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  1. #1
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    Default Speeding Ticket Posts

    Quote Quoting Lol_irl
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    You bring up a good point and that's why I was wondering if it being a rental mattered at all. I have no idea when the speedometer was calibrated, how can I be responsible for knowing the equipment in a rental is accurate? I wasn't going downhill, slight incline actually I believe.
    My point here is that the officer's speed measuring devices are calibrated and certified, whereas yours are not and more than likely will be off by a few MPH. In addition, the court recognizes the officer as an expert witness when it comes to visually estimating speed and convictiuons have been had on visual estimation alone. Your defense here is that you were speeding, but wish to quibble over the exact speed based on an uncalibrated speed measuring device operated by a person untrained in estimating or measuring speed, who does not know when or where his speed was actually measured. Consider whose testimony the court will consider more credible.

    Quote Quoting Lol_irl
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    I'm a little surprised that the time mistake holds no weight. I know it's nit-picky but not only for my selfish motivations I would think details like this should matter on any citation. I could provide proof I was not there at 1pm and should instantly be a "Get the paperwork right next time" situation for the officer.
    Real court is not like court on television dramas. If an i is not doted or a t is not crossed, the case is not dismissed with the apologies of the court, you are not sent home with a generous stipend to compensate you for your inconvenience, and the officer is not reprimanded, fired or sent to jail for his clerical error. This is real life and all the court is concered about is whether or not you committed the violation.

    As cdwjava mentioned, sufficient errors can be used to question the officer's credibility as a witnes (thoroughness, accuracy, attention to detail) but the errors have to be pretty egregious and numerous for you to succeed. There have been situations where a driver will point out a minor clerical error in court, thinking it will be a slam dunk in getting his ticket dismissed, only to have the judge turn to the officer and ask if he would like to seek the court's permission to amend the citation on the spot to reflect the correct information. The officer will say yes, the judge will mark the correction on the court's copy of the citation, advise the driver that his concerns have been addressed and ask him if he has any more issued to be considered.

    Realizing thet his Perry Mason moment has been blasted into oblivion, the driver is usually left with nothing else to say, or he just stands there and blusters, again saying nothing meaningful.

    I'm not trying to be snarky here, but the simple fact is you're not innocent, you just don't want to be guilty and are treating this like a game - follow certain procedures and you might get out of it. Will your ego really be that crushed and will the world come to an end if you man (or woman) up, take responsibility for what you did and pay the thcket or go to traffic school? Its not the end of the world. .

  2. #2
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    I'm not trying to be snarky here, but the simple fact is you're not innocent, you just don't want to be guilty and are treating this like a game - follow certain procedures and you might get out of it. Will your ego really be that crushed and will the world come to an end if you man (or woman) up, take responsibility for what you did and pay the thcket or go to traffic school? Its not the end of the world. .
    Ok so I appreciate the response but while you mention not trying to be snarky, you are. It's funny how every thread in this forum eventually tips that way, it's like there's something toxic in the metaphorical air here. Regardless of my motives etc I thought this forum was for exploring all options of the law from an intelligent standpoint. What's wrong with me wanting to explore my options? I'm pretty sure any good attorney treats every case they receive as a "game" and tries to out-think his/her "opponent" and plan everything strategically. What's wrong with the layperson trying to do so as well? I've had tickets reduced to moving violations in the past simply by showing up in court, being honest and requesting it. I live out of state so I have to do a trial by written declaration, I only get one shot at it and cannot react as if I were appearing in person so I want it to be a well-thought shot.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    I'm not trying to be snarky here, but the simple fact is you're not innocent, you just don't want to be guilty and are treating this like a game - follow certain procedures and you might get out of it. Will your ego really be that crushed and will the world come to an end if you man (or woman) up, take responsibility for what you did and pay the thcket or go to traffic school? Its not the end of the world. .
    You may not be trying to be snarky, but you are uninformed. The OP IS innocent and carries that presumption until he is proving guilty. That's the whole basis of our judicial system.


    In CA the citation is, essentially, a charging instrument, not specifically evidence.
    I'm surprised you would say this as it doesn't make much sense. Evidence is what is presented to substantiate the charge... or in the case of a ticket, the charging instrument.



    It is true that the ticket can easily be amended by the officer. But only if he does so before arraignment and/or trial. So, if you were to keep your mouth shut, go to your arraignment, plead not guilty, then the charge against you will be that you were driving at excessive speed on a certain day and time. If you show up for court with evidence of an alibi (i.e. you were not at the place of the alleged violation at the time cited by the charges brought against you), you should have a viable defense.


    As an analogy, say you were charged with operating a business without a license. You show up for court and now you are being prosecuted for tax evasion. While the tax evasion charge may be legitimate, you are not there to defend yourself against tax evasion... you are there to defend yourself against operating a business without a license. In other words, you have been accused of violating a law at a place and a time. The prosecution must prove all the elements of that allegation to sustain a conviction. And those elements are simply that you were driving a car at that place and that time at an unlawful speed. If the prosecution can't prove one of the elements, he cannot get a conviction.


    Now, that is the legal answer. The reality answer is that the law is really just a suggestion in traffic court. Traffic court judges make rulings all the time that ignore the law. I'd say that while your defense is very valid legally, it likely has about a 10% - 20% chance of working. Traffic courts in CA are really just that bad.

    Quote Quoting Lol_irl
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    Ok so I appreciate the response but while you mention not trying to be snarky, you are. It's funny how every thread in this forum eventually tips that way, it's like there's something toxic in the metaphorical air here. Regardless of my motives etc I thought this forum was for exploring all options of the law from an intelligent standpoint. What's wrong with me wanting to explore my options? I'm pretty sure any good attorney treats every case they receive as a "game" and tries to out-think his/her "opponent" and plan everything strategically. What's wrong with the layperson trying to do so as well? I've had tickets reduced to moving violations in the past simply by showing up in court, being honest and requesting it. I live out of state so I have to do a trial by written declaration, I only get one shot at it and cannot react as if I were appearing in person so I want it to be a well-thought shot.
    You are correct about the toxic environment here. There are three types of people here: 1. those who come here looking for advice on any possible defense of a charge, 2. those interested in helping that person explore a defense, 3. those who get some kind of weird pleasure from telling everyone that they're guilty and they are bad people because they are seeking to evade responsibility.

    I just don't understand the motive behind the type 3's.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    You are correct about the toxic environment here. There are three types of people here: 1. those who come here looking for advice on any possible defense of a charge, 2. those interested in helping that person explore a defense, 3. those who get some kind of weird pleasure from telling everyone that they're guilty and they are bad people because they are seeking to evade responsibility.
    Many of the OPs here come in, admit their guilt and then ask for assistance in their defense. While that's all well and good, often, there is not real defense open to them, at least, none that will do them much good, especially without an attorney which may cost them more than they are willing to pay, especially if their issue is a lack of funds. There are many who come in simply to be argumentative and some that insist that they are right in the face of the mountain of evidence that they are incorrect and argue, name call and get personal.

    Many of your so-called "type 3's" are rather jaded senior members who have little patience for being told that they don't understand simple issues, especially in areas that they specialize in. I've seen very few instances where someone has been told there are "bad people", especially in light of the vast number of posts. Sure, we can be snarky and we can act as a peanut gallery but this is a free forum and you get what you pay for, snark and all.

    The concept of "innocent until proven guilty" is a great concept and is the cornerstone of our legal system but, when the OP admits their guilt what do you expect us to say? At that point we give them the well considered advice of shut thy piehole and get an attorney. Again, many OPs here ARE guilty by their own admission, including this OP.

    Your reply, by the way is the worst sort of smarmy sanctimonious pap. You fit in beautifully among the us type 3's.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    We really need a like button.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Many of the OPs here come in, admit their guilt and then ask for assistance in their defense. While that's all well and good, often, there is not real defense open to them
    What you see as the OPs coming here and admitting guilt is just OPs being honest about the facts of the case. But they still are seeking a possible defense against a charge brought against them. Every defendant has a right to a defense and there is a defense for every defendant. Just because a defense may be thin or weak doesn't mean that there isn't a defense strategy that could be employed. But when the type 3s say "you have not indicated anything that indicates a defense", what I hear them saying is "I either don't want to help you or I am not smart enough to help you". So, if an OP wants a defense and you can't think of one, why not just be silent and see if someone else can help him instead of wrongly making the assertion "you have no defense".

    Your reply, by the way is the worst sort of smarmy sanctimonious pap. You fit in beautifully among the us type 3's.
    Just because I pointed out your unproductive responses doesn't make me smarmy. It more likely makes you thin skinned. But that's irrelevant and needlessly personal as the point here is not for you and I to win an argument. The point here is to help an OP who is seeking a defense. In other words, the point here is to NOT be a type 3.

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    Way to take something out of context. You are intentionally twisting what was said to support your point of view.

    The OP's often do come here and admit their guilt and when they decry their innocence based on some superficial nonsense, such as a minor clerical error, they are told that the error won't get them off the hook. There are, however, people here, like yourself, that have a passion for helping people with traffic tickets. Great! More power to you, but that doesn't make them less guilty.

    Perhaps the oft admitted guilt is why the rate of success for contesting traffic tickets is low.
    I didn't see the OP decry his innocence base on some superficial nonsense. I saw the OP recognize a possible flaw in the prosecution's case. He is here seeking advice on how he could use that flaw to his advantage. Every good defense lawyer knows that when you can't argue the facts, argue the law. When you can't argue the law, argue procedure.

    I think you type 3s are missing a big picture here. It is not an accident that the state has a very high burden to meet when prosecuting a case. In order to understand this, you must first answer the philosophical question: "is it better to let a hundred guilty men go free or to convict one innocent man?" I go with the former vice the latter. Fortunately, our constitution agrees. We make prosecution burdensome for the state and we do not lower that bar simply because it is a minor infraction. The reason is that once you start to lower the bar for the state's burdens, that's when you begin to convict innocent men. And convicting one innocent man is far more harmful to society and our faith in the judicial system than allowing a hundred guilty men go free.

    Unfortunately, the bar has been lowered in traffic courts. I have personally witnessed courts literally and willfully ignoring the law and convicting innocent defendants simply because that bar has been lowered so far. So, where an OP coming here and decrying innocence may personally offend you... the idea of courts willfully convicting innocent defendants should offend you infinitely more.

    Back to the OP's defense:

    If you plan on moving forward with the "wrong time" defense, be mindful not to go into court and point out that the officer made a mistake so you should be let off the hook. Your argument is simply that you are not guilty of the infraction in which you are charged. You may very well be guilty of exceeding the speed limit at 1am, but that's not what you were charged with. Limit your conversation to that which you were charged. If the officer begins to talk about 1am, you should object to his testimony as being irrelevant. Things that happened at 1am have nothing to do with a speeding charge in the early afternoon.

    This defense will take discipline not to get sucked into an argument with the cop or the judge. If either of them start talking about 1am, you simply do not comment. Rather you inform the court that you are here to defend yourself against the only charge that is properly before the court... and that is speeding in the early afternoon.

    Personally, I think that it is clear cut and you should prevail based on the law and the rules of court. However, as I have stated before, the bar has been lowered in traffic court. You should be prepared for the judge to tell you that he simply does not care and finds you guilty anyway. The problem with this is that when a judge ignores the law and ignores procedure, it becomes impossible for anyone to mount a defense against anything. For at that time, you are not defending yourself against what you were charged with... you are defending yourself against what the judge thinks you SHOULD HAVE been charged with.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    You can spin this anyway you want but I have no skin in the game. To say that an OP admits they were speeding, that they set the cruise control above the posted speed limit, is admitting guilt. What happens from there is meaningless to me.

    If there is a flaw in the prosecutors case then exploit it. You thinking that there is a flaw, however, is supposition as OP's will generally color the facts. It's why they're testimony is given lesser weight.

    If OP's want sympathy, well, that's in short supply around the world.

    This is not court. There is no burden of proof here and us "type 3" folk are not unaware of how our legal system works and its limitations whereas a number of the OP's are unclear on how it works and how to navigate it. You'll note that we often tell people to see an attorney as a local attorney will be better equipped. Here, we try to explain the law and will discuss how it may apply and are willing to offer, shall we say, color commentary as we individually see fit. As I said before, it's free and you get what you pay for. Much of the commentary in this site is legit up until the OP makes it personal or is exceedingly thick.

    Your smarmy and sanctimonious lectures as to the system are irritating and something I'd generally ignore but, you're special. For you to come in here and cast your own aspersions makes you no better, by the standards that you claim and that make you a hypocrite.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting Mark47n
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    You can spin this anyway you want but I have no skin in the game. To say that an OP admits they were speeding, that they set the cruise control above the posted speed limit, is admitting guilt. What happens from there is meaningless to me.
    If it's meaningless, why respond?

    If OP's want sympathy, well, that's in short supply around the world.
    I don't think the OP wanted sympathy. I think he wanted assistance on a defense. But the very fact that you interpret that as a call for sympathy says far more about you than the OP.

    Your smarmy and sanctimonious lectures as to the system are irritating and something I'd generally ignore but, you're special. For you to come in here and cast your own aspersions makes you no better, by the standards that you claim and that make you a hypocrite.
    I'll take your recognition of me being special as a compliment. Thank you. I'm sure if we met, I would like you too. As for my "lectures", they are in keeping with the constitution and the very principles of our judicial system. If that's the definition of "smarmy", then I am smarmy. As for being a hypocrite, I think I am very consistent... and I consistently side with the law and the constitution. I don't really know what your guiding principles are. But it seems to me that your whole pejorative rant is intended not to show that your interpretation of the law is correct, but rather to show that I am just as contemptible as you. I find that an odd argument to make.

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    Or of course the cop could simply testify that he wrote PM when he meant AM.
    Isn't that exactly what cdwjava said and what I argued would be inappropriate? Along with my analogy, the cop could have written a ticket for speeding but then testify that he "meant to write a ticket for running a red light." Does that seem appropriate that the OP would have to be required to defend himself against a red light complaint at that time? What the cop "meant to do" and what he did are apparently two different things. While that argument of "you should respond to what I was thinking and not what I said" may work for my wife, it doesn't and shouldn't work for law enforcement.

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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting Stumpjumper
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    You may not be trying to be snarky, but you are uninformed. The OP IS innocent and carries that presumption until he is proving guilty. That's the whole basis of our judicial system.
    Yeah, but the OP admitted guilt in their first post when they stated they set their cruise control for 75 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. I was speaking in terms of reality rather than the abstract.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: California Speeding Violation - How Much Weight Does an Error on the Ticket Hold

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    Yeah, but the OP admitted guilt in their first post when they stated they set their cruise control for 75 MPH in a 65 MPH zone. I was speaking in terms of reality rather than the abstract.
    We could argue about the abstract all day and we have a forum for that.

    Like you, I tend to go with the info that's presented and reality.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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