Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1

    Exclamation Trial by Written Declaration for California Speeding Ticket CVC 22349 (A)

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

    I just got a speeding ticket under the code CVC 22349 (a), which states that "except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour". The officer cited me speeding at 71 mph and cited 65 mph as the max speed limit (prima facie). That would mean I was "technically" cited for going 6 miles over the speed limit. And yes, I was caught by radar.

    But here comes the twist... The location I was cited at is actually not a highway or labeled as such (it's labeled as Eight Mile Road). It is a road on the outskirts of town, with one lane in each direction. Also, the part that throws me off is that the posted speed limit is actually lower than what the officer stated as 65 mph. It is actually 55 mph... I'm wondering if this will help me or hurt me that the officer cited the incorrect speed limit.

    With that being said, I want to contest and do a Trial by Written Declaration (TBWD) and would really love any feedback, advice, and support you guys can give me! I am terrified I might lose and I would really like any help I can get to build a strong and intellectual case.

    These are my recollections:

    -Very light traffic (almost none at all), with another vehicle approximately 20-25 feet ahead of me going the same direction
    -Weather was clear and dry
    -There was another officer driving the patrol car; the citing officer was the passenger
    -I did not admit to speeding whatsoever...even when the officer asked if I knew why I was stopped
    -At the end, however, when he gave me my ticket, I did freak out and tell him I needed to pee really badly because I've been getting horrendous abdominal pains from a preconceived bladder infection that has been left untreated and I thought it was unsafe to pull over in the middle of nowhere to pop a squat (not the brightest idea I've had but it's actually all true, haha, but I regret even saying anything at all)
    -However, I did actually get the results of my bladder infection and turns out I actually did have one (even though I don't know how this would even help me in this case -- should I even add this into my case?)
    -When I finished with the above explanation, citing officer asked then if I knew I was speeding in response to my dying urge to pee, which I did not give a 'yes' or 'no' answer to -- I simply said I was not looking at my speedometer during the occurrance
    -Citing officer then told me I had to explain that to the judge and sent me on my way

    With regards to CVC 22349 (a), how can I build up a good argument to win this case? What laws should I include in my statement that would help to disprove the violation? What steps should I take to begin this process of a Trial by Written Declaration?

    Also, would it hurt me to do a Discovery Request since that would alert the officer to prepare his own documents for the Trial by Written Declaration?

    Another question... Would it be beneficial to have my court date extended, and then request for a Trial by Written Declaration during the extension period...in the hopes that the officer's memory is not up to par about the incident?

    Thanks so much for reading and I truly appreciate everything that you guys can do to help me. I know there is information in here that anyone can mock me for, but I really encourage mature and intellectual responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Trial by Written Declaration for California Speeding Ticket CVC 22349 (A)

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    I just got a speeding ticket under the code CVC 22349 (a), which states that "except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour".
    So we're both on the same page, the law prohibits anyone from driving on any (and all) highways at a speed exceeding 65mph (with the exception of highways that are posted for a higher limit (i.e. the 70mph limit)).

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    The officer cited me speeding at 71 mph and cited 65 mph as the max speed limit (prima facie). That would mean I was "technically" cited for going 6 miles over the speed limit. And yes, I was caught by radar.
    At first glance, it seems like a petty citation... But, add in your twist and it becomes even more legit...

    Before we go further, you should understand that the fines for speeding in California are set up on a graduated schedule... for "1 to 15mph" over the limit, the fine is approximately $230; for "16 to 25mph" over the limit, the fine increases to approximately $356; and for 26mph and over, the fine increases to approximately $476.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    But here comes the twist... The location I was cited at is actually not a highway or labeled as such (it's labeled as Eight Mile Road).
    Hey, that's where Eminem used to live... Oh wait, that was in Michigan, never mind!

    Here is the California Vehicle Code definition of "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.

    Obviously, the highway you were cited on qualifies as one.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    It is a road on the outskirts of town, with one lane in each direction. Also, the part that throws me off is that the posted speed limit is actually lower than what the officer stated as 65 mph. It is actually 55 mph...
    So... he could have cited you for 71 in 55 and in violation of 22349(b) which states:
    22349
    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:
    (1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.
    (2) Passing lanes may not be considered when determining the number of through lanes.

    And with 16mph over the limit (71 - 55), that would have set your fine amount at the $356 level. Instead, he cited you for another VC section where the max limit is higher thereby resulting in a lower fine amount around $230.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    I'm wondering if this will help me or hurt me that the officer cited the incorrect speed limit.
    Whether he did it on purpose or not, I don't know... But a break is a break regardless of who it happened!

    If you're determined on fighting it, I would simply offer a basic argument stating:
    I was cited for driving at 6mph in excess of the 65mph speed limit. I understand that the 65mph speed limit is an absolute maximum in this state; while I do respect the officer's authority to enforce such a limit, as well as appreciate his concern for safety, it is my understanding that most officers would not even bother citing anyone for such a minor fluctuation. Additionally, the officer used Radar to estimate my speed, and with a +/- 2mph potential margin of error, the alleged 6mph over might become even smaller. As such, I move for a dismissal of this charge in the interest of justice. ... or words to that effect. Some people may see that as an indirect admission of guilt, but its not like you had a valid defense to begin with anyway.

    Will it work? I don't know... It may ultimately depend on whether the officer is going to make any mention of "the 2 lane hwy + 55mph posted limit" elements or not.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    With that being said, I want to contest and do a Trial by Written Declaration (TBWD) and would really love any feedback, advice, and support you guys can give me! I am terrified I might lose and I would really like any help I can get to build a strong and intellectual case.
    I think it is safe to assume that the officer has written quite a few declarations before this one, and since he carries the burden of proving his case, the final outcome will mainly depend on how articulate he is and what he chooses to mention and describe.

    Citations for 22349(a)/(b), 22356... etc, are extremely difficult to beat for a number of reasons. You were caught in excess of the maximum state limit and your speed was measured by Radar; Assuming this was issued by the CHP, officer training and certification are not likely to be a point of contention, and radar calibration is typically done on a regular basis would mean there is no dice there either. In spite of the fact that the officer cited you for an alternate code section and only 6 miles over the limit, there are no flaws/errors in the citation. Because he did only cite you for 6mph over the limit, it would be safe to assume that his testimony, whether it be by declaration, or in person before the judge, will more likely than not, include a description of the highway and some sort of indication that he opted to cite you for section (a) instead of (b) as a way of giving you a break.

    All of that leaves you with very little as far as plausible defenses and with only an ever so slight possibility that he might not file his declaration, and/or might not appear in court on the date of a trial.

    In spite of the fact that most people rarely have anything that resembles a decent defense, yet due to the potential reward (a dismissal and a refund of the bail amount), some people may still choose to take their chances by contesting it. What they might not realize is that if he does file/appear, the only likelihood of them avoiding a conviction from appearing on their record is by way of traffic school.

    Some judges may allow that option after a TBD and/or a trial, others will not, and there is nothing that obligates the court to grant such a request. So you contest it, he respond/appears, you have no defense, you lose at which point, you ask for traffic school and your request can be denied. Shoulda, coulda, woulda...

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    These are my recollections:

    -Very light traffic (almost none at all), with another vehicle approximately 20-25 feet ahead of me going the same direction
    -Weather was clear and dry
    Not relevant for a maximum speed citation of 22349(a) or (b) (amongst others) and only slightly relevant for a 22350 citation.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    -There was another officer driving the patrol car; the citing officer was the passenger
    As long as the citing officer had the access and the ability to control the Radar unit, and can read the display from his position, then it doesn't matter where he sat at the time.

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    -I did not admit to speeding whatsoever...
    An admission of guilt would make it easier for them, however, without one, their case is not difficult to prove, not by any means...

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    -At the end, however, when he gave me my ticket, I did freak out and tell him I needed to pee really badly because I've been getting horrendous abdominal pains from a preconceived bladder infection that has been left untreated and I thought it was unsafe to pull over in the middle of nowhere to pop a squat (not the brightest idea I've had but it's actually all true, haha, but I regret even saying anything at all)
    -However, I did actually get the results of my bladder infection and turns out I actually did have one (even though I don't know how this would even help me in this case -- should I even add this into my case?)
    -When I finished with the above explanation, citing officer asked then if I knew I was speeding in response to my dying urge to pee, which I did not give a 'yes' or 'no' answer to -- I simply said I was not looking at my speedometer during the occurrance
    -Citing officer then told me I had to explain that to the judge and sent me on my way
    I doubt that the judge would be interested in hearing anything about that... Then again, it might be a she and she might sympathize a bit... But probably not to a degree where I'd see her dismissing the case because you had to pee...

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    -However, I did actually get the results of my bladder infection and turns out I actually did have one (even though I don't know how this would even help me in this case -- should I even add this into my case?)
    A bladder infection AND Stacey Fever at the same time? J/K

    If you do choose to include it, I would skip the part about being inattentive ("was not looking at my speedometer during the occurrance"...).

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    Also, would it hurt me to do a Discovery Request since that would alert the officer to prepare his own documents for the Trial by Written Declaration?
    Not sure how the officer finding out that you're contesting the citation would make much of a difference either way. He gets a notice and a request to complete his declaration shortly after you submit your request for a TBD, and the same due date given you by the court to submit yours, so he's going to find out regardless.

    Discovery can be a frustrating process, and not only do most people misinterpret the benefit behind it, they misunderstand the remedies it offers. In a case like this, and while you're still entitled to discovery, the single item that might benefit you in any way would be the officer's notes. But this is a simple citation and his notes are not likely to provide you with a better defense than what you'd have without them. If you do choose to contest it, then you might want to simply request and file a TBD, if you happen to lose, you can contact the court and request a copy of the officer's declaration and all supporting documentation that he filed in the case. That should give you anything and everything that you're bound to get via discovery and instead of a copy of his abbreviated notes, you'd be getting a copy of his full statement. Less of a hassle, more information...

    Quote Quoting Stacey_Fever
    View Post
    Another question... Would it be beneficial to have my court date extended, and then request for a Trial by Written Declaration during the extension period?
    The only benefit I can see behind requesting an extension is it allows you to save up the bail amount if you don't have it (yes, you have to post bail equal to the fine amount at the time you plead not guilty and/or request a trial by declaration. If your case gets dismissed, the court will refund that same amount in 6 to 8 weeks). Other than that, the officer's testimony, the evidence, and him potentially filing/appearing... etc, all remain the same!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    California
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Trial by Written Declaration for California Speeding Ticket CVC 22349 (A)

    If the OP does do a TBWD, I'd also remove the portion about "with another vehicle approximately 20-25 feet ahead of me going the same direction" since that's barely one to two car lengths spacing...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Trial by Written Declaration for California Speeding Ticket CVC 22349 (A)

    OP should look up the definition for "highway" and he will discover that he was on a highway.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Hearings and Trials: Speeding Ticket Trial by Written Declaration
    By CGameProgrammer in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-11-2011, 03:53 PM
  2. Speeding Tickets: Planning to Do a Trial by Written Declaration for VC 22349(A) and 16028(A)
    By lazume in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-29-2011, 10:05 AM
  3. Speeding Tickets: Writing a Good Trial by Written Declaration for CVC 22349(A)
    By forevralegend in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-13-2010, 12:31 PM
  4. Hearings and Trials: Fighting a Speeding Ticket With a Trial by Written Declaration
    By craiggroves in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 11-18-2010, 08:18 PM
  5. Discovery: Trial by Written Declaration and Discovery for a Speeding Ticket
    By reductivecat in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-10-2010, 11:29 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources