While driving down the Northern California I-5-S freeway on the 1st lane (far left), I noticed some cars on the 3rd and 4th lanes (far right) slowing down showing their brake lights. Since I had neither a car in front or behind me for some good 50 feet, I slowed down, but not to the same speed as they were since they had other cars in their lanes. While slowing down, I noticed that on the right shoulder a CHP motorcycle officer was walking away from a car window from a car that he had just given a ticket to and was returning to his bike; I meanwhile had safely changed lanes to the 2nd lane, between two cars, going the flow of traffic. While passing him, I looked in my rear view mirror to notice him saddle his bike, merge back into the fwy lane, swerve behind some cars and in front of the car behind me, and pull his lights on. While I slowed down, cars in the 1st and 4th lanes passed by. I crossed two lanes over to arrive in the 4th lane, and pulled over on the shoulder.
He asked if I knew I was going 85, to which I responded, "no i don't believe i was." He said that he knew I was going bc I was zooming by when he was giving the ticket on the shoulder and asked if I had seen him point at me, bc as he said, " i pointed at you to let you know I was coming after you." I said, "no i didn't see you point at me." He asked, "you didn't see me point at you?" I repeated my response again and added," no, I didnt; but yes, I saw you on the shoulder giving another car a ticket." He said, "well you were going around 85." I asked, "how could you tell that?" He said, "Im trained to estimate speed and I could tell you were zooming by." I said, "well I know I wasn't going that speed." He asked, "do you know how fast you were going?" I said, "no, but I am sure I wasn't going 85. how can you know what my speed was?" He said, "well we are given training to estimate speed and we have radars."
I asked him if there was anything I could do to not receive a ticket, to which he responded, "i have to do my job! and even if you weren't going that speed, you have to follow the safety laws." (So that didn't boil over too well.) In any case, he issued me a ticket and said, "well I'm going to give you a break and say it was a 75 in a 65mph zone." He wrote my LA address on the ticket (the same from my license), but I now live in Sacramento and explained that briefly.
My facts:He was off his bike and was only behind me for less than 20 seconds, while I was already slowing down because he was immediately behind me.
I never asked if he had a radar gun, but I am under the impression that a motorcycle officers have external, hand-held radar guns, not those on their motorcycles. His bike did not look like the most updated bike either. He only alluded to having a radar, but never said that he had one and had used it on me. He only mentioned that he made an estimate.
While apparently an intended kind gesture from the officer, after consideration I can't imagine that the officer could estimate my speed in the 1st lane, while off his bike in the fwy. shoulder. I can't also imagine that he could get a radar assessment deeming me over the speed limit and out of the flow of traffic if I was already slowing down to drive with the flow of traffic between two cars--especially since he even had to speed up to catch up to me to merge between me and another car.
So, I have a few questions:
Is there a law stating that an officer must currently be on their bike or in their car at the point of apparent violation?
Also, can I request a court date in LA instead of Sacramento, given that my address is indicated as an LA address?
Given my summary, does it seem probable that the officer could correctly assess my speed while off his motorcycle and in stand-still 4 lanes away?
Do I have a case if I plead non-guilty, claiming that he couldn't have possibly correctly estimated my speed while off his bike, and especially given that I was going with the flow of traffic? And if so, do you have any tips on how to prove it?
Since I never was clocked on the radar (to my knowledge), can I use his miscorrect estimation and lack of a radar submission to my benefit if I challenge this ticket?
Do you find any other loopholes in my story that I can use to my advantage in bargaining my case?
Would requesting a different court house or hearing in a different county OR requesting an extension on the hearing date DECREASE my chances of having the cop show up? Are these viable options?
Thank you so much!