This took place in California.
I was keeping with the flow of traffic (in a ridiculously low marked 65 zone) when I noticed an unmarked solid black Crown Vic pull up behind me. I suspected he was a cop so I took my foot off the gas to gradually slow down. About a second later a marked CHP swooped up on me with lights flashing.. he musta been doing 120 at the point he caught up to me. He pulled me over and the unmarked Crown Vic also pulled over.
I see the guy get out of the Crown Vic in plain clothes, talk to the CHP guy for a minute, then take off. The CHP guy comes to my window and tells me that the guy in the Crown Vic was an off-duty CHP officer who paced me at 90. He also admits that he didn't catch me on radar or anything and that all he had to ticket me on was the off-duty officer's statement.
First, I don't think I was going anywhere near 90. I ended up getting a ticket for 80, which probably every car on that freeway was doing, at least (which the cop admitted). But, I said I thought I was doing around 65, the off-duty cop said 90, now you're giving me a ticket for 80? Are you just splitting the difference because you don't know who to believe? If the dude said 90, why don't you ticket me for 90?
Second, what is an off-duty police officer doing pacing someone going 90? If he's not on duty, is violating the speed limit like that, with not much good cause, a problem for him? Just because he's a cop he has the right to break the speed limit whenever he wants?
Third, the CHP guy was rambling a lot which made me even more suspicious of this whole arrangement where one off-duty, plain-clothes cop in an unmarked car paces you and somehow notifies an on-duty cop who just comes in for the kill. The officer who issued the ticket told me that if I contested it, both of them would be appearing in court.
Does anyone have any idea if this whole thing is legit? Any advice on what approach I should take to fighting it, if any?