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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Exclamation Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

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

    This is my first ticket and I intend to fight it, would like any advice you have!

    I pulled up to the stop sign, came to a stop, and then continued through before I realized there was a truck to my right, about to make a right turn. I also happened to be talking on the phone. Although I had the phone on speaker, I still had it in my hand, but not up to my ear.

    The officer pulled me over and asked if I had seen the truck, I told him yes I saw him after I had already gone and that I gave them the 'Im sorry' wave. He then asked me if the reason I cut them off was because I was talking on the phone. I replied "Yea, maybe". He said he was going to just give me a warning about the phone, and then wrote me a ticket with code 22450(a). I waited until I got the actual notice to freak out...but yep, he wrote me a ticket for failing to stop at a stop sign. $235.00.

    So I am planning to fight the ticket, since I did stop, and the officer never said anything about not stopping. Im just wondering what my best approach would be.

    Do I go in and tell the whole story, or do I simply say "no, I stopped"...what if the judge asks what the officer said to me when he stopped me? A few friends said I should say that the truck waved me through and thats why I went. I dont really want to lie...I just honestly dont want to be cited for something I didnt do.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    You're not only required to stop, but yield to traffic with the right of way.
    Holding the phone in your hand (even if not to your ear) is a violation of the cell phone law as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    Your description of where the officer was when all this happened and equally, where the truck was, how far into the intersection he was when you noticed him and how far into the intersection you were when you noticed him might help if only to give us an idea of what the officer saw, might be meaningless but it might help too.

    22450.
    (a) The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop at a limit line, if marked, otherwise before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.
    If there is no limit line or crosswalk, the driver shall stop at the entrance to the intersecting roadway.


    That is what the code section states... Those few words that I underlined pretty much describe your responsibility upon approach to a stop sign. They do in fact describe TWO elements, not just one. meaning you MUST stop, but you MUST also do so at the limit line or the close line marking the crosswalk and if none, then before crossing what I would call the imaginary lateral line perpendicular to your path of travel.

    More often than not, most people who are cited for a stop sign violation, may have actually fulfilled the requirement to momentarily stop, however, they either did so far behind the limit line where they were unable to get a clear view of cross traffic, or they stopped PAST the line which is also a violation of the code section.

    In this case, you admit you were on the phone, you couldn't deny you were distracted.... It would be pretty obvious that you can now come back and say "But I did stop, and I did so at the line", and of course I wasn't there so I will not argue with you, the problem is, the officer did witness something and he felt a citation was warranted... If he does testify that you either rolled the stop or that you stopped short/before or after passing the line, you really are left with little if any options... Sure you can say "NO, I DID STOP AND I DID SO LEGALLY AND AT THE LINE" still, when it comes to "he said, I said" battles like this one, the officer will win 99.999% of the time!

    What sinks you even deeper here is that you even went as far as giving the officer an implied admission that you did something wrong and you knew it simply when you told him "yes I saw him after I had already gone and that I gave them the 'Im sorry' wave"...

    If you feel you were wrongly cited, by all means, you are within your rights to fight it...

    Quote Quoting Doodlez
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    ...what if the judge asks what the officer said to me when he stopped me?

    I think there is a good chance the officer might volunteer that info without being asked.... That part as well as admitting "the wave". Not much you can do about either now though...

    Quote Quoting Doodlez
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    A few friends said I should say that the truck waved me through and thats why I went. I don't really want to lie...

    Hmmm... I am not so sure lying in court, under oath, is that great of an idea.... It is not likely to add that much value to your version of the story, instead, conflicting with what the officer says will put a huge hole in your credibility... You may be better off not saying a word (as in not testifying) and only questioning the officer if you hear any discrepancies in his statements from what you remember!

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    I honestly have no idea where the officer was, I didnt see him until he was pulling me over. The truck was still at their stop sign when I noticed them and I had pulled about half way into the intersection.

    I understand that I have to stop at the line and all of that. But that isnt what the officer stopped me for...at least he never mentioned it to me. The only thing he mentioned to me was about cutting the truck off. I should have been cited for 21802(a).

    http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com/ca...fine-cost.html

    So regardless of whether I was talking on the (speaker) phone, or that I didnt yield to right of way...I DID stop, and at the line. And if thats what the officer intended to cite me for he should have mentioned that, right?

    I guess the officer can just change his story at this point and say I didnt stop all the way or that I didnt stop at the line. Then its just my word against his.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    Quote Quoting Doodlez
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    I honestly have no idea where the officer was, I didnt see him until he was pulling me over. The truck was still at their stop sign when I noticed them and I had pulled about half way into the intersection.
    I would ask you who was stopped at the intersection first, but really it doesn't matter. Even though it sounds to me like you would rather be cited for 21802, that is not what is says on your citation. YOur defense (and unless the citation is amended) is against a failure to stop at a stop sign!

    Quote Quoting Doodlez
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    I understand that I have to stop at the line and all of that. But that isnt what the officer stopped me for...at least he never mentioned it to me. The only thing he mentioned to me was about cutting the truck off.
    Actually, that is not the only thing he mentioned to you... He also mentioned being on your cell phone! But again, that is neither here nor there... He cited you for 22450...


    Quote Quoting Doodlez
    View Post
    I should have been cited for 21802(a).

    http://www.sebastiangibsonlaw.com/ca...fine-cost.html
    If you simply picked that because it says the fine is $154 and your courtesy notice shows $235, you 'll be happy to know that the $154 is about a few years behind us... Meaning both fines are at the same level of $235!


    Quote Quoting Doodlez
    View Post
    So regardless of whether I was talking on the (speaker) phone, or that I didnt yield to right of way...I DID stop, and at the line.
    OK, you'll get the chance to make your argument in court....


    Quote Quoting Doodlez
    View Post
    And if thats what the officer intended to cite me for he should have mentioned that, right?
    He could tell you he's giving you a reward when in fact he is citing you... What matters is what he writes on the citation and what charges are read to you when you appear in court...


    Quote Quoting Doodlez
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    I guess the officer can just change his story at this point and say I didnt stop all the way or that I didnt stop at the line. Then its just my word against his.
    Pretty much!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    Well...I guess Ill just hope he doesnt show up haha.

    And if he does, I guess I'll just tell my story and hope the judge believes that I did stop.

    At least it will hopefully buy me some time to come up with the money. (unless they want me to pay it up front when I ask for a court date...it says they might, but nobody I know has had to do that)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Incorrectly Cited for Failure to Stop

    Quote Quoting Doodlez
    View Post
    Well...I guess Ill just hope he doesnt show up haha.

    And if he does, I guess I'll just tell my story and hope the judge believes that I did stop.

    At least it will hopefully buy me some time to come up with the money. (unless they want me to pay it up front when I ask for a court date...it says they might, but nobody I know has had to do that)
    All courts will require you to post bail equal to the full fine amount if you are choosing a trial by written declaration.
    Most courts will require you to post bail equal to the full fine amount if you are choosing a court trial.

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