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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Fighting My First Speeding Ticket

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    Hi everyone

    After 4 years of a flawless record, I got my first infraction tonight. Here are the relevant details:

    Infraction: Doing 40 down the slope in a residential area (25)

    Scenario:
    - I was doing low 30s at highest (my apologies for not giving an exact number or anything) down a 1-lane-per-direction slope (pretty steep), braking the whole way down (coasting in Neutral to save gas, more on this later), with a patrol car behind me (and I knew it was behind me, therefore no reason to speed). Clear 2 AM night, no other drivers or pedestrians around.
    - I end up driving for about a quarter mile more once I get on a bigger road (out of the residential area which was about a tenth mile long, sorry for the approximates but exacts can be acquired later if needed), and then he puts on his siren beams (not the flashing red/blue with sound, just the really bright lights)

    - Once he pulls me over, I am polite with my hands on the steering wheel. He asks me to roll down my 3/4 open window and says to me "why is everyone turning tonight when I put on my lights" (I had pulled into a quieter street that didn't obstruct the main road)
    - He then follows with "Do you still live in Moor park?" to which I asked "huh"?
    - After that it's the typical "where did you come from, have you been drinking, have you ever been arrested, do you know how fast you were going down [the slope in the residential area]" and all the other typical stuff, to which I answer "my friend's place, no sir, no sir, no sir", making sure to be as polite as possible.
    - He runs my registration/insurance, comes back and asks if I've ever received a ticket before, "no sir", and he gives me my ticket to sign. I ask him if I can see the radar, and he said he did not use radar and simply said that he knew I was doing 40 because he sped to 40 and was going at the same speed as I was.
    - I then proceed to say (just futile excuses basically) that I was braking the whole way down and definitely not doing 40, and I was also in neutral. He then mentions "It's illegal to coast down a slope in neutral." I say "oh" and he lets me go.

    Ticket Info:
    - 22350 CVC
    - No Veh. Lmt., No Safe, No Radar, No Laser information listed (left blank)
    - Incorrect info: I drive a 2-door Infiniti G37 coupe. He listed my make as "Nissan" and my body style as "4-door". (though he did get the model correct)

    My defenses:
    - First and foremost, the whole law about coasting in neutral, I couldn't find ANY information on that.
    - So I realize it's my word vs his word, which is tough, but he claims he was pacing me and that's how he approximated my speed. So he's able to accelerate to my alleged speed and pace me but at the same time can't get my vehicle information correct when it's sitting right in front of him and had my registration and all?
    - Overall it just seems like he has no factual evidence (maybe he has his in-car camera and I'm quite sure it won't show me going at 40) and his assessment of the situation seems littered with inconsistencies (assuming the slope coasting law is indeed non-existent), which questions his credibility.

    It just seemed like he was out to get me from the very start. Not a plausible defense, I know, but he started off with the weird questioning and just didn't have a pleasant attitude, not to mention it IS the end of the month...

    Thoughts on this, guys? Thanks for your help in advance .

    Edit: Just found some information on the coasting:

    Coasting Prohibited

    21710. The driver of a motor vehicle when traveling on down grade upon any highway shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.
    I should be exempt correct? As it wasn't a highway, etc.

    Edit2: Ugh, just found this

    Highway

    360. "Highway" is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.
    So I guess he's correct then? Would he be able to use this against me in court? (But honestly asking, is this rule 21710 even common knowledge?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,628

    Default Re: Fighting My First Speeding Ticket

    First, yes... it is common knowlege that you can't coast in nuetral down hill. You weren't charged with that, so why are you even bringing it up?

    There are ways to poke holes in his "pacing" testimony, but it will be hard. You can state that he did not pace you for a long enough period to determine your speed. But he could simply say he visually estimated your speed at 40 and you would likely loose.

    I know of only one good defense for your case. It is a stretch, but I know people who have used it successfully. When they weren't successful in trial, they were successful on appeal. This is how it works:

    When you get to trial, there will likely be no prosecutor present. There is case law that affirms that a defendant is not deprived of his right to a fair trial by the absence of a prosecutor in a traffic infraction trial. However, VC40803(b) states:

    In any prosecution under this code of a charge involving the
    speed of a vehicle, where enforcement involves the use of radar or
    other electronic devices which measure the speed of moving objects,
    the prosecution shall establish, as part of its prima facie case,
    that the evidence or testimony presented is not based upon a
    speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section
    40802.
    So, at the beginning of the trial, you can point out that neither the judge nor the cop can perform an act of prosecution. Then, you can quote 40803(b) and request dismissal for failure to prosecute. If the judge refers you to the case law I mentioned above, you can remind him that you are not raising an issue of due process, rather you are pointing out that the prosecution is failing to perform a statutorily required function.

    Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Fighting My First Speeding Ticket

    Thanks for the help I'll see what I can do.

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