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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    NorCal
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    1

    Default Ticket at Night, Shortly After a Reduction in the Speed Limit

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California, Contra Costa County

    Hello, I searched through this forum but did not find any questions similar to mine. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here is my situation;

    Charge is Infraction 22350 cvc excessive speed.

    I was traveling on a rural country road (mostly crops and fields of corn) with a posted speed limit of 50 mph. At one intersection, immediately after a stop sign, the speed limit changes from 50 to 40. It was completely dark out, there are no street lights and there were no other cars on the road. I never saw head lights of the officers patrol vehicle driving behind me, so he could have only pulled behind me from sitting in the dark with no lights on at the cross road where it turns to a 40 mph. He wrote on the ticket I was travelling at 58 mph. He did not use radar and again it was pitch dark out side. There was no way I could have reached 58 mph from the stop sign to the section at which he said I was speeding. When he turned his patrol lights on to pull me over, it was less than 1/4 mile after the speed change/stop sign, so he could not have been following me long enough to calculate my speed by distance with his car.

    I feel I was driving safe and that I was not traveling at 58 mph. My question is, can or should I plead not guilty to this ticket by writing, then follow with the trial by declaration? I asked a "fight your ticket" service if I should try and they said if I file a declaration by mail the court will suspend my drivers license? I'm not sure if that is true, so if any one has advise, please post.

    Thank you!
    Laurie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Ticket at Night, Shortly After a Reduction in the Speed Limit

    You are free to argue that you didn't see the officer until after he initiated the traffic stop, but that's quite ordinary and is not a defense to your ticket. You can try to argue that you don't think that you could have reached 58 MPH in whatever distance was involved between the stop sign and the point at which the officer measured your speed; but it is actually very possible to reach 58 MPH over a quarter of a mile.

    Should we infer that you don't know how fact you were actually driving? When the officer told you your speed, what was your response?

    I have no idea why somebody would suggest that a court will suspend your driver's license if you merely request a TBWD.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,750

    Default Re: Ticket at Night, Shortly After a Reduction in the Speed Limit

    Cops are allowed to be sneaky. Arguing "there's no way I could be going that fast" rarely is persuasive against the officer's expert testimony (a combination of pacing and visual estimation).

    Asking for a trial by written declaration is implicitly a not guilty plea. You just make that request and post the bail amount (and follow it up with your explanation). Expect to lose this. They will not suspend you on a TBD, they really only have two buttons "NOT GUILTY--RETURN BAIL" and "GUILTY-BAIL FORFEITED."

    They may suspend your license for 30 days on a conviction at a (non-written) trial, though that is usually unlikely.

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