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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2

    Angry Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

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

    I was cited roughly 6pm this evening traveling south on San Diego County Highway S12 for traveling 73 in a 55mph zone. The road is a four lane, divided highway. Conditions were Clear, Dry, and Night time. Traffic conditions Minimal.

    I was in lane 1 with another vehicle immediately abreast of me in lane 2 traveling just a bit slower than my vehicle.
    Cop was hiding behind a fence and clocked me with his Laser gun(Under Radar on the ticket reads LTI, which I assume is a Lasertech device), I saw him and tried to slow down, but evidently not fast enough, and even before I had passed his vehicle he had turned his lights on.

    During the stop I provided all necessary information and did not admit guilt or estimate my speed to the officer. Cited me with 22349(a) and he also said that he was giving me a break and could have cited me with something else.

    The reading on the gun was 69mph, although my ticket says 73. Obviously, these are both higher than the posted limit.

    Initially I plan on contesting the ticket, and requesting an extension, hoping the officer no-shows.

    Could my fine be reduced by arguing the reading on the gun that the officer showed me rather than the one he had stated on the citation? I would say this is my only hope rather than pleading for mercy in traffic court (Unless the officer no-shows).

    Could it be worth it trying to obtain the maintenance/calibration records for the Laser gun?

    If I contest my ticket and lose, am I liable for any other penalty (court costs, etc)? What can I expect the fine to be?
    This is such a drag. I'm almost 25, haven't had a ticket or accident in almost 4 years, and this happens.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    Let me get this straight... the officer SHOWED you the lidar gun and it said 69, but then wrote you a ticket for 73? Wow. I don't understand that. I think I would argue that as being indicative of his credibility. That seems pretty hokey to me. To bad you didn't snap a picture of the lidar reading with your cell phone camera or something.

    As for your fine, I believe you are about to get a runaround job that CA does pretty regularly. You were charged with VC22349a:

    22349. (a) Except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive
    a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour.
    At 73, you were only 8mph over the speed limit that you were charged with violating. However, if you consider the 55mph posted speed limit, then you were 18 mph over the limit. So, given the jump in fines occur at 16mph over, you were charged with 8 over, but you will likely be fined for 18 over. This is wrong.

    Why do CA cops do this? Because if he charged you relying on the speed limit of 55mph, he wuold have had to write you under VC22350 and all the speed trap laws would come into play. This means that the cop would have to present speed surveys that prove the 55mph speed limit was justified. So, the cop charges you with the easier to prosecute offense (22349) but the court fines you based on the posted speed limit as if it were a 22350 charge.

    This presents an interesting opportunity. If I were in your situation (and the fine was based on 16+mph over), I'd show up to court and ask for a dismissal if the cop didn't present the speed surveys. When the judge points out the obvious "22349 does not require any justification of the statutory limit", I would reply that the evidence shows that the state is really charging you with 22350 based on the amount of the fine. Therefore, speed trap laws ARE in play and the officer must produce the speed surveys.

    It would be really interesting. I believe the worst case scenario is that the judge lowers the fine to the under 16mph rate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    The LTI 20-20 LIDAR is able to be attacked .... need to do some homework though ... discovery, FOIA requests etc.. these units are unreliable IMO,,,youtube lti 20-20 and you'll see... if you want the manual, PM me, I have it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    625

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    Pretty much what EWYLTJ said. This sort of defense would require the officer to show up without a speed survey along with some pretty careful and controlled questioning on part of the defense to goad the officer into admitting that the posted limit of 55 played a role in the decision to make the stop, but it's a better shot than a typical 22349a case.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    Thank you for the replys.

    RE: EWYLTJ

    Yes, the officer showed me the reading after he inquired to my knowledge of the posted limit and my estimated speed, which I declined to state. It read 69.

    Another question: If the officer had clocked me at 73, then 69(like he states), why wouldn't he show me the reading for 73? It seems like it would be trivial to do so.

    I plan on heading down to the Department of Public Works this week and requesting a traffic survey for that stretch of road, and when my notice comes in the mail, I suppose it will be obvious if they are charging me with +8 or +18. Should I go to the County department of public works or the City? County seems more plausible since it was a SD County Sheriff.

    Thank you very much for the advice. I plan on exhausting my options before pleading guilty and paying the fine. If I contest this, could this render me unable to take Traffic School to avoid the point, or is it up to the Judge?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    615

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    I think the gun clocks speed iteratively and gives speed and distance- it can generate 4,5 speeds as the car approaches. He may have had you at 73, but the last reading that was locked in was the 69 (after you started slowing)

    If you can still do traffic school after losing a court trial, why not have the state jump thorugh all the hoops? Who knows....

    A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: Cited 73 in 55 Zone, California 22349(A)

    Quote Quoting adam_
    View Post
    I think the gun clocks speed iteratively and gives speed and distance- it can generate 4,5 speeds as the car approaches. He may have had you at 73, but the last reading that was locked in was the 69 (after you started slowing)
    I agree with you... but the cop provided evidence to the contrary. Typically, cops will NOT show you the lidar reading. They will simply testify to it. But since he showed it, he impugned any testimony of 73.

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