An erstwhile DMV investigator was arrested and charged with offering false
documentary evidence. Prosecutors allege that he falsified an officer's
signature to get out of a traffic ticket.
According to court documents, an officer stopped 51-year-old Dennis Svet
because his Civic had false registration tags. Mr. Svet apparently tried
to use a DMV identification card to the officer. When the officer wrote
a ticket anyway, he
forged the officer's signature on the back of the ticket and mailed it to the court as proof of correction.
The judge dismissed the case, but the DMV subsequently launched an investigation.
Mr. Svet is currently being held in lieu of $20,000 bond.
There are a number of effective defenses to a traffic ticket that do not
involve felonious conduct. A good advocate makes these defenses even more
In most instances, the state has the burden of proof. The prosecutor must
convince the judge that the defendant was guilty beyond any reasonable
doubt. Often, there may be evidence of guilt, but it is insufficient to
meet the legal burden of proof. If the defense attorney can offer a reasonable
alternative theory - for example, a car may stop so briefly that the officer
didn't see the wheels stop moving - a Kern County judge typically
finds the defendant
There may also be missing evidence. Many violations in Bakersfield require
the state to prove facts A, B and C. If the state proves A and C but not
B, the defendant is not guilty. Other times, there may be an excuse. For
example, a traffic control sign may be obscured by a tree branch or other
object, or the speed limit may not be clearly marked. If the excuse is a
legal justification, the defendant is not guilty.
Even if the defense is not strong enough to get the case thrown out, it
may very well be strong enough to convince the prosecutor to reduce the
charges and/or the proposed fine.