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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Speeding Ticket Trial in California

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: California

    Thanks for taking a peek at my case :-)
    Got a ticket on I-50 - Sacramento Area - Speeding. Officer wrote I was doing 90 in a 65 zone but I was doing 80-85. Went to the court pleaded not guilty and asked for Trial.

    The DA asked me to plead guilty with a lesser fine and traffic school opportunity and I refused. So the DA checked the officer's schedule and made a note on the file that the officer involved was on vacation from March-15,2010 (Monday) to March 25,2010. The clerk was about to assign a date and I requested March-12, 2010 (friday) 1:30 PM for the trial.

    On the trial date, the officer didn't show up. The DA wanted to talk - mentioned that there was a clerical error - said the officer was on vacation - wanted me to reschedule. I asked the DA to check again - he goes inside and comes back with many more vacation dates. When my came up for trial the case was not dismissed since the officer was not there.I was asked to pick a date and come back again.

    My Questions:
    1) I think the DAs lied/screw-up here. What is the procedure or paperwork to check/prove that?
    2) When the Officer didn't show-up, can the DAs reschedule? Is it a law that if the officer doesn't attent then the case should be dismissed?

    Thanks again

    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket Trial in California

    You should have requested that the trial continue and then made a motion to dismiss before the judge.

    No there isn't any law that requires a dismissal (or a continuance, for that matter).

    The odd thing about this here is that there was a prosecutor in a traffic courtroom. This is almost unheard of for a traffic infraction case. Were you only cited for a speeding infraction or were you cited for something else as well?

    Lastly, when were you arraigned (date)?
    Did you waive time (as in waive your right to a speedy trial)?
    And when is your next court appearance (trial) scheduled for (date)?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Speeding Ticket Trial in California

    Assuming you were only cited for the speeding:
    - A continuance (postpone) is not automatic. When it's time for your trial, the DA will have to request for it, saying something like "my witness is not here, I'd like to request to continue...". You should have objected, citing how it inconveniences you, arguing that this is just a small traffic case and so on. Basically, object VIGOROUSLY at this point.
    - If the judge agrees, great. If the trial continues, you'll most likely be dismissed since there's no witness testimony.
    - If the judge disagrees and force a continuance on you, well then just go ahead with it. Chances are the office won't show up again. This time be prepared to object even more vigorously to a reschedule. 99% change the judge will listen this time.

    To answer your questions, no the DA didn't lie, and there's nothing for you to check. Maybe he's screwed up his witness's schedule, maybe not, but that's beyond the point. The point is that to your great benefits, the prosecution showed up without a witness, and you should have taken advantage of that, thwarted any rescheduling attempt, and possibly won your a dismissal.

    Well it's too late now, but remember it next time. Otherwise just proceed with your original defense (you did come to the original trial with a good defense, right? Don't say your only defense was to "expose" the screw-ups by the DA )

    If you didn't waive your speedy right then another ground for dismissal is if the retrial falls outside of 45d from arraignment. There are already lots of info about this elsewhere.

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