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  1. #1

    Default Accused of Both 22349a and 22350, Fined for Both

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

    This happened to someone else, just looking for opinions.

    Driver was cited for speeding, 85 in a 65. The officer wrote driver up for both 22349a (max speed) and 22350 (prima facie) on the notice to appear. Traffic stop and situation was consistent with a standard speeding violation. When the courtesy notice came in the mail the option to plea guilty by mail indicated that the driver need to pay close to $950 (the max fine for both) and that they were ineligible for traffic school since they would need to plea guilty to two offenses, they would otherwise have been eligible.

    Does speeding constitute one act per Pen Code 654a?

    If so shouldn't the court assess the penalty of just one of the two violations on the courtesy notice?

    I feel like for this reason almost all speeding tickets in California are either or, not both max and prima facie and that the officer made a mistake. Furthermore I feel like the court made a mistake by assessing a penalty for both. This puts the defendant in an unfair situation where they were forced to either pay double the amount they are supposed to and also lose traffic school or go to court and ask for the max penalty to be dropped to just one of the charges. If they choose the latter though and that is the court's remedy, the final outcome is simply the same as it was supposed to be in the first place. What's to stop officers from continuing to do this effectively either bypassing the drivers right to plea guilty by mail to the speeding violation and forcing them to appear in order to get to the penalty they were supposed to have been assessed in the first place or doubling the max penalty for the accused crime?

    What are your opinions? Would a dismissal in the interest of justice be warranted? Any other remedy that would be most favorable for the defendant?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    326

    Default Re: Accused of Both 22349a and 22350, Fined for Both

    I fully agree with you that one instance of speeding is, of course, a single act as per PC 654(a) and cannot be punished more than once. This is a mistake by the officer and the court and should be corrected at arraignment. I don't see a case for a dismissal of both charges, though, as no harm is done to the defendant assuming the correction is indeed made at arraignment.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Accused of Both 22349a and 22350, Fined for Both

    Thanks for the response.

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