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  1. #1
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    Default Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    The information on my ticket is: 22349(b), exceeding 55 mph. Max speed says "55" and the sections for Vehicle Limit and Safe and Special were left blank by the officer. The officer said I was doing 84 in a 55 zone. I received the ticket while traveling in Northern California, though I live in Southern California (which is where I am now).

    First a couple of insurance questions. I read on one law site on the web that it is illegal in California for insurance companies to raise rates if there is only 1 point on a person's record. Is this true? Was this a law of the past, or a law that is still in force now? Since my driving record is otherwise clean, I am interested to know this. I called the DMV, and it was confirmed for me that this was 1 point violation, but the person I talked to there said some insurance companies can and do raise rates on a 1 point violation.

    I would like to do a TBD and was wondering if anyone could point me to a good resource for information on this. I know that if you win the ticket is thrown out, but I am also wondering: can a TBD ever result in a judge giving a fine reduction/option for traffic school even if you lose?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    All you write on your TBD is "i am not guilty." and nothing else.

    As for fine reductions, it really depends on the judge. Some judges are liberal but most won't budge in order to avoid encouraging more people to show up for court instead of sending a donation to the state. Finally, you'll have to see the judge to get traffic school because your citation is above the 25mph threshold.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Were you on a two-lane, undivided road at the time?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Thanks for the replies.

    HonkingAntelope, That's all I write? I should not attempt to make any other kind of statement?

    Seeing the judge will be problematic because I don't live anywhere near the area where I got the ticket and a trip back to Northern California would be costly and time consuming. Are you able to make the request in another manner, if you live elsewhere?

    Quirkyquark, possibly but I don't remember. It was my first and only time driving in the area where I received the ticket, and I am not familiar with the area or roads.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Yep, that's all you write on the statement of facts. If you don't remember how many lanes there were off the top of your head, look it up on google maps!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Quote Quoting sovris
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    Are you able to make the request in another manner [traffic school for >25 mph], if you live elsewhere?
    Call the court first and ask. If they say you have to see the judge, write a request to the judge (ask the clerk who handles traffic arraignments), let him know you live far away and send it certified.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    HonkingAntelope: if that's all I'm going to be writing, it doesn't seem I actually need the information about the number of lanes, right?

    Just out of curiosity: why is this the advisable course, rather than making a statement? My understanding, from what I've read so far, is that the officer will be submitting forms which basically reiterate the information written on the ticket I received. Why would a judge be inclined to favor a simple "not guilty" statement over the concrete details provided on the officer's forms?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Quote Quoting sovris
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    Just out of curiosity: why is this the advisable course, rather than making a statement? My understanding, from what I've read so far, is that the officer will be submitting forms which basically reiterate the information written on the ticket I received. Why would a judge be inclined to favor a simple "not guilty" statement over the concrete details provided on the officer's forms?
    You're assuming the officer will submit a response. If he does, 99% of the time you'll be found guilty no matter how well-written your argument is. The intent behind submitting a simple statement is on the hope that the officer will not submit his declaration, making you win by default. The main reason to only write "i am not guilty" is to avoid accidentally incriminating yourself and losing even when the officer doesn't submit a reply. The other reason is the fact that it takes a lot less time and effort to write one sentence than a full-page explanation.

    quark only asked about the number of lanes because it's an immutable requirement for VC22349(b), and we have seen a few cases where the officer cited a defendant for subsection (b) and only subsection (a) was applicable. The road you were traveling on must have only one lane in each direction, with passing lanes not counting, and no physical dividers such as a center median or Jersey barriers. If the road you were only has more than one regular lane for each direction, beating this is a slamdunk. Most of the time the cops get it right, but not all officers know the subtleties of traffic law and they occasionally screw it up.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Thanks for the clarifying information. On one website about TBD I read that 30% of the time the officer does not submit a response. Can't help thinking this is an inflated statistic, though, because the clerk at the court told me the officer is actually subpoenaed for his response, which indicates to me that he would face disciplinary measures if he did not submit one.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)

    Since this is the forum for opinions, I will post mine...

    Quote Quoting sovris
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    Just out of curiosity: why is this the advisable course, rather than making a statement?
    For some, its a way to take a first shot in hopes that the officer will not file his declaration all while not making the mistake of admitting to anything.

    Quote Quoting sovris
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    My understanding, from what I've read so far, is that the officer will be submitting forms which basically reiterate the information written on the ticket I received.
    Basically, yes... And you can hope and wish and dream that he won't submit a declaration at which point, the case would be dismissed. But the chances of him not filing one are fairly slim. Still, when faced with the possibility of a $480 fine, I guess its worth the shot!

    Quote Quoting sovris
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    Why would a judge be inclined to favor a simple "not guilty" statement over the concrete details provided on the officer's forms?
    Good question, and it is my opinion, and contrary to popular belief, that if there is ever a time that you might get convicted in spite of what might possibly be a weak, measly half-ass written declaration by the officer, it is going to be the time you submitted a simple "I am not guilty" as your entire declaration.

    Now keep in mind that based on what you posted in this thread, your chances of beating this citation on merit are extremely weak. If anything and with your fine being as high as it is, with you possibly not easily qualifying for traffic school, and with you showing very little interest and putting in minimal effort, you're not getting on the judge's good side. And that may reflect in his/her decision to not grant you either a fine reduction or the traffic school option. And no, I'm not saying the court can force you to testify or to incriminate yourself. I'm only saying that a simple "I am not guilty" falls way short of showing any remorse for exceeding the maximum limit by more than half (29mph)! And that is what might earn you some sympathy!

    Quote Quoting HonkingAntelope
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    If he does, 99% of the time you'll be found guilty no matter how well-written your argument is.
    For the benefit of the OP, I will say that I wholeheartedly disagree with this. I don't know what the percentages are, but the reason that the majority of people get convicted in traffic court is because they either presented no defense, they have no defense, they don't understand the law they were cited for so no chance of presenting a decent argument, they know they're guilty but rather than (and I quote) "assuming the officer will submit a response", they are hoping he won't....

    There have been plenty of instances where people fought their cases by TBD and won. But that is predicated on the fact that you have a legitimate defense to present and not just a recitation of a public misconception, or your own odd interpretation of the law.

    Quote Quoting HonkingAntelope
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    The intent behind submitting a simple statement is on the hope that the officer will not submit his declaration, making you win by default.
    There you go... There is part (1).

    Quote Quoting HonkingAntelope
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    The main reason to only write "i am not guilty" is to avoid accidentally incriminating yourself and losing even when the officer doesn't submit a reply.
    And this is where it stops making sense and starts to defy logic...

    What happens if you are found guilty, and in the course of deciding whether to pursue the next step of a new trial, you decide to request a copy of the officer's declaration? How would the judge justify a guilty finding when in reality there was no testimony or evidence to convict you with?

    And if the judge is simply going to go out of his way to do such an egregious act as convicting you without any testimony from the citing officer, then why do you think he needs you to "incriminate yourself"?????

    Now, if you think a judge is likely to risk his career, by still finding you guilty in a case where the officer did NOT submit a declaration, (even if you did incriminate yourself), just for kicks and because, in your own mind he happens to be so biased against you as a defendant, that he'll cut his nose of to spite his face... Then I am really left with no answers!

    Quote Quoting HonkingAntelope
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    The other reason is the fact that it takes a lot less time and effort to write one sentence than a full-page explanation.
    That was part (2)...

    Quote Quoting HonkingAntelope
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    If the road you were only has more than one regular lane for each direction, beating this is a slamdunk.
    And part (3) would have been: if it is a one lane in each direction, then its a slam dunk for the officer...


    So... On a different note, did you find the mail that the court mailed to you while you were up north? And did that answer your questions?

    Also, if you did in fact receive the courtesy notice from the court, does it say anything about a "mandatory court appearance"?
    I am right 97% of the time... Who cares about the other 4%!

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