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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: California (Orange County)

    Here's the backstory. I was driving down the 405 freeway and the flow of traffic would be considered medium. I was driving two other friends and decided to take the carpool lane since it would be faster. I consider myself a safe driver who doesn't drive faster than 85mph ever and I typically drive around 70 ~ 75 mph on good traffic on the freeway (the speed limit is 65mph for CA freeways). I barely crossed over to the carpool lane for maybe 5 minutes before noticing the police car behind me turned on his flashing lights. At first I thought maybe he needs to pass me since I was skeptical to think I was speeding. I looked at my speedometer at that point and saw I was driving 56mph but I slowed down as soon as I saw the police so I'm not sure exactly how fast I was driving, but I'm pretty sure NOT 86mph. Another thought I had was maybe I cut him off so I must've pissed him off or something.

    Anyways, as soon as I realized that I was getting pulled over, I was undecided whether I was supposed to wait for the double yellow line to end before crossing or cross anyways. My friend in my car advised me that someone he knew suffered a similar incident where he was also getting pulled over for speeding in a carpool lane and crossed the double solid lines to pull over and received two citations. Afraid that this was one of those trick situations, I waited for the solid lines to become broken before pulling over. In the meantime, the officer had his lights on and even drove to the next lane to "encourage" me to cross but I wasn't sure of his intentions at the time.

    Once pulled over, officer treated me unkindly. He was quick and harsh with his words, saying that I "led him on a mile long chase." He didn't allow me to express that I was unsure of what to do. I have spoken to many friends and colleagues about this situation and they said they would've acted the same as me.

    Fast forward, I went to trial hoping that I could waive my "failure to yield" ticket and maybe get a reduction to my speeding ticket. This was my first trial so I didn't know what the repercussions would be if I lost. Officer showed up (to my dismay)! and the Judge (was also a jerk) ruled me guilty. He laughed at me when I asked if I could still take traffic school. Instead he suspended my driver's license for 30-days on top of additional fees. What the hell! I was polite, in fact, I was scared when I presented. I was not rude and didn't say bad things about the officer. Is that fair that I got my license suspended for 30 days AND had to pay the full bail with additional fees ($900+)? I didn't stick around to see if others were treated unfairly as my trial was first in line. Thank you for your comments and help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15,211

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    What code sections have you been cited for violating?
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    i was cited for 22349(a) VC and 21806(a)(1) VC. my bail was $839.00 plus my additional court fees was $120.00. lost my chance to do traffic school when i went to court.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15,211

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    Well, whether you think it was "fair" or not is beside the point - it appears to be perfectly lawful. You don't have to like it, but the court was within its rights to deny you traffic school and suspend your license for 30 days when you were found guilty.

    You can always look into an appeal, but I doubt that anything new will result from it unless you have something new and compelling to add, or you could identify some wrongful act by the trial court.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    You should have prepared a defense ,, one other than just hope. But you may be ready next time.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    [redacted]

    Needed to read the last paragraph as it was only useful pretrial.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Silicon Valley
    Posts
    528

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    When the OP received the courtesy notice from the court, was traffic school listed as an option? IIUC, it's possible to appeal the denial of traffic school, provided that the court offered you traffic school before your trial. California Rules of court say:

    Quote Quoting Rule of Court 4.104(c)(3)
    A defendant who is otherwise eligible for traffic violator school is not made ineligible by entering a plea other than guilty or by exercising his or her right to trial. A traffic violator school request must be considered based on the individual circumstances of the specific case. The court is not required to state on the record a reason for granting or denying a traffic violator school request.
    There's also case law in People v. Enochs and People v. Wozniak that suggest that the court cannot adopt a blanket policy of refusing traffic school for people who choose to go to trial.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15,211

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    Note, however, that the court need not explain itself. Case law merely states that the court must not adopt a blanket refusal. Nothing here indicates that this occurred at all. It is not a surprise to find that a court might decide that a person who speeds and then refuses to yield to the police should suffer a hefty fine and lose their license for a month AND not be allowed the privilege of traffic school. Unless the court was stupid enough to admit that the only reason for not permitting traffic school was because the OP dared to contest the violation, I doubt any appeal will stand a chance in Hades of success.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    Just curious. What should the OP have done - crossed or not crossed the solid yellow lines?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    15,211

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket and Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle - is This Fair

    Quote Quoting Feng
    View Post
    Just curious. What should the OP have done - crossed or not crossed the solid yellow lines?
    If there was no left shoulder, then he should have crossed the double lines if it was able to be done in relative safety.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    End of Watch: Deputy Danny Oliver

    End of Watch: Detective Michael Davis, Jr.

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