defense is but my next guess is that the judge will believe the officers and not you.

    Expect a conviction.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Fri, Jul 24 2015 8:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Unsworn testimony from officers

    Ian S:
    Upon reviewing the events in court, I realized that the officers were never sworn in and gave unsworn testimony.

    Did you object at the time?  Doesn't sound as though you did.

     

    Ian S:
    what are the possible legal outcomes?

    Either the judge will decide this oversight can be overlooked (esp. if you didn't object at the time) or he'll reschedule the trial.  If you're thinking the judge is going to say, "awww...shucks, you got us, case dismissed," don't get your hopes up.

  • Mon, Jul 27 2015 10:33 PM In reply to

    • Ian S
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Jul 23 2015
    • FL
    • Posts 2

    Re: Unsworn testimony from officers

    Thank you for your replies!

    Ian

    PS: I did not object because it was not noticed unil review of the hearing the next day.

  • Mon, Jul 27 2015 11:20 PM In reply to

    • DOCAR
      Lawyer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Dec 9 2000
    • NV
    • Posts 5,432

    Re: Unsworn testimony from officers

    I have seen the judge swear the officers in at the beginning of court for all the cases they will testify in and not in each individual case.

  • Tue, Jul 28 2015 6:23 AM In reply to

    Re: Unsworn testimony from officers

    Generally, where I've practiced, for traffic matters,  the clerk swears everybody in before the judge even takes the bench. 

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