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Fighting a ticket, any advice So Cal Don or others

Discussion in 'United States of America' started by guzzi jon, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. guzzi jon

    guzzi jon High Miler GT Contributor

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    Today, I was on my way to work, Brenda called me to tell me she had stepped on one of our cats and tumbled down the stairs hitting her head. She was knocked out and called me as soon as she came too. I was close, so I turned around and rushed back home to take her to the ER. A cop pulled me over for speeding, Bren was in the truck with a bleeding head wound and clearly damanged. Cop told me I was speeding, I told him I was rushing to the hospital. He asked if I wanted an ambulance, I told him we were 3 minutes from the ER and just wanted to get there. So instead of helping or escorting, he said he would write the ticked fast, which he did, and said he knocked a few miles per hour of the ticket due to the circumstances. Any chance this could be fought through trial by declaration, or other methods, any suggestions are appreciated. Brenda was released this afternoon, she had a concussion and some serious bruising.... Plus a a $5K bill our insurance deductible did not cover.
    You freedom fighters input are welocm
     
  2. Conteacher

    Conteacher Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Stupid cop. Geez! My mom always wrapped my bleeding wounds, and there were many, in white diapers. The red blood against the white cotton always got us an escort to the ER. Apparently the cop thought that if you didn't want the ambulance, it wasn't that serious. Wish I knew what to tell you.
     
  3. falcor

    falcor Tuned and Synch'ed GT Famiglia

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    Sorry about that experience. I don't know many officers that would ticket after seeing someone injured and knowing you were on the way to the hospital, the words "slow down and get there alive" might have been muttered but you would have been let go.

    It's the officer's desecration to ticket. There is no defense to prosecution for transporting an injured person, but that is where human emotion and common sense take over... you may get a judge, and for sure jury, that will see it better than the officer did. Don't underestimate the mercy of the court. Go with the bill, documentation from the hospital, etc. and stress you live so close it was more expeditious to drive yourself than call or have to wait for the ambulance the officer offered to call.

    It's your best bet. You may want to point out that you have 5K in expenses already and your insurance maybe wouldn't have covered the ambulance, etc. If you have a pretty clean record, I can see the judge waving it.
     
  4. ken farr

    ken farr Just got it firing!

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    GuzziJon:

    Sounds like you were nabbed on a surface street, and probably a city motor cop. Based on this, you probably were charged with a violation of 22350 V.C. Unsafe speed for conditions. This is the generic section used when you exceed the posted speed limit.
    The officer will have to prove the unsafe condition exists. There will be references to collision history, time of day, pedestrians, and a traffic survey. He may even refer to your emotional state due to the circumstances, however that may be objectionable because of lack of knowledge prior to the stop.
    My advice would be read the section, understand what it says, and then counter the unsafe portion....
    yes I was at ---m.p.h. and that exceeds the posted limit ( it's not an admission, the speed limit is arbitrary---your charged with unsafe speed) however the time of day I was traveling, it wasn't prime commute and therefore a much less traffic density, no pedestrians in the area, it was daylight, and the same limit is in place at hours of darkness etc, etc etc.
    After the Officer testifies, you will be asked if you have any questions, ask if there was any conflict with any other traffic, where were the pedestrians at the time of violation, etc. Be respectful, and just ask questions, you will get to testify after.
    If during his initial testimony, the officer doesn't refer to his seeing and estimating your speed and then confirming with a radar ( if radar/lidar was used), request dismissal. Same thing if the calibration, training or traffic survey aren't addressed. Do this after the judge asks the officer if there is anything else, this happens after your testimony.

    If it is important enough, contact a lawyer who works traffic, stay away from the pre-paid types...................( trust me :roll: ).
    Most people loose in court due to a lack of preperation and a lack of understanding the violation charged.

    Good luck, hope the wife is well and the cat lives outside now.

    kjf
     
  5. spub

    spub Just got it firing!

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    Based on my experiences with Trial by Declarations, I would not bother. A couple of years ago I was sited on the Angeles Crest for speeding. Two young CHP officers had set up a ticket writing station at the second passing lane section when the bottom of ACH was open. One officer operated the radar gun and motioned people over, the second wrote the tickets. This means the officer who observed the violation was not the officer who wrote the citation, and this requires both officers to testify as to the violation. I pointed this out in the Trial by Declaration, but was found guilty, at the subsequent trial, I was found innocent. Your best bet is if you ask for a trial, and the officer does not show up. In the event he does, the facts you cite are not a valid legal excuse but if the judge is more interested in basic fairness rather than strict adherance to the law, perhaps documentation for your reasons for rushing home (assuming he believes you) may persuade him to let this one go...but this is a difficult thing to do when the citing officer is standing next to you.....
     
  6. guzzi jon

    guzzi jon High Miler GT Contributor

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    Thanks for the input, I will read the motor vehicle code for my citation. I would rather fight it and lose than just roll over.
    Cheers,
     
  7. RJVB

    RJVB GT Reference

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    Also, check for any errors or omissions on the ticket. Writing the thing fast will increase the chances there are such slip-ups. In court, you may want to point out that you were caught speeding because stress, worry and lack of traffic made you less vigilant of your speedo despite forcing yourself to keep a check on it — deliberate speeding would not have made a significant difference on travel time if you live only a couple of minutes from your destination (and besides, you were transporting a wounded person ;) )
     
  8. guzzimark

    guzzimark Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Jon, i've got the NOLO or ROLO book on fighting tickets, you can have it. It's quite informative on how to fight your tickets. I was set to fight mine, but my mother took sick the weekend before the case was to go to court and i had to fly back to London. I called the courts and asked for a change of date and was told the only way to change the date was to go in front of the judge, which obviously i couldn't do being out of the country. I just had to roll over and take it.
    I'm working in the valley all this week and next, using the 118 back forth to Ventura. I could drop it off or shoot me your address and i'll mail it to you, no biggy either way.
    Mark
     
  9. Rafael

    Rafael GT Reference

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    Jon,

    Sorry to hear about Brenda's fall. Hope she gets better soon. And good luck on the ticket fight.
     

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