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  1. #1

    Default Speeding Ticket School Zone With the Wrong Time on Ticket

    Alrighty - I'd love some help with this. I was in Tri Cities for a tennis tourney - I was about 2 miles from the complex and about an hour early - so no need for rushing and I was ticketed going 33 in a school zone so $271. I have no tickets on my record.

    I was shocked to say the least. I was driving SO SLOW. I am from Wenatchee and we just had a stranger approach some school kids so I am vigilent in school zones to watch for kids that need help. I came to a complete stop twice in the course of the zone so fo him to ticket me at 33 just doesn't seem possible.

    Also - the officer complimented my driving and stated that whenever kids were present on the sidewalk I drove very slow and it was after I passed the kids that I sped up. That is just annoying! I am a fantastic driver and his comments prooved it. Shouldn't he be watching for the person blazing through the zone instead of training his laser on me hoping that at one point I'll violate the law even though he saw how careful I was being?

    Anyway - what are my options?? The only "error" I can see is that the ticket states 24 hour time and he wrote 0126. That would be 1am to my understanding and I was no where near there at 1am.

    Any thoughts?

    Jackie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    As per the back of your ticket. You have 3 options:

    Uno: Pay it and have it on your record. Insurance rates rise.
    Dose: Mitigate. This means a mitigated hearing. You can explain your circumstances or possibly get a deferral, but you're still pleading guilty.

    And this is probably the best one:

    3: Contested Hearing. You plead not guilty and you prepare a defense by filing to receive discovery. (we'll help you with that) Granted, if you lose, the ticket will still end up on your driving record and you'll still pay the fine.

    But I think that everyone has a chance at winning. And a pretty good one at that.

    So those are your options.

    About your defense: it's actually pretty strong. Use the officer's word against him. If you're ticket says you were cited at 0100, then that is 1am as per the officer's own words. He has said UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that he saw you in violation of that statute at that time. So, your defense is strong, unless he amends the ticket.

    Brendan

  3. #3

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    If he doesn't ammend and the judge turns to me and says "but this is an obvious mistake - it is obvious he meant 1:30 pm" what do I say to that?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    A lot will depend on what is in the officer's sworn statement. Have you submitted a discovery request? If not, that should be your next step. I started a rather lengthy thread which contains information on how to go about it. You can find it here.

    Barry

  5. #5

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    Thanks for the response Barry - I did send a letter off today requesting discovery so I'm hopeful to get that back soon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    Did you send that letter CRRR, as Barry recommends?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    I received the officer's statement tonight.





    The first time I saw the officer was when I was stopped at the red light on Wright street - Perkins is 2 blocks away and then he directed me into the circled parking lot just past Wright st. So his statement that he waved me onto Perkins is 100% not accurate.

    I came to a complete stop twice during the zone so it is surprising that I picked up enough speed to be going 33.

    I told him I was on my way to play tennis and that I was an hour early so was not in any hurry. He clarified that as on my way to Softball and his statement could imply I was in a hurry which I wasn't.

    Don't maps usually face North? I'm the worst with directions but I was travelling {EDIT}right to left and I think that is WESTBOUND and he says eastbound.

    How much of this is "just clerical" and how much could be good defense?

    Jackie

  8. #8

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    Does anyone have any ideas? My court date is in 2 days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket School Zone Wa State Wrong Time on Ticket

    Check you PM's, Jackie.

    Barry

  10. #10

    Default Case dismissed!

    Update - I won. Case Dismissed.

    Just FYI apparently the court for Richland (located in Kennewick) DOES offer deferrals for speeding in a school zone. 3 other people took the deferal option to keep the ticket off their record and all of their offenses were school zone related. The prosecuter offered it to each one before the judge arrived.

    I disputed the ticket based solely on the discrepancies. I used the following statement "Your honor, I respectfully disagree with the officers report. I believe he had every intention of being truthful however he does do this process multiple times during the day and this was my one big event of the day and I strongly believe that the facts are emblazoned clearly in my memory."

    And then I went point by point on why I disputed the major facts and had a few things to back myself up - a letter from my tennis captain to confirm I was there for tennis and a receipt from a purchase within 5 minutes of the incident to prove where I had just been in town and to establish that it was impossible to have been going eastbound. In establishing that I was driving Westbound it was then impossible for him to waive me over at the spot he indicated he had done so so that made the next point.

    I ended my "speal" by saying that I felt with the large amount of discrepancies I felt the information in the ticket must have been directed to someone else and I was not being correctly given an opportunity to defend myself. I stated that I was anxious to see where he had ticketed me because I clearly didn't feel that I had sped during the school zone. The officer also stated that the traffic was at a medium level. I probably honestly would have characterized it as LIGHT but I used that in my argument and didn't state my feeling but said that since the officer had indicated the traffic was at a medium level and since the crossing guards had me stop twice during the school zone I was anxious to see where the officer felt he HAD actually clocked me speeding because with a medium level of traffic and us all moving together either we all were speeding or none of us were. I then restated that this ticket did not indicate a location of where I was clocked because I had already proven that I was coming westbound.

    The prosecuter jumped in and stated that regardless of the details it was obvious that the officer had clocked me going 33 in a school zone and that the details were irrelevant.

    The judge verbally debated it outloud with himself back and forth and had my stomach in a knot before he did dismiss it. And he stated that he dismissed it based on the inconsistincies in comparing our statements and didn't feel I would have gotten up at 3:30 am and driven 3 hours just to lie to him.

    He was quiet for a moment and and then he just quickly said "I will dismiss this and you are free to go and will the prosecuting attorney approach the bench." I was a little caught off guard and asked if I needed to sign something and the court clerk said that no I had been dismissed so I got myself out of there post haste!!

    And all the others who took the deferal option seemed a little bummed that perhaps they hadn't tried to get theirs dismissed as well.

    That's my story - good luck to you all! Next time I will grab my cell phone and snap a photo of where I am that includes the officers car (discretely of course).

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