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  • Got my first speeding ticket...grrr

    Hey so I'm looking for some advice. I just got my first ticket ever (been driving 8 years). So of course its the end of the month and there is a *****load of cops around making their quotas. Anyways I was going home from campus, and the main route to get to the rest of town from the base of campus has this pretty steep hill. Cops like to stakeout the bottom of the hill because by the time you reach the bottom, if you just let gravity do its thing you can get maybe up to 40-50mph. But I know this is a favorite spot for cops so I always slow down when going down this hill. By the time I get to the point where I see 5 motocycle cops just waiting I'm thinking damn they're really out in force today. So I check my speed to see if I'm screwed or not. I'm going 30mph and the speed limit is 25 so I figure I'm ok. Wrong, got a ticket, cop cited me at 41mph. I didn't say anything cause I didn't want to argue and get myself into more trouble. Btw, when pulling over saw more cops, probably a dozen in the total area. I need to know if I should just pay the ticket or try to argue it. I've heard before if you show up to court and the cop doesn't show then they'll throw it out. Also the ticket says he got me with radar, so I'm thinking that since I have a small car and the one lane street was packed (less than 2 ft separating cars) that I could argue that he inaccurately clocked me with radar. I know lasers are supposed to be more accurate at pinpointing specific cars. Any advice, tips? Thanks guys.

  • #2
    Originally posted by studmonk3y
    Hey so I'm looking for some advice. I just got my first ticket ever (been driving 8 years). So of course its the end of the month and there is a *****load of cops around making their quotas. Anyways I was going home from campus, and the main route to get to the rest of town from the base of campus has this pretty steep hill. Cops like to stakeout the bottom of the hill because by the time you reach the bottom, if you just let gravity do its thing you can get maybe up to 40-50mph. But I know this is a favorite spot for cops so I always slow down when going down this hill. By the time I get to the point where I see 5 motocycle cops just waiting I'm thinking damn they're really out in force today. So I check my speed to see if I'm screwed or not. I'm going 30mph and the speed limit is 25 so I figure I'm ok. Wrong, got a ticket, cop cited me at 41mph. I didn't say anything cause I didn't want to argue and get myself into more trouble. Btw, when pulling over saw more cops, probably a dozen in the total area. I need to know if I should just pay the ticket or try to argue it. I've heard before if you show up to court and the cop doesn't show then they'll throw it out. Also the ticket says he got me with radar, so I'm thinking that since I have a small car and the one lane street was packed (less than 2 ft separating cars) that I could argue that he inaccurately clocked me with radar. I know lasers are supposed to be more accurate at pinpointing specific cars. Any advice, tips? Thanks guys.
    Please tell me more about the situation.

    California has many, many, MANY procedural requirements for the officer and the state to prove you have violated the basic speed law, CVC 22350 (I assume that is what you were cited for, since you said he cited you for 41mph)

    Tell me the size of the agency that cited you, such as the area it covers, and how many cops if you know, tell me about the street you were on, how many lanes, is there a school nearby, or something else that justifies the reduced speed limit?

    Were you paced at all?

    There are ways to beat it, though it may not be worth it for you, since you have never been cited, you could take traffic school, and it is like you never got the ticket, BUT, if you can't take traffic school, or if you can DEFINITELY beat the ticket, it might not be worth it to fight it at all.

    Just so you know, I have never been convicted of a speed violation, and i have been cited at least 7 times in the 5 or so years I have been in California.

    The officer has shown up to all but 2 court appearances. I have been cited for 75 in a 35 zone (and beat it with the officer there) I have helped numerous friends fight tickets by mail and never lost, and at least 3 people who have appeared in court, and only one lost.

    Michael
    ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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    • #3
      yea CV 22350 is what he got me for. It was a Santa Cruz PD cop that pulled me over. One of about 12 or so motorcycle cops just waiting there. I don't know how many SCPD cops there are, is there a way to look that up? I was on this one lane road, that goes down this pretty steep hill. There is only 2 roads leading to the rest of town from the base of campus, and this is the primary one that most people take. It was around 2pm so lots of people were driving back home from class (I go to UC Santa Cruz, btw); like I said no more than 2ft separating cars. The speed limit is 25mph i think because it's so easy to gain speed on that hill. There is no public schools or anything within 5-6 blocks from that point. The cops love to stakeout that spot because of the traffic that flows from the university and because the hill is so steep, they're bound to get an easy ticket. Not paced, they were all just parked at the bottom of the hill, facing traffic, waiting in lines, taking turns writing tickets. Let me know if I can provide any more info. Thanks for your help man.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by studmonk3y
        yea CV 22350 is what he got me for. It was a Santa Cruz PD cop that pulled me over. One of about 12 or so motorcycle cops just waiting there. I don't know how many SCPD cops there are, is there a way to look that up? I was on this one lane road, that goes down this pretty steep hill. There is only 2 roads leading to the rest of town from the base of campus, and this is the primary one that most people take. It was around 2pm so lots of people were driving back home from class (I go to UC Santa Cruz, btw); like I said no more than 2ft separating cars. The speed limit is 25mph i think because it's so easy to gain speed on that hill. There is no public schools or anything within 5-6 blocks from that point. The cops love to stakeout that spot because of the traffic that flows from the university and because the hill is so steep, they're bound to get an easy ticket. Not paced, they were all just parked at the bottom of the hill, facing traffic, waiting in lines, taking turns writing tickets. Let me know if I can provide any more info. Thanks for your help man.
        The fact that it is one lane in each direction could be problematic for a substantive defense, though there might be other substantive defenses, and of course, there are procedural defenses.

        Is there a reason you don't want to plead and take traffic school?

        Next, what is on the street, private houses, businesses, nothing, forest???

        I doubt you can figure out how many cops are in the city easily, but maybe. Would you say it was a large force (such as the LAPD) a medium force (say like Santa Barbara) or a small force (like the city of Simi Valley) I ask because it tells me how closely they will pay attention to certain things that might be sent to them.
        ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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        • #5
          never just pay the ticket, always show up in court
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Peoples
            never just pay the ticket, always show up in court
            While I agree in essence with that statement, in California, and I believe in most states, if you plead guilty, the judge will often times reduce the fine for the offense. If you have a definite loser, then pay the reduced fine, if you have a possible or better winner, then take it to court, and force the state to prove you are wrong.

            Michael
            ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Peoples
              never just pay the ticket, always show up in court
              Eh, I never go to court. I knew I was speeding.

              I guess for me it's different though. Speeding is an expensive hobby. When they finally catch me, I pay up. Last year alone, I paid $815 worth of speeding tickets.

              But, in this case, I'd say it's different. It's always worth a shot to go to court, or at least take traffic school. I've taken that school a few times, some defensive driving courses, and had my license suspended a few times. You pay to speed. Like I said, expensive hobby.

              EDIT: I take that back, I've gone to court once. Cop was behind me with his lights on, so to get out of his way, I turned right on a red. I was turning right anyway, already in the turning lane. I turned and pulled off the road, and he pulled right up behind me. *** hole. I fought that one, did pretty good. Didn't have to pay a dime.
              Tidder

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              • #8
                i wouldnt be so concerned with the initial fine....but the points on youre license are usually taken off if you plead guilty and take the time to show up in court.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tidder
                  Eh, I never go to court. I knew I was speeding.

                  I guess for me it's different though. Speeding is an expensive hobby. When they finally catch me, I pay up. Last year alone, I paid $815 worth of speeding tickets.

                  But, in this case, I'd say it's different. It's always worth a shot to go to court, or at least take traffic school. I've taken that school a few times, some defensive driving courses, and had my license suspended a few times. You pay to speed. Like I said, expensive hobby.
                  Do you even know the legal definition of speeding? How do you know you were speeding. Going over the posted speed limit is not necessarily breaking the speed laws. The law might say something like, "You can't go over the posted speed limit on Monday" While that is a simplistic explanation, every law has elements to it, that ALL must be met. Just goin over the posted speed limit does not mean you violated a law.

                  Imagine what you could have done with 815 bucks, and the time you spent in the classes and schools.

                  However, if you have "broken" the law, and there really is no realy defense, then I agree, plead guilty, pay the fine, and take your lumps. But, before you do that, you should definitely make sure you are guilty of the offense you were cited for.

                  Of course, you can do what you want. If you want to pay the fine and take your lumps, that is your choice, but to me, with out you doing more research and becoming educated about the law, you are a lamb being lead to slaughter, with out making a sound.

                  Michael
                  ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Peoples
                    i wouldnt be so concerned with the initial fine....but the points on youre license are usually taken off if you plead guilty and take the time to show up in court.
                    NOT TRUE

                    Showing up to court and pleading guilty DOES NOT reduce or eliminate the points associated with a ticket. In fact, pleading guilty means you admit you violated the law, and you get the points. In most states, as in california, you can take Traffic School (or something similar) to eliminate the points from a ticket, however, in California, you are only eligible to take traffic school every 18 months. Some states might have shorter or longer time periods. Some may have no time limits or limit the amount of times you can take traffic school.

                    But showing up to court and pleading guilty does not take care of the points. In fact, pleading guilty is a sure fire way to get points on your license.

                    Michael
                    ...I love the French language...especially to curse with...Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculés de ta mère. You see, it's like wiping your *** with silk, I love it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wiredwrx
                      you are a lamb being lead to slaughter, with out making a sound
                      Eh, 'round here, it's a small town. Our courts/judges don't abide by the laws, it's all buddy buddy stuff, who you know. Cops and judges are on a first name basis. Cops around here don't have anything better to do than to deal with the petty (spelling?) crimes, like speeding.

                      Unfortunately for me, I'm on the bad side of all the stupid policemen around here. They know who I am, and can't wait to bust me for something else. Did I mention I've been to jail 3 times? For speeding?! Maybe if I had an attorney or somethin, someone that could take the time to deal with it, I'd be better off. But for me, I'd rather pay the fine, and continue speeding down the road of life.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Peoples
                        i wouldnt be so concerned with the initial fine....but the points on youre license are usually taken off if you plead guilty and take the time to show up in court.
                        Not true. I've had my license suspended twice for accumulation of points. I've taken the time to show in court, take the classes, tried all that. Doesn't matter.
                        Tidder

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                        • #13
                          Tried slowing down? I bet that would help a bit.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wiredwrx
                            The fact that it is one lane in each direction could be problematic for a substantive defense, though there might be other substantive defenses, and of course, there are procedural defenses.

                            Is there a reason you don't want to plead and take traffic school?

                            Next, what is on the street, private houses, businesses, nothing, forest???

                            I doubt you can figure out how many cops are in the city easily, but maybe. Would you say it was a large force (such as the LAPD) a medium force (say like Santa Barbara) or a small force (like the city of Simi Valley) I ask because it tells me how closely they will pay attention to certain things that might be sent to them.
                            Basically I don't want my car insurance to go up. So if I need to take traffic school to keep it from going on my record then that's what I'll do. I'm asking because I've never been in this situation before and I've heard that sometimes you get lucky because the cop doesn't show up in court. I know I wasn't going 41 mph, I was going 30 and in the process of slowing down even more. THAT's why I'm ****ed. On the street there is a hill that leads upwards to some houses, and on the other side is this forest-y divider that seperates the same road going the other direction. Past that is more streets with houses. I wouldn't say there's any houses directly on that street just a bunch of side-streets with houses. I would say it's a medium sized police force. So Wiredwrx, from what it sounds like, you're saying I should just plead innocent and ask for traffic school? It is better to do a written declaration or make a court appearance? I'm still confused on the details. Thanks

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                            • #15
                              I was just in traffic court this afternoon. The judge gave me probation before judgment. I have to avoid the cops for a year and I'm all good and I can get it expunged off my record in three years. I still had to pay a fine + court costs.

                              Make sure you either pay the fine or show up in court. I watched the judge suspend ~20 people’s licenses for not showing up to their court date.

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