My question involves traffic court in the State of: California, Santa Clara County
First off, I want to thank That Guy, quirkyquark, and themadnorwegian for their advice in other threads. I'm beginning to become a bit more familiar with procedures and common strategies, but it's been tough to weigh arguments without experience. Would love to hear your thoughts in terms of arguments or things to ignore.
I was cited on a small stretch of a local highway which runs through a residential district going "45+" in 25 for CVC 22350 (though I swear it was less than 35 which is the speed limit of the highway otherwise). It wasn't until a few days later that I realized that I had missed seeing the "25" speed limit signs due to street lights that only turn on after a couple cars have passed. In this case, it was late enough that there were no other cars, so no street lights.
I'm trying to get a good sense of the following arguments:
1. Unlit Signs. I'm unsure of the legal connotations. Couldn't Prosecution could just argue for headlights?
2. Inconsistencies. Citing officer records speed at "45+" even though he tells me in person that it is "38", it is "cloudy" instead of "clear", and the date was wrong (though they sent a notice a few weeks later to correct it). It seems like trying to discredit the officer would be a strategy that might breed ill-will from the judge.
3. Safe Speed. The Court is known to interpret speed limits as absolute even if the officer acknowledges that the driver was driving at a safe speed! Is it still worth arguing?
4. Speed Trap. This seems to be similar - most of the Courts rulings are against this.
5. Survey Speed. This district routinely rounds down, and then subtracts 5mph, but it is still highly unlikely that "recommended speed" is greater than "45+".
6. Lack of Discovery. I ran across someone successful in citing CGC 26500 as grounds for dismissal in light of not receiving evidence from the Prosecution. The Discovery Request sent was rather conservative in light of 1054.3 - should I be borderline excessive for a Trial de Novo?
I've received a TBD form, and filed a Informal Discovery Request today for records and survey but haven't heard back yet. If I'm anticipated them ruling against me in the TBD, wherein I request a Trial de Novo and a peremptory challenge for a non-Madden judge, would there be any reason to withhold arguments until a Trial de Novo?