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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    Hi everyone, thanks in advance for your advice on this matter:

    This evening while returning home from my parents house, I was pulled over for running a stop sign. My girlfriend was in the car with me, and we both insist that I made the stop. I am absolutely sure of it. The officer claims that I did not come to a complete stop, but rolled through it.

    Does having a witness in the car with me that agrees that I came to a complete stop help any, or will the ticket still be upheld in court?

    Also, the officer was in a patrol vehicle heading northbound on the street perpendicular to my eastbound direction of travel. He was watching me through his rear-view mirror. At the intersection in question, I turned left, so I was now on the same road he was. The officer made a three point turn so that he was now traveling behind me, then followed me to my apartment complex where we finally pulled over. I do not believe that he could have had a good view of the limit line from the rearview mirror of his moving patrol car, at least 20 yards away from the intersection.

    Also, I think that he became disoriented as he made his three point turn, as the side of the intersection where I supposedly rolled through the stop sign is incorrectly marked on the citation. Could this error be another possible defense against the ticket?

    I have a perfect driving record and have never gotten a ticket before. I really don't want to have to pay for this ticket for an infraction that I know I did not commit. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you all.

    Sorry... I forgot to mention that I got the ticket in Placentia... Orange County... California.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    As so many of these traffic cases are concerned, it appears that it will come down to a question of credibility; that is, whether the judge will believe your testimony and that of your witness vs. the police officer. Certainly, whether the officer had a good or bad vantage point to observe any violation comes into play regarding the strength of his testimony. But oftentimes what you think he may testify to and what he actually testifies to end up being two different matters, so it is best to find out whatever information you can about the prosecution's case by filing a discovery motion and seeing whether the officer documented what he observed in a report.

    The error on the citation as is true with most errors will probably not matter that much although if you challenge it you should point it out along with everything else.

    Your clean driving record comes into play if you're found guilty and the court is deciding what an appropriate disposition will be--people with bad driving records may get hammered, people with good driving records may get a break; character evidence, good or bad, and with some exceptions, is not normally admitted prior to the guilt-innocence determination.

    Running stop sign charges are usually very difficult to win although you do have a shot at it provided you can cast enough doubt on what the officer observed given the vantage point from where he allegedly saw the violation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,206

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    I totally agree with all of the above. Another thing you could do is file a TBD (trial by declaration) and hope for the best. If the cop doesn't file his declaration or doesn't file by the specified date, it should be dismissed.

    If you lose, go to the court house and get a copy of his declaration. With that, you can learn what he'll testify to when you file for a trial ne novo and go to court. You may be able to find something within his testimony that is either contradictory and defies common sense. Also, when you request a copy of his declaration, check to see that it is recorded by the specified date. The California Rules of the Court are very specific that it must be received on time. If it happens to be late, request dismissal in court before any testimony is given. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it. If I may, I have a couple more questions.

    If I file a TBD, do I waive my right to got o Traffic School and have the points not go on my record shoul the judge still find me guilty? Also, how do I file a motion of discovery? I would most certainly like to see the officers report before I decide whether I want to just bite the bullet and pay the fine or go to court.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    Q: Also, how do I file a motion of discovery? I would most certainly like to see the officers report before I decide whether I want to just bite the bullet and pay the fine or go to court.


    A: I can tell you right now what the officer's report says: It says you ran the stop sign. And that is what he will testify to under oath in court.

    As pointed out above, these kinds of cases are extremely hard to win.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    I'm not sure about cal but in washington sate if the officer fails to appear the case may get dismissed. It sounds like you had made a stop and have witness. If you have to present arguments only argue against what the officer says in the report. Do not add anyother facts to the case. Fight what the officer says by casting dought. tips

    If you thought that lighting or road conditions were poor.. Maybe a worn stop line.. mail a letter to the city traffic engineer stating such. You may get a reply. Use this as evidence in court

    Did the office state you speed through the stop sign? Did the officer capture your speed on a speed gun? If the officer said say 3mph. Ask in court for the officer to walk a 3mph. Give the officer a stop watch and hold on to a tape measure. 3mph is like 1.4ft. When the officer begins to walk have the officer use the stop watch and walk holding the tape. When stopped have the officer aggre that he/she walked xft. Calculate the conversion and variance. State that the officer walked 5mph not 3mph. Remember cast dout on the officer. Do not present any mitigating facts.

    If the officer looked at his speed meter and was tailing you. State that the officer was not looking at the road. What else was the officer looking at? Computer screen in car? fight the evidenced of the officer

  7. #7

    Default Re: Would like to fight a stop sign ticket

    Quote Quoting seniorjudge
    View Post
    Q: Also, how do I file a motion of discovery? I would most certainly like to see the officers report before I decide whether I want to just bite the bullet and pay the fine or go to court.


    A: I can tell you right now what the officer's report says: It says you ran the stop sign. And that is what he will testify to under oath in court.

    As pointed out above, these kinds of cases are extremely hard to win.
    Why are these cases so hard to win?

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