Can a witness testify against a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign without coming to court?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a witness testify against a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign without coming to court?

I erroneously received a stop sign violation and had a witness pulled up to me afterwards giving me her contact information to fight the ticket. My witness was with an elderly person, helping him cross the street and wanted to vouch for my complete stop as it was notable to her that I made a complete stop and let her cross contrary to the majority of drivers’ habits in trying to beat the pedestrian to it. Since the ticket issuance, my witness has started working for a job with a schedule that won’t allow her to come to court. Is there a way for her to sign an affidavit or some kind of testimony that will be accepted in traffic court as previously mentioned, without having her need to come down to City Hall?

Please advise and thanks in advance for taking the time to help.

Asked on July 5, 2018 under General Practice, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, under the rules of evidence, a witness cannot "testify" by affidavit; any document from her which you tried to present when she was not testifying in court would be "hearsay" and would not be admissible; the court would not consider it. Live, in-court testimony is required.

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