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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Can You Appeal a Ticket Conviction Based on a Mistake in the Officer's Testimony

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

    I was issued a citation when I pulled behind a friend who had been pulled over by the CHP. Our two cars were traveling together with my friend's car in front and in a different lane. Both of us were issued a 22349 (A) citation. I was traveling the slow lane at the time, the officer stated that he paced our vehicles when we passed a semi-trailer truck in the slow lane a half mile back. I explained that I did not believe I exceeded the speed limit and that I merely pulled behind my friend's car because I thought there might be something wrong since it was new and did not have a license plate. I contested the ticket, during the trial the officer gave testimony stating that the officer motioned my vehicle to pull over first with a hand gesture and then proceeded to stop my friend's vehicle. I explained that I voluntarily pulled over behind my friend and the CHP officer because I thought something was wrong with the vehicle since it was new and did not contain a license plate. He stated that he paced our two cars, and did not use radar. The judge found me guilty. But, the officer did not show up for my friend's trial on a later date. My question is whether I could appeal the ticket and win, on the basis that 1) The officer gave false testimony 2) The officer could not prove that my friend was speeding and therefore it calls into question my citation as well. Thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: California VC 22349 (A) : Appeal : False Description

    The time to challenge the officer's testimony was during your trial and not after. You do not get a second bite of the apple. Just because your recollection of what transpired differs from that of the officer does not mean his testimony was false. If we follow that logic, he could allege your testimony was false because it differed from his recollection of events. Have you considered the possibility the officer made a hand gesture for you to pull overt but you failed to see it?

    The fact that the officer failed to appear for your friend's trial resulting in a dismissal has no bearing on your matter. Just because your friend benefitted from a procedural error doesn't mean King's X for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: California VC 22349 (A) : Appeal : False Description

    To amplify on L-1, the appeal is not another trial de novo. It is held on the transcript and you have to point out legal mistakes made in the trial. The veracity of the testimony needed to have been noted at the time. Then perhaps it was a appealable error. You can't come now and show evidence (let alone the mere assertion) that the officer was mistaken (or lying). The fact your friend got off on a technicality wouldn't have made a difference even at the original trial, let alone at the appeal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: California VC 22349 (A) : Appeal : False Description

    When you are thinking about an appeal you have to consider the materiality of the alleged error. How does the manner in which you were pulled over shed any light on whether or not you were speeding? If it does not shed any light on that issue, even if we assume that the officer made a mistake, it's irrelevant to the issues that the court was asked to decide -- whether or not you were the driver of a car, and were operating in excess of the posted speed limit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: California VC 22349 (A) : Appeal : False Description

    Additionally, you admitted that your cars were traveling together. It is reasonable to assume that even if in different lanes, they were going at about the same speed. Generally, the officer's testimony will have more weight than yours and therefore, you need to reasonable challenge its credibility. The fact that it differs from yours does not really do that in itself. If you didn't see any motion by the officer yourself, you probably would be better off continuing to the next exit. You might also have been cited for parking on the side of the freeway when there was no emergency, except that the officer apparently expected you to pull over as well. If you could show an abuse of discretion by the court in believing the officer's testimony when it was obviously false and where no reasonable finder of fact would believe it, that's a different story. The judge's choice to believe one witness over another generally can't be appealed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: California VC 22349 (A) : Appeal : False Description

    I understand, thank you for the help.

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