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Old 03-15-2007, 09:00 PM   #1
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Speeding Ticket - The Fight Begins

I got a ticket a while back and decided to fight it. I thought I would share my results for those who were interested. First, a little background...

It's 12:30 at night on a crispy Jan Saturday. I'm going south on the 405 towards the mountains to Santa Monica (it was freezing outside, I remember reading the temperature). Right after crossing the 101, I get slowed down with everyone else by a cop-car, he stopped all southbound traffic to move some suspects and a white SUV off the freeway. I was on the front row of the stopped traffic. We ended up waiting for 30 minutes for them to get the suspects off the road. There were only 2 cop cruisers there, and a couple cops, they had their hands full.

They finally let traffic begin to go, and I start up mildly spiritedly. I get up to speed, and perhaps a little extra (told the gf I was going to be home already, so I was really late). I eventually outran the other cars behind, and crossed over the top of the hill. I kinda felt really visible at that point, and thought it might be wise to be going the speed limit as I entered Santa Monica, so I slow down (there were one or two other cars ahead that had come on the freeway from entry-ramps). And just as I'm about going the speed I want to, I see another pair of headlights crest the hill at least half a mile away and barrel down towards me at crazy speed. Turns out it's a cop.

I was going the speed limit, so I just continue on my merry way. They get on my tail and pace me for a few minutes before they finally put their lights on. I was pretty sure they didn't have radar or laser on me tho, I didn't trip any trap. And they couldn't really pace me earlier accurately because they never really had line of sight or a consistent speed with me for any length of time. He gave me a ticket for going 90 in a 65, but no word on how they determined it, he was just guessing.

So I showed up to the prelim thing and requested a trial by declaration (write-in trial). I think the best strategy here is to fight it on the lack of evidence, he doesn't have anything substantial to prove my speed, and it was night so he doesn't even know what car he was after. I was going the speed limit when they saw me, they have no case. Plus, the ticket indicates I was speeding over a 5 mile stretch beginning at the 101 and ending at the street I eventually pulled over on, which is just silly.

I'll keep you guys updated on how things turn out. Any suggestions?

-David
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:07 PM   #2
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It sounds like B.S. I don't blame you for fighting it. Can you ask a cop to see the speed on his gun when you get pulled over? I had a similar situation about a mo ago but he gave me a warning so I didn't fight it.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:21 PM   #3
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Yeah that's messed up, definately fight it, hopefully he either won't show up or the judge will have to go with you for lack of proof. Same thing happened to a biker friend of mine, he fought it and the ticket was dropped. Good luck.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:18 PM   #4
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I don't think trial-by-declaration will give you the outcome you desire. The trooper can put anything he wants in his written report which you never see and is not subject to cross-examination. On the basis of two written reports (guess which one receives subjectively heavier weighting), without a sympathetic presence to influence the outcome, it's too easy for the Judge to make his two-second ruling and fill the state coffers.

I'd wait for your guilty verdict and and then submit a form TR-220 for a new trial (which is just that...new). You can still go to traffic school should you get a second guilty verdict.

My thought on this situation, right or wrong, is if they're going to get my $250-400, then I'll make them earn it by taking up as much court and police witness time as possible to incur a financial wash or at best a loss for "the man". You've already taken a step in this direction as the trooper will have to submit a written report, which I'd imagine is about as much fun as it sounds.
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Last edited by SD987; 03-15-2007 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:49 PM   #5
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I've heard good things about trial-by-declaration. The plus is, unlike asking for a court date, the police aren't paid overtime for writing a letter. Thus, a lot of trial-by-declaration requests go unanswered or unefforted. A friend of mine has gotten out of two tickets that way, and to be honest I'm not good in interrogation.

I made the actual stop as uneventful as I could. I just hope the cop doesn't feel like he needs to clamp down hard on this because it of the porsche-factor or whatever speed he thought I was really going (he gave me that whole 'I'm gonna be nice and only make it for 90' line).

Funny thing, after he almost comes off the road trying to catch up to me (doing 60 at the time), he complains not for my safety, but rather.. "Do you know we can get killed trying to chase guys like you at the speed we were?!".

I think there's a lesson there officer...

-David
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:51 PM   #6
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I agree with SD987. Although I have not had a ticket where I live now, knock on wood, where I grew up (central Illinois), the troopers/cops scheduled their court dates on their days off for OT. If you are going to pay anyway, in any form, make it worth your tax dollars. Depending on your work schedule, fight it. At least you know where your tax dollars are going.
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:33 AM   #7
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David, so you were speeding and now you are just going to deny & fight it? I hope your strategy works. Just how fast were you going?

You were speeding. You knew it. You got caught. Why not just pay the ticket, and be done with it?
 
Old 03-16-2007, 04:42 AM   #8
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On the few tickets I received, they always said how they determined my speed, either "radar" or "vascar". It was a required field to fill out on the ticket form.

I fought a ticket in court once, and lost, but they did reduce my fine to the equivalent of doing 60 in a 55 (and no points on my record).
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:32 PM   #9
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Hmm bmussatti, I think of it like this.

LAPD: "We got you. We saw a puff of smoke, and we got you. We saw you fire your fully registered and licensed weapon, so we're hauling you in for murder. We don't know if you actually shot someone, but hey it's a fancy gun, so we're gonna say you shot a couple people, why not right? We can't prove anything, we don't have a body, but you know you shot someone, that's enough for us."

Imagine if everything worked like this..

-David
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by David N.
Hmm bmussatti, I think of it like this.

LAPD: "We got you. We saw a puff of smoke, and we got you. We saw you fire your fully registered and licensed weapon, so we're hauling you in for murder. We don't know if you actually shot someone, but hey it's a fancy gun, so we're gonna say you shot a couple people, why not right? We can't prove anything, we don't have a body, but you know you shot someone, that's enough for us."

Imagine if everything worked like this..

-David
You did not answer my questions.

Pay the fine, and move on. You were speeding...right. Ya got caught. Sorry.
 
Old 03-16-2007, 12:52 PM   #11
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More than likely they paced you with a cruiser with a calibrated speedometer. You can fight the ticket, but they'll probably win the case.

I really like SD987's approach of wasting as much Police Officer time as possible to get even. The only thing that I would add is ********************ing about slow Police response the next time your family needs help, caused by a whole city full of self rightous jerkoffs doing the same thing.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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If my refusal to submit feebly to the stacked deck of highway enforcement makes me a self-righteous jerkoff, then so be it.

In the meantime I'm trying to mentally reconcile your concern for your brethren in law enforcement while simultaneously using another thread to promote the arming of the general populace with weapons that are well beyond what could be considered the need for self-protection. I'm sure that gun-toting civilians make a cops life easier.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #14
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Angry

I love it when the police give you a ticket, they are jerkoffs!!! Even when you admit you were speeding. But hey, they are just wasting your time, until you crash, and kill someone, or a motorcycle rider pulls out... or maybe...they were busy rescuing people, like 9/11.... arresting some innocent murderer...etc. So many liberals have so many opinions, but do nothing to help others except B$tch and complain about everything..boohoo!!! Pay the ticket and go change your maxipad!!
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:35 PM   #15
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Hi,

Indignation, especially when you were admitedly at fault, isn't likely to get you anywhere.

The Courts often go easier on those who are contrite and show some remorse for their actions.

Many states have alternatives to going to Court. Here in MN, you can see a Traffic Control Officer (an Officer of the Traffic Court) and ask for a CD - a Continuance for Dismissal. This is a time consuming task - usually you wait 2-3 hrs. to see a TCO, so many don't take advantage of it and simply pay the Fine.

A CD is almost always granted and while you must plead Guilty and pay a fine (most often reduced), your Citation is granted a Continuance for 1 year. If during that time, you get no other Moving Violations, the Citation is dismissed. But, if you do get another Moving Violation, both that Citation and this one fall on you full force.

The advantage is You pay a one-time Fine, but no record or points are put against you, so you avoid paying that Continuing Fine by your Insurance Co.

I was once on a CD and it actually helped me avoid another Citation. Pinched for Speeding, I explained to the Officer that if she did Cite me, this existing CD would fall on me and since I was only 5 MPH over the limit, this didn't seem fair. So she said she would cite me for driving w/o Proof of Insurance (which I had in the car) instead. But, a Citation for no Proof of Insurance is recinded if you present your Proof of Insurance to a License Clerk within 48 Hrs, so effectively I got no Citation.

Check into these, but if you're counting on the Court to show you some leniency, I might suggest adjusting both the approach and the attitude to work a little better in your favor. Good Luck!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 03-16-2007 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:11 PM   #16
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Nobody likes to get speeding tickets, period. They are expensive and could cost you big points on your driving record. But, you really have to consider the statistics for those involved in severe accidents because of speed.

If you were really doing 90 in a 65 mph zone and the government satisfied its burden of proof during the traffic trial, you could be looking at some substantial fines and penalties in California.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:26 PM   #17
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He may not have been pacing you at all. While following you he may have been running your plate to see if you had any warrants. The actual speed measure may have taken place before you saw him and from another vehicle or aim spot. Usually they have one guy shooting an several chase cars. As Jim said, if you are respectful, well dressed and show up to court they usually reduce it.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD987
If my refusal to submit feebly to the stacked deck of highway enforcement makes me a self-righteous jerkoff, then so be it.

In the meantime I'm trying to mentally reconcile your concern for your brethren in law enforcement while simultaneously using another thread to promote the arming of the general populace with weapons that are well beyond what could be considered the need for self-protection. I'm sure that gun-toting civilians make a cops life easier.
First, let me set the record straight. I wasn't calling you a jerkoff...at least not on purpose. My words were ill chosen. I sincerely apologize for the implication. It was entirely my fault. More than occasionally, my colorful verbiage gets me in trouble.

My only point was that wasting an Officer's time in traffic court keeps them from doing other, more important things, and further burdens an already overburdened system.

If you look at the other thread, you will see that I have recommended nothing that is more than a homeowner should possess for home protection. In fact, I attempted to steer folks away from all the exotic crap they were talking about. My original post was aimed at providing insight into the successful, layered protection of one's home. Since the thread had turned to weaponry, and a lot of the posts contained erroneous and dangerous information, I posted, not about rocket launchers and all that garbage, but about successfully surviving an armed encounter. It's a subject that I fortunately or unfortunately know an awful lot about.

I consider all of you my friends, and when I saw that you were receiving information that, if followed, would clearly get you killed, I felt compelled to step up. If you look at the other post again, I never took a stance one way or the other as far as having weapons for home protection. Judging by the makes, models and pictures of all the members handguns, that decision had clearly already been made. My only intention was to provide information to assist my friends in surviving a gunfight. It is easy to buy a gun and spout off about what you'll do if those MFers ever dare come to your house. It's a completely different ballgame when you are engaged in an armed encounter. I have been on both sides of the gun, and I'm here to tell you, when the **************** hits the fan, your tactics had better be good, or you will become very, very dead. All the bravado in the world will not save you. Despite what I consider to be the best training in the world, I still managed to get myself shot four times (same incident, four rounds). I've also had the painful honor of carrying several of my colleagues to their final resting places.

My intended contribution to the other thread was that if you're going to do it, do it right. I hate to keep picking on C.J., but if any of these guys think they're going to storm downstairs in the middle of the night with a .22 short and duke it out with some greenbean, we'll all lose a friend.

Again SD, I apologize for my ill chosen words.
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Old 03-16-2007, 03:44 PM   #19
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They did their job, nobody is questioning the value of that. I just want them to have a better case than a rough guestimation taken at night from at least 3/4ths a mile away, without radar or laser, and no other cars as a point of reference before they slap a number on a ticket and tell me to pay up.

-David
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:10 PM   #20
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I think it's quite naive to believe the Highway Patrol would start doing "better" things if the public wouldn't contend their traffic citations -- after all, they are "Highway Patrol" and an important revenue generator for the State.

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