Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

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Latest post Wed, Feb 27 2013 6:36 PM by superman1. 6 replies.
  • Tue, Feb 26 2013 4:34 PM

    • Benjy
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    • Joined on Tue, Feb 26 2013
    • CA
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    Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

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

    I was recently pulled over for doing 56mph in a 25mph Zone.  

    The truth is that I had stopped at a very confusing intersection that I had never been to before, (one that has a road joining from the right just before the Stop sign, and has an awkward layout), and I was lost trying to figure out which way to go.  In the confusion and feeling like I was holding up traffic, I accelerated quickly from the Stop Sign, (but without any tire sounds or loss of traction, just the naturally loud engine in my Sports Car), to about the speed that had been posted throughout the previous miles on the same road I had just come from, assuming that this was still the same.  40,45, and 50mph postings had been the norm on this road so far.  

    Unfortunately in the confusion of still trying to figure out whether we were going the right way, (discussing options, and looking all around), I honestly missed the 25mph sign standing there unobstructed right after the intersection.  Within seconds I realized that the road I was traveling looked residential, so I immediately slowed down to 25. It was then that I noticed the Police Car a good distance behind me in my rear view mirror,  and a couple of seconds later he turned on his lights.  The road conditions were good, dry and clear, but it was night time.

    The officer told me I was lucky that he was giving me VC 22350 (Unsafe Speed in 25mph zone), instead of something more serious which would result in being taken to jail and my car being impounded for 30 days, which I now assume to possibly be Reckless Driving or Exhibition of Speed.

    What I'd really like to know is: 

    • If I decide to go to court, is it somewhat likely that the Officer may not show, and the case be dismissed? 
    • If the officer does show up to Court, is it possible or likely that the Judge could amend the charge to the more serious Reckless Driving or Exhibition of Speed if he/she so chooses?  
    • Or could the Officer do this if he finds out that I am going to court? 
    • With the Officer in Court, is there any way I can effectively fight this?  
    • Would the State charge me for going to Court, if so how much?

     

    I never saw the Officers Radar or Lidar reading. My ticket has the box checked under Radar/Lidar Unit/Patrol Vehicle No. and the officer wrote either 8/001/**** or 81001/**** (with ****standing for the 4 digits of the Patrol Veh. No.) in this section, but  I can't read it exactly.  Does that mean he used Radar or Laser?

     

    In your opinion, should I just pay the $500 fine and accept 1 Point and higher Insurance Rates, or should I go to court?

     

    I really appreciate any help on this.

  • Tue, Feb 26 2013 4:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    Benjy:
    If I decide to go to court, is it somewhat likely that the Officer may not show, and the case be dismissed?

    From a quick google search, it appears that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 90-100k police, sheriff, and CHP officers in California, and it is quite impossible to assess the chances that any one of them won't shop up for a particular traffic hearing.  Even if the officer doesn't show up, that doesn't necessarily mean your case will be dismissed.  The court could simply continue the hearing.  I think it's safe to assume that the odds of both of these things happening are pretty small.

     

    Benjy:
    If the officer does show up to Court, is it possible or likely that the Judge could amend the charge to the more serious Reckless Driving or Exhibition of Speed if he/she so chooses?

    Judges don't decide what you get charged with.

     

    Benjy:
    Or could the Officer do this if he finds out that I am going to court?

    It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but neither is it something about which you should reasonably be concerned.

     

    Benjy:
    With the Officer in Court, is there any way I can effectively fight this?

    Your post does not suggest any defense.  Indeed, you appear not to contest the charge.

     

    Benjy:
    Would the State charge me for going to Court, if so how much?

    You could be assessed court costs.  How much depends on where you are.

     

    Benjy:
    My ticket has the box checked under Radar/Lidar Unit/Patrol Vehicle No. and the officer wrote either 8/001/**** or 81001/**** (with ****standing for the 4 digits of the Patrol Veh. No.) in this section, but  I can't read it exactly.  Does that mean he used Radar or Laser?

    Certainly sounds like it.

     

    Benjy:
    In your opinion, should I just pay the $500 fine and accept 1 Point and higher Insurance Rates, or should I go to court?

    I don't have any opinion about the matter (nor should anyone else).  I don't know anything about you and your circumstances.

  • Tue, Feb 26 2013 4:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    Benjy:
    If I decide to go to court, is it somewhat likely that the Officer may not show, and the case be dismissed?

    Not likely at all. The officer will probably have a bunch of citations scheduled for the same day and you can be certain he will show up. Even if he doesn't, the court can easily schedule them all for another day. The court doesn't care if you are inconvenienced. The chances of dismissal are slim.

    Benjy:
    If the officer does show up to Court, is it possible or likely that the Judge could amend the charge to the more serious Reckless Driving or Exhibition of Speed if he/she so chooses?  

    A judge can certainly do that, but it's unlikely.

    Benjy:

    Or could the Officer do this if he finds out that I am going to court? 

    Also unlikely.

    Benjy:
    With the Officer in Court, is there any way I can effectively fight this?  

    Realistically, no. The judge will believe the officer, not the thousands who come in every day and try to fight traffic tickets.

    Benjy:

    Would the State charge me for going to Court, if so how much?

    Fines generally include the pure fine and administrative fee but I don't think you get charged extra for going to court.

    Benjy:
    I never saw the Officers Radar or Lidar reading.

    That's a myth. The officer has no obligaiton to show it to you.

    Benjy:

    My ticket has the box checked under Radar/Lidar Unit/Patrol Vehicle No. and the officer wrote either 8/001/**** or 81001/**** (with ****standing for the 4 digits of the Patrol Veh. No.) in this section, but I can't read it exactly. Does that mean he used Radar or Laser?

    Doesn't matter. You aren't going to beat the ticket anyway.

    Benjy:
    In your opinion, should I just pay the $500 fine and accept 1 Point and higher Insurance Rates, or should I go to court?

    That's up to you.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Feb 26 2013 6:38 PM In reply to


    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    Benjy:
  • If I decide to go to court, is it somewhat likely that the Officer may not show, and the case be dismissed? 
  • When you exceed the posted speed limit by 31 mph, there is no "if" you decide to go to court.  In most counties, that excess earns you a mandatory appearance before the judge.  The officer doesn't have to be there at the initial appearance.  If you take it to trial, he will show up.  They get paid to show up.

    Benjy:
  • If the officer does show up to Court, is it possible or likely that the Judge could amend the charge to the more serious Reckless Driving or Exhibition of Speed if he/she so chooses?  
  • Or could the Officer do this if he finds out that I am going to court? 
  • The charge can be amended upward but not at the trial and not by the judge.  A judge can reduce the charge but he's not part of the prosecution and cannot amend it to a greater charge.  Any amendment to a greater offense would have to be before trial and you would have to be arraigned again on the new charge and a trial date set from there.  The officer won't know the case is set for trial until he's served a subpoena to show up. 

    Benjy:
  • Would the State charge me for going to Court, if so how much?
  • Traffic tickets are quasi-criminal.  You have a right to contest the charge and you cannot be charged extra for asserting your rights.

    Benjy:

    Does that mean he used Radar or Laser?

     

    Police patrol cars have radar units in their overhead lights that can lock onto any car coming towards them or from behind. 

    Benjy:

    In your opinion, should I just pay the $500 fine and accept 1 Point and higher Insurance Rates, or should I go to court?

    That's your decision.

  • Tue, Feb 26 2013 7:08 PM In reply to

    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    Benjy:
    If I decide to go to court, is it somewhat likely that the Officer may not show, and the case be dismissed? 

    Does that happen sometimes?  Sure but I wouldn't bank on that happening.  I rescheduled a traffic ticket I received years ago because I was starting a new job.  The night before that new date the officer called me at home to tell me HE was rescheduling it because the day the court moved it to was not "his day in court" for his schedule.  So there are just as many cops who will do diligence to ensure if go to court and they are there.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • Wed, Feb 27 2013 4:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    It's my understanding, and I might be wrong, that officers in CA have scheduled "court days" which are days their "cases" will be heard and they are paid to be there just like any other work day.

  • Wed, Feb 27 2013 6:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Speeding Ticket for 56mph in a 25mph Zone, CA. What to do?

    Benjy:
    In your opinion, should I just pay the $500 fine and accept 1 Point and higher Insurance Rates, or should I go to court?

    I think it's a total crap shoot.

    Maybe you come out, maybe not.  It's a gamble.

    Maybe the cop does not show.  But he likely will.

    I had a ticket, not so high as that quite a few years ago now.  I hired a lawyer and let him deal with it.

    You could consider that.

    But asking what any of us think, it's all just a guessing game I think anyway.

    I don't think you'd lose anything but some time and a bit more cash to go to court and fight it.  It might be worth a toss of the dice.  It's your time and your money.  You just have to decide.

    Me, I always throw the dice and hope for the best.

    But again, your time, your money, your dice.  You decide.

    Good luck!

     

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