Re: Exceeding 55 MPH, VC 22349(b)
Since this is the forum for opinions, I will post mine...
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.
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!
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!
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.
There you go... There is part (1).
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!
That was part (2)...
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%!