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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Defenses to a 22349a Ticket

    I live in the Bay Area, but was given a speeding ticket down in SoCal. On the citation, it states that the officer's radar gun detected that I was traveling at approximately 95 mph on a 65 mph highway, but I am convinced that I was not traveling at that high of a speed.

    The situation goes like this. I was on a four-lane freeway where on my right was a huge truck, and there were cards in front and in the back of me. The car in the back was tailgating me, so I sped up and changed lanes, but I can't be traveling at 95 miles per hour, especially because I had a friend in my car and I would never make the ride uncomfortable or unsafe for another person.

    I'm a college student from a low-income family and my biggest fear is that I cannot afford the ticket. I also went online to check the court, and it states that any citations of 91 mph or higher are not qualified for traffic school. Now I have another fear that the record could increase my insurance premium, which my family or I cannot afford. I called up the CHP office and requested an opportunity to speak to him. He called me back the next day where I had the chance to explain my fear of not being able to afford the ticket or go to traffic school to clear my record. He told me to just show up in court and he'll make sure I'll get to go to traffic school.

    I am not sure how much I can trust in his words... this is my first time getting any ticket so I have no idea how to approach this. I know I'm supposed to call the number of the court given on my Notice to Appear. When I call, do I have to please guilty or not guilty? Then if I want to go to court as my officer suggested, do I have to pay court fees?

    Please offer any additional guidance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: 22349a - Need Suggestions

    My guess is that the officer suggested you call the court to find out what your arraignment date will be. So when you make the call, you will be calling an automated system so you will not have to enter a plea at the time. Depending on which county you were cited in, you might also be able to find that information online through the court's website. You should also be receiving a courtesy notice from the court notifying of the same (the date you must appear to enter a plea or pay the fine).

    My other guess is that because you were cited for driving at over 25 miles per hour (actually, 30mph over the limit), you will have a mandatory court appearance (I am not going to argue the legitimacy or lack thereof of such a requirement).

    From another thread:
    Quote Quoting piku990
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    I was given a Notice to Appear for speeding, and I was ordered to give the court stamped on my ticket a call in two weeks. What can I expect during that call? Will I be expected to plead guilty or not guilty then? What is the process?
    You can expect to find what date your case is scheduled for arraignment. That is the date where you either:
    • enter a plea of not guilty, request a TBD or a court trial
    • enter a plea of guilty, and pay the fine (you can also request traffic school (assuming the court will allow it) and request a fine reduction (assuming the court will be willing to reduce the fine)).


    ____________

    By the way, your bail amount/fine amount for 22349(a) w/95mph in 65mph should be approximately $446

    ____________
    And yet, from another thread:

    Quote Quoting piku990
    View Post
    What is the difference between arraignment and TBD? What are the fees involved?
    An arraignment is a court appearance during which you get to:
    • enter a plea of not guilty and request either a court trial or a TBD, OR
    • enter a plea of guilty and request either traffic school or a fine reduction

    A TBD, is a written declaration that you submit to the court explaining the reason why you feel you are not guilty of the violation which you were cited for.

    Let me also add that a citation for 22349(a) is not one that is easy to beat. Especially with 30mph over the Maximum statutory speed limit. So it has been my experience, and I am of the opinion that you would be best served if you were to appear in court on your arraignment date and ask for traffic school at that time (assuming the court will even consider such an option for that many miles over the limit) and/or ask for a fine reduction (assuming the court will even entertain such an option). And yes, I do realize that you live up Nor Cal where your citation is in So Cal, but like I have stated before, you may have a mandatory court appearance for this matter.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: 22349a - Need Suggestions

    That was helpful. Thank you.

    Should I consider the words of my citing officer at all? He kept insisting on my showing to court and if I show up in court, he'll "make sure I'll get traffic school."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 22349a - Need Suggestions

    Quote Quoting piku990
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    Should I consider the words of my citing officer at all? He kept insisting on my showing to court and if I show up in court, he'll "make sure I'll get traffic school."
    I can't predict what he will say or do in court...

    What I will say though is that if he wanted to be "helpful", he could have cited you for less than 30mph over (something like 20 over) and just made a notation on the citation that he clocked you at 95 in 65. That would have reduced your fine (to approximately $332 instead of $446) and it would have made you automatically eligible for traffic school. Maybe by that point he had already written the citation and couldn't change it... Maybe he intends on filing an amendment and mailing you a copy of the same, or maybe he plans on asking the judge to amend the citation at the court appearance... Who knows.

    As it stands right now, it sounds to me like you have a mandatory court appearance... So you'll have to be there either way. Show up and see what happens.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 22349a - Need Suggestions

    Quote Quoting That Guy
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    An arraignment is a court appearance during which you get to:
    • enter a plea of not guilty and request either a court trial or a TBD, OR
    • enter a plea of guilty and request either traffic school or a fine reduction
    At an arraignment, can I expect to see the officer there? Or is it only at trials can I expect to see my citing officer there?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 22349a - Need Suggestions

    He/she won't be at the arraignment... Only at the trial.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Defenses to a 22349a Ticket

    Then does that mean my officer is lying to me? How can he help me go to traffic school if he's not going to be at the court? If he's insinuating that I should plead not guilty and set up a trial date, then don't I give up the right to go to traffic school (in most cases)?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Defenses to a 22349a Ticket

    Quote Quoting piku990
    View Post
    Then does that mean my officer is lying to me?
    I wouldn't say he was "lying"...

    Quote Quoting piku990
    View Post
    How can he help me go to traffic school if he's not going to be at the court? If he's insinuating that I should plead not guilty and set up a trial date, then don't I give up the right to go to traffic school (in most cases)?
    Well, considering what we've discussed before, and in light of your getting caught at (allegedly) 30mph over the limit, you may not qualify for traffic school to begin with. So essentially, you're not giving up "the right to go to traffic school" since you might not have that "option" to begin with...

    Plead not guilty, show up for trial and see if you recognize him, try and talk to him before the court session begins.

    Also, and just so you're prepared, you should keep in mind that when you plead not guilty and request a trial, the court may require you to post bail in an amount equal to the fine amount (approximately $446 in this case)... If you win/get the case dismissed, they'll refund your money. If you lose, they'll convert the bail into the fine... (or if you're allowed to take traffic school (traffic school will cost you an additional $49) so approximately $446 + $49 = ~ $495).

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