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  1. #1

    Default Incomplete Officer Statement for a Speeding Ticket

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington.

    I recently received a speeding ticket for going 37 in a 25. I am working on my defense and there is something I have found and have questions on. Mainly regarding the officers statement. I believe the officer got me on his smd just as I passed a group of bicyclists. Now I was going 37, but as I was passing bicyclists and their were parked cars on the shoulder that the bicyclists were dangerously weaving in and out of. SO my argument is that I was in my legal right to pass the bicyclists as it was a passing zone. I had to cross the center line and exceed the speed limit to pass the bicyclists, but the Revised Code of Washington permits that.
    This is my defense, now the point I think can help m fight:

    1) The officers sworn statement in general is a template with fill in the blanks, I find this disturbing but I also know a municipal court is not going to rule against their general practice, so I can not argue the officers sworn statement is not his own. But this template makes the officers statement incomplete. The statement reads as follow

    "I contacted the driver of the vehicle, ____________(Insert my last name)______, and asked them to produce their D/L, registration, and proof of insurance. Driver had the following comments"
    __________________________________________________ ___________
    _______________"I was doing 37?" "I'm on my lunch break and wasn't paying attention." After issuing the citation the driver stated "Do you have me on the gun?" I stated that I did, he asked to see it which I showed to him displaying "37" on the screen. Driver stated "Ok".
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    __________________________________________________ _____________________
    __________________________________________________ _______________________"

    (I am aware this is not the entire affidavit but I am only focusing on what I am using in my case)

    This is all he wrote regarding our exchange. My argument is that, as I recall, he approached the vehicle and asked for my license etc. then he asked something like "whats the hurry" or "why are you going so fast" I stated that I was passing the bicyclists (that had since gone). Then he asked if I knew how fast I was going and I said I did not. He then told me I was doing 37, I then responded with "I was doing 37". At this point the officers affidavit starts to match the actual conversation.

    Since the officers statement is obviously incomplete, and my recollection of events provides a legal statute where I was within my rights to exceed the speed limit, as long as the officer does not show up to argue what I say the missing portion of his testimony is, then I should be able o get the ticket dismissed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Manimal
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    Since the officers statement is obviously incomplete, and my recollection of events provides a legal statute where I was within my rights to exceed the speed limit, as long as the officer does not show up to argue what I say the missing portion of his testimony is, then I should be able o get the ticket dismissed.
    You may win if the judge believes your testimony and you cite the applicable Washington authority that says you may exceed the speed limit in that circumstance. But don’t count on the court automatically believing your additional version of events.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    You will lose. You did not have to pass them, and I doubt any judge will believe that it was necessary to exceed the speed limit to complete your pass.

  4. #4

    Thumbs down Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Speedy Gonzalez
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    You will lose. You did not have to pass them, and I doubt any judge will believe that it was necessary to exceed the speed limit to complete your pass.
    I am not sure what "Have" has to do with anything when law the specifically states anyone with a "Desire" to pass. I am legally allowed to pass any vehicle not going the speed limit if I do it safely.
    RCW 46.61.425(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law: PROVIDED, That a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120 on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Passing a group of bicyclists above the speed limit when they are weaving in and out of cars? That's going to be a hard sell that it was reasonable and safe.

    Quote Quoting Manimal
    the officer got me on his smd just as I passed a group of bicyclists. Now I was going 37, but as I was passing bicyclists and their were parked cars on the shoulder that the bicyclists were dangerously weaving in and out of.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Speedy Gonzalez
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    Passing a group of bicyclists above the speed limit when they are weaving in and out of cars? That's going to be a hard sell that it was reasonable and safe.
    Yes, they were weaving from the shoulder into traffic as they came upon parked cars, making it unsafe to pass in my lane, which is why I went into the other lane and passed them. It is a legal and very common occurrence for cars to go into the opposite lane of traffic to pass bicycles, otherwise a lot of people would be going really slow when there isn't a shoulder. It seems to me you are here to just argue more than give advice. But thanks anyway. I would prefer to here from other people.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Manimal
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    Yes, they were weaving from the shoulder into traffic as they came upon parked cars, making it unsafe to pass in my lane, which is why I went into the other lane and passed them. It seems to me you are here to just argue more than give advice. But thanks anyway. I would prefer to here from other people.
    He's one of the resident experts on WA law so he knows what he is talking about 99.99% of the time.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Manimal
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    Yes, they were weaving from the shoulder into traffic as they came upon parked cars, making it unsafe to pass in my lane, which is why I went into the other lane and passed them. It is a legal and very common occurrence for cars to go into the opposite lane of traffic to pass bicycles, otherwise a lot of people would be going really slow when there isn't a shoulder. It seems to me you are here to just argue more than give advice. But thanks anyway. I would prefer to here from other people.
    I'm not arguing, I'm trying to give you a reality check. You need to show that it was reasonable, safe, and necessary to speed when passing bicycles that were, by your own admission, acting in a dangerous manner. Given the circumstances, I would say there is almost no possibility of a favorable outcome for your trial.

    If you are eligible for deferral, I suggest you use it.

    If you want further help, please redact your identifying information from the discovery response and post it in its entirety.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    If the resident expert on Washington Law does not believe it to be safe and reasonable to pass slow moving traffic weaving between the shoulder and the lane of traffic, which is easily defined as legal pursuant to RCW 46.61.120, RCW 46.61.100, RCW 46.61.425, then I don't think this needs to continue. I posted this, then did more research, I am quite confident in my case now. But I would definitely reconsider that "Expert" title. Don't worry, I won't be returning for any "Expert" advice. Enjoy your forum.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Incomplete Officer Statement

    Quote Quoting Manimal
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    I am legally allowed to pass any vehicle not going the speed limit if I do it safely.
    RCW 46.61.425(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law: PROVIDED, That a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120 on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.

    You passed the bikes at 37 mph. So how fast were the bikes going? Can you prove they were not going the speed limit of 25 mph? The statute only allows you to pass if the vehicle (which includes a bicycle under RCW ß 46.04.670) if they are going less than 25 mph. If you had to go 37 mph to pass them, they may well have been doing the speed limit or more. If they were, you donít get the benefit of the statute you cited. Since you are the one relying on this as your defense, it is your burden to prove each part of the defense, including what the speed was of the vehicles you passed. Do you have convincing evidence of the speed of the bicycles? If not, I think you will lose even if you can otherwise prove that your passing was ďat only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.Ē And Iím not sure how youíll prove any of that with just your own uncorroborated testimony.

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