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Old 07-14-2005, 06:21 PM   #1
Mr.Blaze
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Default Trial By Declaration (How To)

Trial By Declaration (TBD)

The following FAQ is based on information I’ve leveraged from the Internet. It should serve as a step by step guide taking your through the process of accepting a ticket, requesting the TBD, and what to spend your money on after you’ve won. I have personally sent in similar declarations and won my cases, so I know the process works.

Getting a ticket

Okay, this is the easy part. Go out and commit a moving violation in front of a cop. Go on, you know you want to…. When a cop pulls you over, you need to remember a few things that may help defuse the situation. Most of these are self explanatory.

1. Signal, then calmly move into a safe parked location.
2. Turn off your car. Forget about letting your car idle down. Turn it off.
3. If it’s night time, turn on your dome light so that the cop can see what you’re doing as he approaches the car.
4. Have your window down and your hands either on the steering wheel or out the window with your keys in hand.
5. Be polite, but do not admit any guilt. The cop may or may not be a dick. If he/she is, just take it up the ass for now, because it will help you greatly later if he/she does not have something to remember you by (ie your smart ass mouth).

Okay, you did it! You got a ticket. I hope it was worth it. No lets get you off the hook.

Requesting a Trial By Declaration

There are two ways to request a TBD. Depending on where in the world you are located you may want to write into the courts and formally request a TBD. You can download the request forms online. I suggest you send everything certified mail so that you have a record of it. The second, easier way is to wait until you get your summons in the mail, then walk into the court house during off peak hours, find the clerks office and request it in person. He/She will give you everything you need and send you on your way.

Note: In order to perform a TBD, you will need to pay the bail in full prior to continuing the process. So, if your ticket was for $170.00, you will need to bring in a cash, check or money order either to the clerk’s office or enclosed in your TBD request packet.

Writing the declaration

This obviously is the most important part of the TBD. There are a few things to understand first before getting into the meat of the declaration. First, if you had decided to plead not guilty and appear in court in person, officers are paid overtime to appear in court against you. So obviously they are motivated to do so. Also if you are appearing in court, the officer and judge may already have a repore that may work against you. Also a number of other things can obviously go wrong if you show up in person. With a TBD, on the other hand, the police are not paid anything extra. In fact, it’s just more paperwork for them. There are smart cops as well as dumb ones as you may have guess. But none of them are lawyers. My point here is that if/when they write in their side of the story; they may not be as well spoken as you. All of this will ultimately work in your favor. Do you no speaka de ingliss good? That will no longer be a problem, just use on of the examples at the end of the FAQ. You’ll need to change the names, case number and some other misc. information, but by far, these should be versatile enough for most of your scenarios.

Once you’ve got all your paperwork together, you can walk it in to the court or mail it in. If you choose to mail the documents in, I again advise that you do so by certified mail.

The Waiting Game

Now that everything is set in motion, it’s time to wait. The officer is given notice of your intent to conduct a TBD and he’s given ample time to respond. You will be notified of the court date (don’t worry you don’t have to appear) when the declarations will be reviewed. Following that you’ll be notified several weeks later of the outcome. Following that, you’ll wait another 60-90 days to receive your check from the state refunding your bail.

What if the cop is a genius and I loose

Yeah right.

Okay, let’s say you ignore the examples and choose to write the declaration in Egyptian Hieroglyphics and using a purple crayon (un sharpened). It’s not the end of the world. Fortunately you will be given a second chance.
Quote:
40902. (d) If the defendant is dissatisfied with a decision of the court in a proceeding pursuant to this section, the defendant shall be granted a trial de novo.
To request a trial de novo you need to submit (in person or by mail) a Form TR-220. This is available online as either a blank form or a fillable form.
The TR-220 must be received by the court within 20 days of the date the clerk mails you the decision.
Once you have requested a trial de novo, you will need to prepare for your trial (unless you intend to enter a plea of "No Contest" or ask for traffic school).

Statement of Facts

Please feel free to use the examples below in your trial by declaration. Obviously you will need to change the names, case number and other key information. However the format and verbiage of at least one of these should be well suited for your needs.


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Old 07-14-2005, 06:21 PM   #2
Mr.Blaze
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Example 1

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant's Name: Simone De Beauvoir
Case No.: S780824

I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 22350.

The facts of my case are as follows: While driving on Sorrento Valley Road on 10-21-99, I was stopped by a SDPD Officer (I.D.#1234) and was charged with violating CVC 22350. The Officer has alleged that I was driving 62mph in a 45mph zone based on Radar evidence. I believe that I was driving approximately 50-55mph at the time of my stop and that my speed was quite safe for the prevailing conditions.

The Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350 states: "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."

At the time of my stop, the road was dry and clear with light traffic. On my citation, the officer marks that the traffic was "light." No persons or property were put at risk. As such, the Officer does not make a credible case that I was in violation of the Basic Speed Law.

Further, I believe that the posted speed of 45mph on Sorrento Valley Road is artificially low, reflecting an out-of-date traffic and engineering survey and, as such, may constitute an illegal Speed Trap pursuant to CVC 40802(a)(2) which defines an illegal radar speed trap as:"A particular section of a highway with a...speed limit that is provided by this code...[which] limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects." If the traffic survey on Sorento valley Road is more than five years old, the officer's use of radar to determine my speed was illegal.

When using radar evidence, the prosecution is required to prove that the use of radar is not an illegal speed trap. Speed Trap Evidence 40803(b) states: "In any prosecution under this code of a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, where enforcement involves the use of radar or other electronic devices which measure the speed of moving objects, the prosecution shall establish, as part of its prima facie case, that the evidence or testimony presented is not based upon a speed trap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802."

If the prosecution does not attach proof with its written declaration (a certified copy of the speed survey) to establish as part of its prima facie case, that Sorrento Valley Road is not an illegal Speed Trap, as they are required to do pursuant to CVC 40803(b), I trust the Court will rule the radar evidence inadmissible and dismiss my case pursuant to CVC 40805.

CVC 40805, Admission of Speed Trap Evidence, states:"Every court shall be without jurisdiction to render a judgement of conviction against any person for violation of this code involving the speed of a vehicle if the court admits any evidence or testimony secured in violation of, or which is inadmissible under this article."

I trust in the Court's fairness and ask that my citation be dismissed in the interest of justice.

If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction and a Court assignment to attend traffic school.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Date:

Simone De Beauvoir, Defendant in Pro Per

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Old 07-14-2005, 06:22 PM   #3
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Example 2

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant's Name: Lucas Ridgeston
Case No.: S780824

I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 22350.

The facts of my case are as follows: While driving west bound on Meade at 0855 on 3-17-99, I was stopped by SDPD Officer Ffrengig (I.D.#1234) and was charged with violating CVC 22350. Officer Ffrengig has alleged that I was driving approximately 33mph in a 25mph zone based on RADAR evidence. I know that I was traveling a Safe and Reasonable speed for conditions at the time of my stop, and was therefore not in violation of the Basic Speed Law.

The Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350, states: "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."

On my citation, the officer fails to note any of these relevant conditions except for traffic, which he correctly notes as "Medium." I can attest that the road was dry with clear visibility at the time of my stop. Officer Ffrengig also fails to note the Safe Speed for Meade in the appropriate space on my Notice to Appear. I know that I was traveling a Safe and Reasonable speed for conditions on Meade when I was stopped.

My assertion that my speed was Safe and Reasonable for conditions is supported by the most recent Traffic and Engineering survey for Meade which gives the Safe Speed (85th percentile speed) as 32 mph, which is just 1mph different than the "approximate" speed Officer Ffrengig noted on my citation. Based on this evidence, I know that I was not in violation of the Basic Speed Law at the time and place of my citation and, pursuant to the common sense spirit of CVC 22350, contest that my speed at the time of my traffic stop was therefore not per se unlawful.

Further, I believe that the officer's radar may have been tracking one of several cars other than mine. There were cars driving in front of me and also passing me as I proceeded down Meade; the presence of these vehicles was properly attested to on my citation by Officer Ffrengig as "Medium" traffic. The typical beam angle (spread) of police radar is 12-16 degrees, resulting in a beam width of 1 foot for every 4 feet of travel of the beam from the antennae. Therefore at 160 feet from its source, a police radar beam is typically 40 feet (four lanes) wide.

The officer noted on my citation that my radar-determined speed was 33mph from 150 feet away, a distance at which any of several cars then traveling through the officer's two-lane wide radar beam might have caused the speed indicated on the officer's unit. Due to the officer's indication of "medium" traffic and his notation that my alleged speed was determined at a 150' distance, it is clear that there is reasonable doubt as to which car's speed his radar unit was indicating.

Due to this reasonable doubt, and the fact that the Traffic and Engineering Survey for Meade has determined the Safe Speed to be 32mph, approximately the speed the officer claims I was traveling, I ask the Court to dismiss my citation in the interest of justice.

If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction and a Court assignment to attend traffic school.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Date:

Lucas Ridgeston, Defendant in Pro Per
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:22 PM   #4
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Example 3

STATEMENT OF FACTS

Defendant's Name: Quentin Crisp
Case No.: S780824

I respectfully submit this written declaration to the Court pursuant to CVC 40902. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 22350.

The facts of my case are as follows: While driving on Madera Street in Lemon Grove at 0830 on 10-22-98, I was stopped by Deputy Perchyll (I.D.#1234) and was charged with violating CVC 22350. Deputy Perchyll has alleged that I was driving 41mph in a 25mph zone based on RADAR evidence. In fact, I was traveling 40mph in a posted 40mph zone.

Deputy Perchyll asserts that I was driving in a school zone with a temporary prima facie speed limit of 25mph, which is the sole basis of my citation. However, the Deputy did not cite me for driving in a prima facie school zone, CVC 22352(b)(2); he cited me for breaking the Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350. I did not break the Basic Speed Law. I know that I was traveling a Safe and Reasonable speed for conditions at the time of my stop, 40mph in a posted 40mph zone.

The Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350, states: "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."

At the time of my stop, the road was dry and clear with light traffic. No persons or property were put at risk by my driving 40mph in a posted 40mph zone. The mere act of passing a school at 40mph in a 40mph zone is not assumed to "endanger the safety of persons or property" under the Basic Speed Law. As such, the Deputy does not make a credible case that I was in violation of the Basic Speed Law at the time of my stop.

Further, I believe that a posted speed of 40mph on Madera Street is artificially low, reflecting a possibly out-of-date traffic and engineering survey and, as such, the Deputy's use of Radar may constitute a Speed Trap pursuant to CVC 40802(a)(1) (traffic survey more than five years old).

If the prosecution does not attach proof with its Written Declaration (a certified copy of the speed survey for 1700 Madera Street), to establish as part of its prima facie case, that the road I was cited on was not a Speed Trap, as they are required to do pursuant to CVC 40803(b), Speed Trap Evidence, I trust that the Court will rule the RADAR evidence inadmissible and dismiss my case pursuant to CVC 40805.

I trust in the Court's fairness and believe that my citation should be dismissed in the interest of justice.

If the court does not find in my favor in this case, I request a fine reduction and a Court assignment to attend traffic school.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Date:

Quentin Crisp, Defendant in Pro Per


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Old 07-14-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
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Example 4

May 18, 2004
Superior Court, County of Los Angeles
1427 West Covina Parkway
West Covina, CA 91790




To Whom It May Concern:


I am writing in regards to my trial by declaration. The bail amount of $111.00 has already been received by Deputy Clerk, Margaret Orban.

On the night of March 22, 2004, I was traveling on Fullerton Rd, northbound, just south of the 60 freeway. While on Fullerton, I stopped at a traffic light at Diamond Plaza Way, just before the eastbound onramp to the 60 freeway. I was stopped behind a silver 1998-2000 Honda Accord at the time on the far right lane as the light had turned red. As the traffic light turned green, the Accord ahead of me began to accelerate, and as I normally do, I followed. While at the traffic light I also noticed a police unit parked with its parking lights on, at the Shell gas station at the corner of Fullerton and Diamond Plaza Way. As I approached the gas station, I noticed the lights of the police unit turn on and begin moving forward, well before I had passed in front of the police unit. As I passed in front of the police unit, I had noticed that he had pulled to the exit of the gas station, and continued to follow me up the onramp of the 60 freeway heading eastbound. About 500ft up the ramp, the officer turned on his light bar, at which time I pulled to the right to the emergency lane and stopped my vehicle. I was confused as to why I was pulled over, and asked the officer as he approached my vehicle. His response to me was that “Your exhaust is too loud.” After which he requested my license and registration and gave me my citation.

I believe that there is reasonable doubt as to Officer Arruda’s judgement in regards to the indicated exhaust violation stated by the CVC code 21750.

Firstly, I have attached a certification from the State Referee Station in Chaffey College, indicating that the exhaust noise level of my vehicle does meet the legal limit of 95dB. The certificate indicated the exhaust noise level of my vehicle to be at 93dB, below that of the 95dB limit as set by the testing methods indicated by the CCR, Title 13, Division 2, Chapter 4, Article 9 in regards to CVC 27150.

Secondly, I believe that Officer Arruda may have mistaken the exhaust noise he heard from the Accord’s for my car. While at the traffic light, I had noticed the Accord having a large dual exhaust system. I believe that Officer Arruda may have heard the exhaust noise coming from that vehicle, as I noticed him pull his car to the exit of the gas station as the Accord was passing in front of him, and right before I passed in front of him. The modified exhaust on that vehicle was about the same sound volume, if not louder, than mine, and I believe that if Officer Arruda had began to move his vehicle before I had passed him, there is a high probability that he mistook the exhaust noise of the Accord’s as my vehicle’s.

I have enclosed 3 additional pages I would like admitted as evidence: a copy of the receipt for service at the Chaffey College Referee Station, a copy of the Referee Station Vehicle Inspection Report, and a copy of the Certificate indicating vehicle exhaust noise compliance affixed to the back of the issued Notice to Appear citation.


Thank you,


Adam West
(Mayor)
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:44 PM   #6
teh sash
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hah, simply amazing...

::subscribed::
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:52 PM   #7
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How can one access Traffic and Engineering Surveys for respective roads?
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sashin
hah, simply amazing...

::subscribed::
w3rd
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:01 PM   #9
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I might suggest starting with CalTrans.
But this trick is used more often when you're actually in the courtroom to get the charges dismissed along with radar certifications for the unit and officer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC WRX
How can one access Traffic and Engineering Surveys for respective roads?
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:22 PM   #10
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Are there any lawyers in here that can find any holes in these methods? Sounds pretty interesting to me.....
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:34 PM   #11
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This is not available in all states.
CA, it most certainly is your right.

Outside of CA, it depends what your local laws allow.

There aren't "holes" in the methodology.
But it's pretty obvious what "could go wrong" if you don't build your declaration properly.
That is why I left you guys some examples.

I had a ticket for 92 in a 65 along the 241 toll road not too long ago. I sent in an off shoot of the basic speed law example and it worked fine. I dont' know if this is because my letter was better then the cops, or because the cop did not respond. What I do know is that I got off and received a check in the mail shortly after.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:53 PM   #12
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I have a quick question. I got a speeding ticket in may and its my second ticket in 14 months. The officer told me since it hadnt been 18 months since my last ticket I would not be allowed to take driving school online and that I would have to request driving school from a judge. I have no problem with that. I went onto lasuperiorcourt.org to pay for my ticket, I noticed one of the options was.

(Traffic School Payment- The amount due is $225.00 plus a e-Public Access service fee* of $10.00 Will be added to this amount. The traffic school due date will be 09/20/05)

If I chose this option, Am I automatically enrolled into a traffic school or Do I still have to go to a judge and request traffic school. I hope I dont have to id love to avoid a trip to the courthouse.

Some input would be highly appriciated, thanks!
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:21 AM   #13
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If you decide to do a TBD and for some reason you are not sucessful, you can apeal it and conduct a regualar trial in front of a judge.

At this time you can change your plea and request traffic school.

Blaze
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Blaze
If you decide to do a TBD and for some reason you are not sucessful, you can apeal it and conduct a regualar trial in front of a judge.

At this time you can change your plea and request traffic school.

Blaze
Trail de Novo
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:22 AM   #15
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looks pretty word for word from ticketassassin. but i haven't been there in a while, so i forget.
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:54 AM   #16
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Good right up. I was just about to pay ticketassassin for the TBD. Mr. Blaze you just saved my ass

Mr. Blaze, How should i attack this. I got a ticket within 18 months. I was driving in the carpool lane at 12:00am at night and the cop pulls me over for speeding (80mph in 65) on the 10 and driving solo in the carpool. So far I managed to postpon the bail amount till september.

Do you have any examples of that?

Last edited by epine; 07-15-2005 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 07-15-2005, 08:43 PM   #17
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On a TBD, does the officer get a copy of the material that the defendant submits or does the officer have to write his side solely based on his notes and memory?
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Old 07-16-2005, 03:53 AM   #18
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I found most of these examples on a sight similar to ticket assassin. However, it was a free site. It had a walk through for TBDs as well as how to prepare your actual court case.

Pretty sweet.
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Old 07-16-2005, 04:45 AM   #19
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Sounds like it came from ticketassassin too. Pat Mulroy is a cool guy though, and its only 25 bucks to download the forms and everything from him. In addition to recieving all the forms, he is also available to answer any questions you may have regarding your case. He's a good guy and he's answered MANY of my questions, so if your feeling generous, help the guy out.
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Old 07-16-2005, 12:00 PM   #20
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Credit where credit is due. The examples (less the #4) were written by Geo. MCCalip Below:

WHO IS GEO. MCCALIP AND
WHY IS HE DOING THIS?
Geo. is doing this web site because his experience has shown him that most tickets are defensible, but most people do not know how to fight a ticket. While not an attorney, Geo. McCalip will put his record on traffic tickets up against any lawyer in California. Over the last three decades he has won, or helped friends beat, scores of tickets. He has a better than 80% win rate in court, with three successful pro per appeals on traffic cases. He has had attorneys ask him for advice on tickets (even one who advertised himself as a ticket specialist). Many of his friends have asked that he write a book on the subject. He hopes this web site makes them happy.

While Geo. encourages everyone to drive safely, he knows that this will not guarantee that you will not get a ticket. He believes that a majority of tickets are defensible because most of them are written for revenue rather than safety reasons. Officers write a number of questionable tickets knowing that most people will simply pay them to avoid the hassle of going to court.

Using tickets as a source of revenue puts the government (especially the judicial branch) in a questionable position ethically. Any system in which a judge's decision impacts the court's revenue is inherently corrupt. We can help extract our government from this morass by taking the profit motive out of writing traffic tickets. If enough of us fought our tickets, and the government no longer made money every time an officer put pen to paper, then the number of tickets would drop radically.

In an ideal world, officers would write tickets for safety reasons, not revenue generation. If we each do our civic duty and fight our tickets, we can help make this a reality. Even people who "know" they violated the law have the right to a trial, and with a trial by declaration, the hassle excuse does not fly.

This site is Geo.'s way of helping people get justice (not to mention keeping the cops off the streets and out of trouble). Geo. dedicates this site to those of you who have received questionable tickets (and the rest of you who have wanted to do your part in putting an end to the corrupt traffic ticket system we currently have) but have not known how to defend yourself.

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Old 07-16-2005, 05:45 PM   #21
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I got a ticket with no radar only estimated speed "pacing". Got an example for this? Also i'm supposed to appear next thursday, should I get an extension so i can do the TBD?
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Old 07-16-2005, 10:04 PM   #22
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You are eligible for an extension whether or not you choose to use a TBD.

I'll see if I can locate an example for "pacing", but it may just be the strategy and not an a completed form.

I'm looking (for future reference) for a TBD for smaller infractions like red lights or rolling stops.

Blaze

Quote:
Originally Posted by umscooby
I got a ticket with no radar only estimated speed "pacing". Got an example for this? Also i'm supposed to appear next thursday, should I get an extension so i can do the TBD?
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Old 07-19-2005, 01:59 AM   #23
Evan
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I found http://www.helpigotaticket.com after a quick search for Geo. McCalip. Pretty thorough site.

Thanks Mr.Blaze for a great write-up I've already referred 1 friend to this page and McCalip's site.
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:04 AM   #24
King Of Imports
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Shall I test one of these preprinted forms out? I got a speeding ticket so this will be a great opportunity to give one of these a go! I recently extended my court date. I wonder whether I can still request trial by declaration. I will let you guys know.
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Old 07-19-2005, 02:17 AM   #25
YellowDubRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Imports
Shall I test one of these preprinted forms out? I got a speeding ticket so this will be a great opportunity to give one of these a go! I recently extended my court date. I wonder whether I can still request trial by declaration. I will let you guys know.
You can extend it, I have done it before and then sent the TBD.
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