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California Pacing Ticket, CVC 22350
My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: CA
In February I was issued a ticket for speeding. I am 50 years old and have received 3 tickets (one in the 1980's, one in Sept 2007 which was dismissed because I attended driving school, and this one in Feb 2008). I cannot attend driving school to get this out of the way and am trying to fight it. I do not feel that I was driving unsafely and am sure I was not going the speed the officer says I was but I know that this will be his word against mine and he will always win. I did the written declaration to argue this and lost that.
. He used pacing and I requested a copy of the Engineering & Traffic Survey from the CHP. They told me that they do not have to give it to me because a radar was not used. Is this true? It seems to me that this could be helpful to argue that I was indeed driving safely. Could this be a strong enough arguement for dismissal that the CHP refused discovery?
. On a website (I think it was called TIPMARA) I found a page that had the CHP- MOTOR TRANSPORT MANUAL. It says that the CHP is supposed to calibrate their speedometers every 90 days. This one was calibrated about 4 months before my ticket. Could this be an argument to get the ticket dismissed? Should I ask for the next calibration done after my ticket? If it was out of calibration for my ticket, the before reading that I was given will not show it. Do they need to show original documents at court? They sent a photocopy which could be altered.
. When I was looking in the glove box for my registration and insurance the officer saw the ticket from September 2007. He demanded to see it and then was quite unpleasant in mocking me. He said that he would just "copy it" and took it back to his car. I never did show registration and insurance. Could this somehow be used to argue for dismissal? In his written declaration he claims that after I showed him my insurance and registration I just handed him the ticket which is a ridiculous lie. I never got out the documents. Everything stopped and his demeanor changed when he saw the old ticket.
Can anyone think of any strategy in fightin this? I am very upset by how this officer treated me and do not feel that I am an unsafe driver. My court date is August 27, 2008
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- 9 Comments
- Don't worry, I think we can help.
First, I am assuming that there was a Prima Facie speed limit posted (i.e. one that is below the maximum statewide speed limits, which are 55 on a two lane road and 65 on a 4 lane road).
I am interested to hear about the CHP refusing to provide you a copy of the speed survey. How did you ask for it? Did you do it verbally or do you have a written discovery request that you served on the CHP and the court?
Anyway, it is obvious that the CHP is a bit arrogant in this matter and they will likely come to court without a speed survey. You need to be familiar with a few things. First, VC40803(b):
This says that where there is radar or any other electronic device which measures the speed of moving objects, the burden is on the prosecution to show that a speed trap did not exist.Quote: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
speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section
Although radar wasn't used, the cop's speedometer is definitely an electronic device used to measure speed of a moving object.
A retort from the cop may be that he visually estimated your speed, however, any use of an electronic device seals the deal for a speed trap defense.
Next, you should be familiar with VC40802 and what constitutes a speed trap. If he does actually show up with the survey, you need to be able to interpret it. Most surveys I have seen (actually, all of them) do NOT justify the speed limits posted.
If he does have the speed survey, he must also have the calibration documents for his speedometer. You can raise the issue that it wasn't calibrated within the previous 90 days. However, you should examine the documents. If they are not the originals, or a certified true copy of the original, then they are not admissable in court and you can object to them being used. You should also object to any testimony from the officer concerning these documents. Without those documents, no conviction can be secured.#1; Sun, 03 Aug 2008 16:03:00 GMT
Keep in mind that 22350 is the easiest of all tickets to beat. Let's figure out this speedometer thing first, then we can look at other defenses.#2; Mon, 04 Aug 2008 19:16:00 GMT
- I am not sure exactly what you mean in your last reply. I found a 2005 police crown victoria for sale on ebay that has a picture of the instrument panel
I don't know if this link will work but the item number is there.
I am trying to figure out if there is an electronic component to this so i can say the CHP officer used an electronic device. I am just not sure if it will work. Have you know anyone that has used this? Did it work in traffic court?
I am going to pusue any defense I can. I would like to have multiple arguments when I go in on the 27th. I'll try them all and see what works.
You say that this is one of the easiest violations to beat. How? It seems that the tickets are the ones where the officer doesn't show up but I can't count on that. Thanks for your help.#3; Wed, 06 Aug 2008 22:06:00 GMT
- this.#4; Mon, 04 Aug 2008 19:14:00 GMT
- I just contacted found out that the 2005 Ford Crown Victoria that the CHP officer was driving has a mechanical speedometer. The non-police version that Ford sells has an electronic one. So I guess this is how the CHP and police get around using electronic devices for speeding tickets.
What other strategies might work?#5; Mon, 04 Aug 2008 18:26:00 GMT
- Well... I can't tell that it is an entirely mechanical system or if there are electronic components. However, I would make the arguments. I would simply make reference to 40803. If the cop says it is not a requirement because he speedometer is mechanical, then you could ask if he has evidence to support that. You can claim that since it is a prosecutorial burden, they have the obligation to show that it is not applicable to 40802 (speed trap laws).
Next defense: keep in mind, you were not charged with exceeding a speed limit. You were chaged with driving at a speed that presented danger to persons or property. Take a look at the list of suggested questions to ask the cop here.#6; Thu, 07 Aug 2008 17:57:00 GMT
- I got the information that the speedometer was "mechanical" from the Ford dealer in my area. They looked up in the service manual and for the 2005 Ford Crown Victoria police version (Interceptor) they say the speedometer is "mechanical". I really don't know the difference but I have requested the service manual from my library. When it comes in I'll continue to pursue this but I am not feeling very hopeful.#7; Tue, 05 Aug 2008 19:00:00 GMT
- Thank you EWYLTJ for responding,
Yes there was a Prima Facie speed limit posted. It was 50MPH and my ticket states I was driving 68MPH. The highway is 4 lanes (2 in each direction) The officer's side of the ticket says that traffic was light, road was dry, sky was cloudy.
I sent an "Informal Discovery Request" via certified mail to the CHP using the form in the NOLO book. The CHP responded with the following: the back side of the ticket with the oficer's notes(very hard to decipher), a xerox copy of the calibration certificate (not certified), and a cover letter that says "Your speed was determined by pacing. Therefore, no traffic engineering survey is required."
You are correct in that the cHP is very arrogant. I think they bring in revenue for the county so they almost always get their way.
In the meantime, I am trying to get a copy of the survey for my own reference from CALTRANS so I can study it before the trial. I'll try to figure out if this section of Highway 17 is a speed trap.
I did not know that a speedometer is an electronic device. It seems more mechanical to me. The speedometer cerificate says he was driving a 2005 Ford model CV. Are you sure that this is an electronic device? Would I have to prove it is electronic to a judge?
On the officer's written declaration he only checked the box that says pacong. The box next to visual estimation is blank so I hope he would not get away with the retort you describe.
When I object in court (for example if he does not have the original or certified copy of the speedometer calibration) do I need to cite any law or case to say that they are not admissable in court. I went to see what traffic court looks like in my county and the judge seemed to actually coach the officer's not the defendants. My ticket is in a neighboring county but I feel that I will need to know how to state these things in court. Also, I found out that this county does not have a court reporter for traffic court. They say that defendants have to pay for one if they want it done. Is this important? It seems to me that anything can happen and there will be no proof of it.
Thanks again for your response.#8; Sun, 03 Aug 2008 21:06:00 GMT
- So... the dealer says that "mechanical" means that even the odometer is of the type that rolls numbers vice an LED odometer?#9; Wed, 06 Aug 2008 17:40:00 GMT