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Old 05-14-2001, 01:46 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 6102
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Jose, CA
2000 2.5RS sedan

Post going to traffic court for the first time, need advice

Got my first speeding ticket last month and I'm going to court on thursday. I would love to get some advice on what to do / what to say / how to act...

Details of the ticket: First of all I have an Oregon liscence but I'm down here in California for college and got the ticket in San Mateo County. It was 11:00 at night on a Sunday driving on highway 1 on the coast near Half Moon Bay. I was going about 80 and never had any traffic in my lane and only saw a couple cars coming the opposite direction. Then my friend in the passenger seat sees one of the oncoming cars pull a 180 behind me and I see flashing lights in my rear view mirror. IMEDIATLY slow to 55 which was the limit and proceed at that pace cause I'm not sure why the cop turned around (although I have an idea of course). At this point I can no longer see his lights flashing so I proceed at 55 for a while, come to a 50 mph zone, slow down... Then I notice two small red lights light up in the middle of his light rack and then i look close and can very faintly see the red and blue lights on. So I pull over next to an intersection and have a nice little talk with him about my speeding. He got me on radar going 78 when we passed each other. Well I was too nervous to do anything but agree with him at the time and he gave me my ticket and I drove off. Got back to my dorm and looked at the ticket. He wrote me down as going 78 in a 50 which by law is excessive and I have to show up in court before next monday.

Here's the deal though. I was pulled over in a 50 mph zone but when he got me on radar it was in the 55 mph zone. As far as I know that no longer makes it excessive and therefor I should be able to get off a little easier right? I called the court and they said I should take pictures of the area and request an informal hearing...

Just hoping some of you out there might have some experiences with court that will help me out here. Of course I'd like to do anything I can to reduce the severity of this ticket. Thanks a lot, I know this turned out kinda long and I'm sorry for that...
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Old 05-14-2001, 02:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: La Habra, CA, USA

regardless. you were still going 78 in a 55 which is still 20mph over the speedlimit... i think 20 or 25 mph is the magic number for 'excessive'. you were still speeding, what else can you do but pay the fine. sorry, no better advice than that.
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Old 05-14-2001, 02:52 PM   #3
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Get a lawyer. Go to the court house on your next business day off and go to your traffic court room and find the first lawyer to leave and ask him to handle your case. Usually you can get a lawyer to handle a speeder for $50 to $75. They will get you off, get you supervision, or get you probationary status, and generally, NO POINTS. YOu may have to pay another $50 to $75 fine, but its off your record. Plus, with a lawyer, you don't have to say ONE WORD, not even testify.

There is NO OTHER WAY TO GET OFF EASIER. Don't listen to people who say fight it, or hope the cop doesn't show up, or blah blah blah. I get a ton of tickets ever year, and I have a perfect record (no points) because I use lawyers. The system is corrupt so these beginning lawyers can get paid easy money. Plus, if you have a lawyer, your case gets over before anyone else's (within 10 minutes of the beginning of a court session usually) and you're on your way out the door...
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Old 05-14-2001, 02:59 PM   #4
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If the officer falsified the conditions on the ticket for any reason whatsoever it is invalid and he/she is subject to disciplinary action or termination. The key is for you to document with video, etc where it happened. I also assume that your companion will serve as a witness. The trick is to catch the officer in the first hearing make the false statement. The court will often schedule a real hearing/trial. Bring out the evidence at the second trial and its a win for you. You could also talk to the assistant D/A for the court before the trial and try to plea for a lower ticket. You were after all speeding. If you go in admitting guilt, but to a lower offense, you might get off with a 68 in a 55 or something like that....its also possible you could qualify for a diversion program where the ticket won't count or go on your record if you have no furhter offenses in the next year in that county/municipality.

Try the very nice, humble approach first. If it don't work, get the cop to make statements in court about how far he followed you and where he first radared you...then you can properly argue that the ticket is invalid and should be thrown out (which in fact is is).

Good luck...and remember that breaking driving laws is always a calculated risk...gamble wisely.

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Old 05-14-2001, 03:01 PM   #5
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Besides any other advice you may get:

Humility. This goes a long way towards getting the judge to treat you fairly and in an adult-like manner. Judges just love to smack down a sassy "young person."

Ask for traffic school. That way it doesn't go on your record nor to your insurance company. It still costs money and -- worse -- your time, but it is a way to keep your record clean.

Do not try to tell the judge your story at the first visit. They hate this. The judge only wants to hear one of three things: Guilty, Not guilty, or Traffic school. You're in his world now. He had to eat shyte for decades to land that appoinment. He is not willing to bend the rules for someone 1/3 his age.

Keep a positive mental attitude.


[This message has been edited by UCI_Scott (edited May 14, 2001).]
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Old 05-14-2001, 03:09 PM   #6
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Soob2K, I can't believe you would just pay the ticket. That's the worst thing you can do.

Also, don't assume that because you were going 80, that what you were doing was wrong. Speed limits are almost always set arbitrarilly low and in violation of federal law. (don't use this in making your case, the federal law I reference is NEVER enforced by the corrupt traffic court system)

The best bet for this ticket is to go with the fact that the officer falsified the speed limit when he wrote the ticket. Either with a lawyer or without, this is the way to go. If you're confident, defend yourself, but since you have questions, I would get a lawyer. It will cost you about as much as the ticket, but you will end up with no points (and no hike in your insurance rates)

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Old 05-14-2001, 03:45 PM   #7
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You will find all the answers there.
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Old 05-14-2001, 04:05 PM   #8
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Did you ask him to see the gun that supposedly had you clocked at 78MPH? I love it when you ask them to see the gun and it's not even on.
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Old 05-14-2001, 04:12 PM   #9
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Last time I got one I saw the cop before the judge heard our case and just basically talked nice to him. He changed it to a seatbelt ticket.

You never know, give it a try.

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Old 05-14-2001, 04:17 PM   #10
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If you decide the traffic school route, I used Home Traffic School . It only took me about 25 minutes and it cleared my violation. It also only costs about $29. The trick is to leave two browsers open, take the test on one, leave the other browser on the subject material. First make sure it is a valid school to use.
Oh, BTW, I live in California and it is valid. -Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2001, 04:24 PM   #11
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Get a lawyer, the first question to ask him is "does oregon have resiprosity with CA?" If they do, then it is in your best effort to hire the lawyer to fight the ticket.

Another trick is to ask for an extension on the court date, nine times out of ten, the second date, the cop will not show, case dismissed.

you can't go to one of these traffic schools, because here in CA, they will tell you by mail if you are elligible. since you have your court date, your not elligible.

San Mateo county cops are <blip> heads.
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Old 05-14-2001, 06:45 PM   #12
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Location: San Francisco
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"San Mateo county cops are <blip> heads."

Word. I have gotten more tickets for no license plates here than ever before in my life...
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Old 05-14-2001, 07:00 PM   #13
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Location: Riverview, Florida - U.S.A.
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'15 FXT, '16 XV, '13 BRZ


Anyone familiar with Florida traffic law? Would a ticket with the wrong date on it be a valid reason for dismissal? I can prove I was not even in the state on the day indicated on the ticket.

Any law students or lawyers want to tackle this one?

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Old 05-14-2001, 07:55 PM   #14
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Which federal law?
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Old 05-15-2001, 01:00 AM   #15
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Location: San Jose, CA
2000 2.5RS sedan


Cool. Thanks for all the advice guys.

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Old 05-15-2001, 04:20 AM   #16
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2000 Impreza 2.5 RS


First to the court, admit "not guilty", then the judge will give you another date to go to the court with the officer. Then if the officer did come to the court, request "traffic school" before you arguing with the officer. If the officer didn't come, you are free to you without paying the find. That's how I got rid of my last two tickets.

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