My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California
I was driving east bound on a local street that had no street lights at 8pm in early April 2012. My wife (pregnant at the time), had turned on the cabin lights while eating a snack to fulfill her cravings. I noticed a police patrol car parked inside the parking lot on the south side of the road. Immediately passing by the parking lot, the police turned on his sirens and pulled us over. We pulled over behind a parked truck/trailer.
I asked the officer if there was any problem, and had thought he was going to give us a ticket for having the cabin lights on and so I politely explained that my pregnant wife just wanted to eat some snacks. He stated that he pulled us over because my car's headlights was not on. We (my wife and I) immediately looked and sure enough, our headlights WERE and shining straight ahead on the trailer in front of us. The officer then told us that we just turned on the headlights...
The issue is... we never turned the headlight switch on/off. In fact, we have the headlight knob on the ON switch all the time. Since our insurance agent told us that AllState offers lower rates to drivers that have their headlights on during the daytime as well as nighttime, we haven't turned off the lights... EVER! We both complained to the officer because there was no way our headlights were not on. He then stated he had us on camera and that we can file a subpoena for it.
The officer asked for our registration and insurance and at the moment, I could not find our insurance papers. (We had just washed/cleaned our car earlier in the day). After the officer came back and asked for me to sign the paper, I checked once more, and found our proof of insurance. The officer then said that he cannot change the ticket and asked me to sign the ticket, and that he would make a note that I did have my insurance papers. He then told me to go to court and show them the paper and my insurance portion of the ticket would be reduced down to $10, but I would still have to pay the administrative fee....
If we are indeed guilty, I'll gladly pay 100 times the amount they are asking for. That is how certain I am that we are innocent!
How do we fight this case? How do we obtain a subpoena for this video proof the officer is stating? Is the way the officer presented the insurance part of the ticket legitimate? I don't understand why he can't just write up another ticket without the insurance portion.
Facts: The road was pitch dark. If our headlights was not on, I would not be able to drive, and I also would not have seen the patrol car before he turned on his lights. There were no street lights on this road.
My wife was so upset from this ticket because of the financial burden it placed on us (I recently lost my job and with a baby on the way and now a unwarranted ticket) she cried a lot that night and we ended having to go to the Emergency Room to get her checked out. Turned out she had stomach ulcers which we both believe was sparked from this police incident. I want to file a compliant against this officer for the amount of emotional/financial distress he has caused us. How do I go about with this?
Thank you in advance.