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Old 03-21-2012, 03:30 AM   #1
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Hi guys, I recently got a ticket in my GTI, I was cited with CVC 22356 (b) Speed in Excess of 70mph.

On the ticket, it stated I was going 80 in a 70 mph zone. I was caught on Lidar.

I've decided to fight it by Trial by Declaration, and I need some opinions on my letter!

Defendant's Name: Jxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Citation Number: 4xxxxxxx
Case No.: 4xxxxxxxx

I submit this written declaration to the Court with all due respect. I plead Not Guilty to the charge of violating CVC 22356 VC-I.

The facts of my case are as follows: While driving on the I-10 E through Banning on January 23, 2012, I was stopped by a CHP Officer Sami Nunez (I.D.#18168) and was charged with violating CVC 22356 VC-I. The Officer has alleged that I was driving 80mph in a posted 70mph zone based on lidar unit evidence. It is my belief that I was driving safe for the prevailing conditions at the time of the stop and that my speed was not endangering the safety of any persons or property and was quite safe for the conditions.

At the time of my stop, it was approximately 11:30 PM. First, I would like to elucidate the conditions. The skies were clear and road conditions were dry. Traffic was medium, with several other cars traveling in the other lanes. I firmly believe that my speed was safe for the prevailing conditions. For example, I was traveling in the far right lane, following the flow and general speed of the traffic in front of me. Indeed, many cars were passing by at a higher rate of speed in the farthest left lane, where cars generally drive at a higher rate of speed than those to far right.

Upon being stopped by Officer Nunez, I immediately rolled down all the windows and turned on the interior lights. I turned off the engine and placed my hands on the steering wheel until Officer Nunez demanded me to step out of the vehicle for a sobriety test, to which I immediately submitted to politely with no hesitation and completely passed. I believe that Officer Nunez suspected me because of the holiday (1/23/12), which is Chinese New Years, and the proximity of Morongo Casino and Resort.

I maintain that I was merely driving normally to my destination, following the speed of the traffic in front of me. There was no way that my speed could have posed any substantial danger to any persons or property, especially considering the fact that the I-10 East has a posted speed limit of 70mph, which is higher than the average 65mph speed limit on other highways.
The implications of the higher 70mph limit is an admission on the part of traffic authorities including the California Highway Patrol and engineers of the Department of Transportation that a higher speed than normal is indeed not only helpful, but necessary to the orderly movement and evacuation of traffic from the area. As per CVC 22356(a),

“after consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey on existing highway segments, or upon the basis of appropriate design standards and projected traffic volumes in the case of newly constructed highway segments, that a speed greater than 65 miles per hour would facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic and would be reasonable and safe upon any state highway”

As with any speed limit, it is expected and hoped for that drivers will observe and respect a speed of 70mph for 70mph prima facie limit, just as it is expected and hoped for that drivers would likewise observe and respect a speed of 65mph on a highway with a 65mph prima facie speed limit. If an officer were to write someone a ticket for 74mph in a 65mph limit highway, then that would be proportional to the 80mph that Officer Nunez cited me for in the 70mph I-10 East highway. Now suppose that we use the 85th percentile average on a 65mph limit highway. The 74mph that someone would have been cited for in that 65mph highway would be well within the threshold. Consequently, I am confident that the 80mph that Officer Nunez cited me for would also be well within this 85th percentile average speed.

As such, I believe that Officer Nunez does not make a credible case that I was in violation of CVC 22356 VC-I, and would like it to be dismissed in the interest of justice.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:33 AM   #2
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I'm trying to fight it based on Reasonable doubt and the 85th percentile argument. Luckily, with TBD, if they do not dismiss this case based from this letter and the officer testimonial, i get one last chance to argue before I lose the case and get a point on my record. If this happens, I may have to research public documents and try to find documentation to argue in my case.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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Going to be tough to say. Every state is different and even every district is different. In my state, and in my district, this is far too long and not only probably won't be fully read, but piss off the judge. You might have a different outcome. Good luck.

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Old 03-21-2012, 04:05 AM   #4
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as someone who has a close friend who is a WA state trooper i will give you the following advice. if you were doing 80 and they gave you a ticket for 70+, be careful fighting it. the LEO's affidavit states the true speed you were going, even if the ticket does not...

if they were generous with the ticket they gave you and you choose to fight it, sometimes the judge will slap you with the fine for the true speed you were going.

this being said, i wish you the best of luck in your case.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:42 AM   #5
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Too long... Just state the facts and be honest and they will toss it... Works in canada!

Only thing that sucis is that you have to go there and you cant just write a letter. Best of luck and F the police!
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:50 AM   #6
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There are 3 things you'll wanna stick to ... your going with the FLOW OF TRAFFIC..
do not lie about your actually speed at the time ... " I was going with the flow of traffic at approx 70mph your honor " ... the COP has to provide records stating the radar gun was properly calibrated and all that stuff ... before it can even be used ... and all documentation has to be present during your case.

I had a speeding ticket recently .. I beat it because I showed up and the cop did not...
First court appearance is to dispute and plea not guilty .. second is to go to trial...
(if the cop dont show ... you win ... )
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:51 AM   #7
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Really? Don't waste your time and pay the ticket. You were going 10 miles over the limit.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RickA1 View Post
Really? Don't waste your time and pay the ticket. You were going 10 miles over the limit.

X 1000000

You I'd it, take responsibility for your actions, you know.... like a real man
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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I had a semi run me off the road, and I got a ticket for "failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident". I fought it. Guilty!

Basically, whatever the cop says is gospel. All he has to do is testify the gun was certified, and tested prior to the shift and that counts. Speeding is speeding, you're guilty. Is it right? No. Is it fair? Yes. If nothing worse can happen, I say give it a try.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:52 AM   #10
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good luck with that bro....
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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Here's my advice:

1) Shorten it. The courts are busy and so is the judge. Keep it short and sweet.

2) Don't admit guilt! The 85th percentile is used for engineering and design standards, but the actual speed limit is still the law! Are you positive the speed limit is prima facie and not absolute? Even so, don't admit you were driving over 70. Just say you were driving approximately 70 mph and driving safely in the right lane moving the same speed as the rest of the traffic on the highway.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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80mph > 70mph Confirmed by LIDAR. Precision and accuracy within ~0.2mph at 4000ft. That's 0.2mph almost a mile away and if he was anywhere in your visible viewing area that precision is probably cut in half or almost a 1/4th. LIDAR Units also come with a certificate of measurement and calibration that is valid for up to 5 years.

You're fucked dude. Just pay the ticket.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #13
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In CA if it's LIDAR/Radar your BEST course of defense is that the officer who recorded your speed probably was NOT the officer who pulled you over. It's very common in speed traps for one cop to run the unit and radio to another car to do the stop. You will probably need to do discovery for notes and such to determine how they did the stop.
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:55 AM   #14
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You should plead no contest. That is guilty with an explaination!

Get a service garage or mechanic to sign an affidavit (it has to be notarized!) stating your speedo was out of calibration, due to running a different tire size, gearing. Etc. You can contend that you were indeed driving the correct displayed speed limit according to your speedo and that you were unaware your speedo was out of calibration until you were stopped by CHP for speeding.

Hey it's a long shot, but sounds reasonable? The judge will probably buy it, depending on your past driving record. As far as the letter, magistrate judges won't even acknowledge it, they like face to face so as they can see who they are dealing with.

Good luck and please let us know how it turns out.
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Last edited by AXO; 03-21-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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