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  1. #1
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    Default Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(B)

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California

    I was pulled over while driving on Highway 90, in greater Los Angeles, and cited for 22349(b), excess of 55 MPH in 55 MPH zone, the officer argues he paced me, citing the speed at 70+. VC 22349(b) specifically speaks to "a two-lane, undivided highway", however Highway 90 is a 4 lane divided freeway, two lanes of traffic on either side, and a center divide, with additional lanes for on/off ramps. The officer originally wrote the wrong location for this infraction, stating the location as "CHURCH LN & JEFFREY ST.", a notice of correction was served, correcting the location to "E/B SR-90 W/0 I-405", however there was no correction in regards to the vehicle code.

    I originally filed for an extension, and my upcoming court date is tomorrow, 3/11/14.

    My intention is to get this case dismissed on the grounds that I was improperly cited as I was not on a "two-lane, undivided highway".

    My questions:
    1. Am I better off (a)filing a TBWD and motioning for a dismissal; (b)motioning for a dismissal at my arraignment in person; or (c)motioning for a dismissal at my actual court date. Any specific language to be used would be greatly appreciated, as well as any suggested 'evidence' (google maps).
    2. For TBWD, does the legal system allow for any amendment to the citation? (This appears to be the easiest scenario to lock in the citation, but I'm afraid the judge will ignore the specifics of the 2 lane highway vs 4 lane freeway definitions.)
    3. If I appear at the arraignment, and my request for a motion to dismiss is denied for whatever reason, can I still request a TBWD? (I'm assuming it would be beneficial to have all of the paperwork for TBWD completed in hand?)
    4. If this goes to a court trial, and I motion to dismiss, what is the process of blocking any attempted amendments to the citation?

    Thank you for any assistance, it is greatly appreciated. I have searched for similar cases, but cannot find anything specifically pertaining to this incident. I have pasted the specific vehicle code below, highlighting in red, the specific section I am basing my dismissal upon:

    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.
    (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.
    (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that there be reasonable signing on affected two-lane, undivided highways described in subdivision (b) in continuing the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, including placing signs at county boundaries to the extent possible, and at other appropriate locations.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    You should make a note of 22349(a):

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    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.
    And it should be obvious that 70 in 65 is just as guilty as 70 in 55... Even as far as the fine amount, it is the same...

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    I originally filed for an extension, and my upcoming court date is tomorrow, 3/11/14.
    I see you didn't give us much time to provide you with answers and my guess is that your plan to get a dismissal at the arraignment was not as successful as you may have anticipated simply because most judges would rather give the officer the opportunity to explain why he cited what he did...

    So feel free to come back and correct me if you wish, or come back and confirm what I assumed and e'll discuss the other questions you posed...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    You should make a note of 22349(a):
    Question for you TG: OP indicates he was cited specifically for 22349(b), so would not (a) not apply? I know ya'll do things funny out in the CA, so I was seeking clarification.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    Quote Quoting free9man
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    Question for you TG:* OP indicates he was cited specifically for 22349(b), so would not (a) not apply?* I know ya'll do things funny out in the CA, so I was seeking clarification.

    My point is that he is looking for a way to lock out the officer from being able to amend the citation (where it will require that the officer complete one form to amend the citation).... The way I see it, even if he locks him out, and as long as the one year statute of limitations has not passed, it would still only require that he complete one form to reissue a new citation if it is dismissed at trial. I am not saying he would, all i m saying is he could.

    Either way, 70 in 65 is just as guilty as 70 in 55... And most judges are not going to be impressed with an argument that someone thought they could get a dismissal when in fact it should have been pretty obvious that the state's maximum limit is 65, and when one needed to read 22349 (a) and establish they would be guilty if that offense, before being able to read subsection (b).

    I do in fact remember someone starting a thread, about getting cited for the same offense on the same stretch of highway. I also remember him attempting to make the same argument, and this was back in the day when another infamous member was still around... whose strategy had always been the same "you should lock him out by entering a plea".... And when I would explain that entering a plea does not lock anything/one out, and that a judge may allow an amendment all the way up to just before the trial (at which time the defendant can motion for a continuance), he would come back with the "Double Jeopardy" affirmative defense even though double jeopardy would not apply simply because the new charge does not carry the same elements as the old charge (its a different speed therefore a different charge)...

    And as flyingron will probably come through to remind me, double jeopardy would not attach until the first witness testifies in the first trial... Otherwise the second charge/citation would not count as double jeopardy if the citation is dismissed before the officer testifies.

    I don't remember what the outcome was, which to me, means it either went unnoticed or we never heard back...

    OP seems pretty enthused about getting a dismissal by bolding his intent.... I am simply cautioning him that he should probably tone it down a bit lest he wants to be totally disappointed.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    Thank you That Guy and free9man for your thoughts and responses. A few clarifications:

    1. The bold was simply because it was a large block of text, and wanted to make it easier to read. Sorry if that is not common or improper behavior for these forums, was just trying to make it easier for you all. I read these forums from time to time, and I'm amazed at how inarticulate people are.
    2. Due to the extension I filed, I apparently didn't have an actual court date, I simply had to respond by then. I went to the courthouse (suit and tie, with a prepared statement, as well as specific VC and court rules printed out for the judges review), just to find out I have a new court date mid-April.
    3. That Guy is correct regarding 70 being greater than both 65 and 55 . He is also correct that I am trying to win on a technicality . I did not know an officer can submit a form for a reissue (thank you for this nugget of info), but that sounds like lots of extra paperwork for an officer who has no motivation to drag this out. If this does go to trial, I will go through the discovery process, which I have heard is an (effective?) way to get a case tossed if the DA does not respond to you request, which they often do not (so I hear).
    4. Ultimately, I was curious about locking in the citation. My fear was that at the arraignment (or even at the trial), that the citation could be amended to a more appropriate 22349(a), eliminating one of my technicalities arguments. My understanding is that the officer cannot amend the citation, but only the DA. However, seeing that the DA is not present at traffic proceedings, it seems to me that if I motion to dismiss at the arraignment, the officer will need to file extra paperwork. I'm also curious if this defense will hold up via TBWD (I understand only the judge can answer this).

    I'll also go ahead and state that I do believe in the law and law enforcement. I also think Los Angeles is egregious with their citations and their absurdly high penalties. I'm also fighting a $489 ticket for riding my bicycle through a red light. Without going into that, yes, I hate people who do this, as well. It clogs up the traffic system, and if bicycles are going to be given the right to an entire lane, they do deserve to be treated as automobiles. That said, I don't know that I deserve the combined $800+ in fines and insurance hit (I AM eligible for traffic school, this was just a particularly bad 6 months or so). I also take this as an opportunity to learn more about the legal system.

    Again, a huge thank you, That Guy. I've seen your responses around these forums. Any advice or input you have is greatly appreciated.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That Guy, if you could address the original questions, btw, I would really appreciate it.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    I did not know an officer can submit a form for a reissue (thank you for this nugget of info), but that sounds like lots of extra paperwork for an officer who has no motivation to drag this out.
    I'm not sure what it has to do with HIS motivation. It is his job... And if it requires extra forms then by all means, why would you expect him to slack.

    But what is "lots of extra paperwork" are you talking about? Its one citation form. Period! Everything else gets completed as it would otherwise.

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    If this does go to trial, I will go through the discovery process, which I have heard is an (effective?) way to get a case tossed if the DA does not respond to you request, which they often do not (so I hear).
    Sorry, but you heard wrong. And it is far from being an effective way to get a dismissal. In fact, the only effect that it will have is to complicate the process for you and frustrate you along the way. There isn't much to discover in a case like this and if you read the same code section that regulates the discovery process, (see Penal code section 1054.5(b) & 1054.5(c)) you will see that it prohibits a dismissal until ALL other options are exhausted.

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    4. Ultimately, I was curious about locking in the citation. My fear was that at the arraignment (or even at the trial), that the citation could be amended to a more appropriate 22349(a), eliminating one of my technicalities arguments. My understanding is that the officer cannot amend the citation, but only the DA. However, seeing that the DA is not present at traffic proceedings, it seems to me that if I motion to dismiss at the arraignment, the officer will need to file extra paperwork. I'm also curious if this defense will hold up via TBWD (I understand only the judge can answer this).
    Once again, there is no such thing as "locking in the citation". Even if there is, there are other avenues that can be followed if the court or the officer might tend to believe that an amendment or a correction or a reissue is warranted and in a case like this, and for all intents and purposes, the court can allow an amendment even as late as on the trial date, and if you object, the best you can get out of objecting would be a continuance to allow you to prepare. But prepare in what way? You were charged for "speeding" and the citation would get amended to a charge of "speeding"... So how much time do you need to prepare when in reality you've had several months and were unable to come up with a defense against "speeding"... So how much more time do you need and better yet, ids there any reasonable defense that you or anyone can come up with when there is no denying that you exceeded the speed limit?

    Also, you are not likely to get a dismissal at the arraignment. Why? Simply because the officer ids not there to explain why he cited that section. The judge will give you the option to plead guilty pay the fine and possibly take traffic school... or... plead not guilty post bail and go to trial.

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    I also think Los Angeles is egregious with their citations and their absurdly high penalties.
    Not sure if you mean the City of Los Angeles or the County of, but the fines and penalties you are complaining about apply statewide.

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
    View Post
    I'm also fighting a $489 ticket for riding my bicycle through a red light. Without going into that, yes, I hate people who do this, as well. It clogs up the traffic system, and if bicycles are going to be given the right to an entire lane, they do deserve to be treated as automobiles.
    Bicycles are defined as "vehicles" under the law. And while I agree with your conclusion, I disagree with how you arrived at it. In my opinion, "rights and privileges should always come with responsibilities" and if a bicycle is given the privilege to an entire lane of traffic, then it should be held to the SAME set of rules that apply to other vehicles. But I also find it interesting that you brought up the "insurance hit" immediately after complaining about a bicycle red light ticket.

    Fact is, traffic citations that are issued to you while riding a bicycle do not get reported to the DMV and therefore do not qualify for traffic school simply because they are in essence, zero violation points.

    From CVC 1803(b)(6)

    CVC 1803

    ...
    (b) The following violations are not required to be reported under subdivision (a):

    ....
    (6) Violations for which a person was cited as a pedestrian or while operating a bicycle or a motorized scooter.


    This does 2 things for you... It frees up your traffic school eligibility for this speeding citation and it brings up yet another reason why you might be better off saving yourself the added time, hassle and inconvenience of fighting a ticket you are not likely to win when in fact you should be pleading guilty and taking traffic school.

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    That Guy, if you could address the original questions, btw, I would really appreciate it.
    Three of your four questions rely on a motion to dismiss, a motion that has a zero chance of being sustained. So that answers those three. The forth involves a TBD and without seeing what you might offer in a TBD I cannot predict what the outcome will be.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    That Guy, thank you for your continued input, I have certainly learned a few things, especially helpful about the bicycle ticket not getting report. My assumption was that all moving violations get reported the same.

    At any rate, at the end of the day, we are all human. We all pick and choose our battles on a daily basis, whether it's arguing over the last bagel in the kitchen with a coworker, or deciding what tasks in your inbox get handled before you close out the day. I may be able to question his ability to accurately determine my speed via pacing, but that is an entirely separate conversation. Part of this is learning the systems. I have never been through the discovery process, I have never motioned to dismiss, let alone motioned anything. I have never interrogated an individual, or cited vehicle code or court rules, it's all a learning process. Part of the legal process is that there are human elements. Just like we are not supposed to exceed posted speed limits, and yet sometimes we are running late to a meeting, an officer may be expected to reissue a citation, but maybe it's Friday and he wants to see his wife and child. I'm just trying to tilt the cause and effect scales into my favor.

    Thanks again, I will let you know what happens.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    We all pick and choose our battles on a daily basis, whether it's arguing over the last bagel in the kitchen with a coworker...
    I think you might want to consider splitting the bagel... Ever try that?

    Quote Quoting CSharp510
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    I may be able to question his ability to accurately determine my speed via pacing, but that is an entirely separate conversation.
    Actually, no.... No one could reasonably suggest that a conversation could be had about anyone's ability to question a pace... Because there isn't much to question.

    But please, don't get me wrong... You certainly are within your rights to fight it if you so choose. I mean if you're fighting over a bagel, why would you not fight over a ticket... J/K

    But seriously, keep in mind that the officer reissuing another citation is not the only likely avenue the judge may choose to go through. I mean for all we know the judge might want to go home early to see his grand kids... So in an effort to save time and resources, it is within his power to just order that the correction be made on the record, immediately before trial. If that happens, there is nothing for you to argue, discuss or fight about! Not even a bagel...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Speeding Ticket for a 2-Lane Highway While Driving on a 4 Lane Freeway, VC 22349(

    All of this is very true, unfortunately, my experience is that the legal system rarely splits bagels with anybody. As for pacing, we'll breach that conversation when appropriate

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