My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington.
Here is my story.
I am a Scout Master and I was traveling at the head of my troop from Deception Pass where we had camped for the night to Fort Casey where we were to spend a couple hours wandering around. I was driving down Eagle Road towards Fort Casey fallowing about 200ft behind an Island Transit Bus.
I had two passengers one adult and his son as well as one vehicle with two adults in my party who were fallowing just behind me. I was traveling at no greater than 40mph when I approached a reduced speed sign. I took my foot off the pedal and began to slow down, we reached a 25mph sign before a turn. Shortly after I looked away from the 25mph sign a police officer traveling towards us in the opposite lane passed me and made an immediate u turn behind me. He turned on his lights and pulled me over. He said I was going 50mph when I came around the turn. He ended up giving me a ticket for going 30 in a 25 and proceeded to say that I was slowing down but he made a note that my actual speed was 50. I didn't argue because at the time I did not realize that the speed limit along Eagle road is actually 50mph up until the 25mph sign. The officer lead me to believe that I was speeding from back at the first turn onto Eagle road. It was not until I came back that I saw the 50mph sign going the opposite direction. The adult passenger and the two adults fallowing me all agree that we never even exceeded 40mph in the 50mph zone and we were slowing down after we passed the reduced speed sign.
I am wondering how I could have accelerated to 50 when my foot was off the gas pedal. And If i were traveling at 50 when the bus was going 25 around the turn wouldn't I have run into the bus? Also we had hardly begun to come around the turn when I saw the officer. The officer said "you were going 50 when you came around that corner back there" this is one reason I was lead to believe I was speeding from the last corner. He also said when he handed me the ticket "I'm going to cite you for going 30 in a 25 because you were slowing down but I made a note that you were actually going 50". The officer did not say anything about an SMD but he did check it on the ticket.
So I have decided to Contest and I have never done this before so I'm hoping to learn some things from you guys.
So far I have learned that it many cases it is a good idea to file discovery, subpoena officer, and SMD tech. Would these be good things in my case?
I don't think I could ask the three working fathers who were with me to take a day off work to go to court with me as witnesses and from what I have heard the judge might just dismiss their written testimonies. I have not had a ticket is 6 years and I may be eligible for a dismissal, so that may be an option. Also what is a "stay". I read somewhere that a stay can give a person 6 months or a year of probation assuming no further citations?
This is roughly the layout when I saw the police vehicle.