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Posted: 3/11/2006 2:07:15 PM EDT
It's a little bit of a story, but basically I was trying to avoid having a truck sideswipe me (it was swerving around in it's lane, and I was unsure if it was going to change to the right line where I was) by driving about 1/4 in the shoulder and getting on the gas to pass the truck (there was traffic behind me). During this incident, the speed limit changed from 45 to 35, and I was traveling 54.

That was the situation, this is my question. If the cop was sitting in a 35mph zone (his car physically placed there), but read my speed at 54mph 602ft from his location, and I was in a 45mph zone at that distance from the cop, could I fight this ticket in court and win? He wrote that I was a 35mph zone, but I'm not sure that I was in a 35mph zone when he took my speed.

But I also want to make it clear that my speed was 54mph, in an effort to avoid an accident. The cop also said, when I mentioned that I was trying to avoid the truck, "Yea, I saw that." I remember this distinctly because I thought that perhaps if he saw the truck swerving into my lane, he would have seen reason in my actions and let it go. But nevertheless, he didn't.


What do you all think of this? Do you think I could fight this in court? If not, or my chances are slim, then I'll try to get this deferred as this is my first ticket.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:12:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Royicus:
It's a little bit of a story, but basically I was trying to avoid having a truck sideswipe me (it was swerving around in it's lane, and I was unsure if it was going to change to the right line where I was) by driving about 1/4 in the shoulder and getting on the gas to pass the truck (there was traffic behind me). During this incident, the speed limit changed from 45 to 35, and I was traveling 54.

That was the situation, this is my question. If the cop was sitting in a 35mph zone (his car physically placed there), but read my speed at 54mph 602ft from his location, and I was in a 45mph zone at that distance from the cop, could I fight this ticket in court and win? He wrote that I was a 35mph zone, but I'm not sure that I was in a 35mph zone when he took my speed.

What do you all think of this? Do you think I could fight this in court? If not, or my chances are slim, then I'll try to get this deferred as this is my first ticket.





My 2 cents would be this, you could have slowed down as easy as you accelerated.

Guilty

Pay the fine


Or

You could plea not-guilty, and hope that the local revenue generater does not show for court



Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:21:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:21:58 PM EDT
I could have slowed down. But I chose not to because when I quickly glanced in my rear view, I saw traffic behind me. Since the area right in front of me was clear, I chose to go that route. I'd get a speeding ticket over getting in an accident any day.

That still isn't my question though. I'm asking is this.

If my speed was shown as 54 and the cop wrote that I was in a 35mph zone but I was in a 45mph zone at the time when he took my speed, is the ticket still valid? I can go back and measure since I know where the cop was an he wrote that he measured my speed 602ft away using lidar. I think that 602ft away from where the cop was is still a 45mph zone.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:25:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Take it to court.

About a week before the court date, call the courthouse and ask for a reschedule.

Most likely, the cop won't show up for a rescheduled appearance. If the laws in your state are
like those in FL, that means you're off the hook...as long as YOU show up.

If you do lose, worst case is you pay the ticket and a few extra bucks for court costs.
If you win, you saved the ticket money and license point assessments.

It's a decent gamble.

CJ



I'd rather not gamble like that if I can just get the ticket deferred. I rarely ever speed (usually traveling around 3mph over speed limit), so I'm fairly confident that I won't get another ticket within a year.

But I'm still wondering if the cop writes the wrong speed zone on the ticket, is that ticket still valid? If the ticket isn't valid, I'll fight this in court and I know I can provide overwhelming evidence of this. If the ticket would still hold in court, then I'll try to get it deferred. I don't really want to fight the ticket just for the sake of fighting it when i'm pretty sure I can get it deferred. In my opinion, the changes of getting deferred are much greater than the chances of challenging the ticket and winning.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:27:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Royicus:
I could have slowed down. But I chose not to because when I quickly glanced in my rear view, I saw traffic behind me. Since the area right in front of me was clear, I chose to go that route. I'd get a speeding ticket over getting in an accident any day.

That still isn't my question though. I'm asking is this.

If my speed was shown as 54 and the cop wrote that I was in a 35mph zone but I was in a 45mph zone at the time when he took my speed, is the ticket still valid? I can go back and measure since I know where the cop was an he wrote that he measured my speed 602ft away using lidar. I think that 602ft away from where the cop was is still a 45mph zone.




How do you plan to prove where the cop was sitting?
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 2:41:21 PM EDT
Hmm. Interesting question. I suppose I could ask the cop. If he didn't cooperate, then I guess I couldn't exactly prove it. In court, if I asked him, he'd have to tell the truth yes? I think it is reasonable to assume that cops know where they typically park to catch speeders.

On top of this, I was thinking about setting up a kind of a "zone" where the cop could have been. I think the distance maybe something like 400ft away from the cop where it turned into a 35mph zone, so I think 600ft from him is well out of the 35mph speed zone. I'll have to go back and measure to be sure though. So then I could say that the cop was around this spot, plus or minus 50 feet on each side. If he agreed, then even at the furthest point out, at the time where he measured my speed, I still would have been in the 45mph zone.

But nobody has answered my question yet. If an officer writes the wrong speed zone on the ticket, 54/35 and when he took my speed I was still in a 45mph zone, is the ticket still valid?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 8:04:23 PM EDT
No distance measurement (estimate) listed on the radar portion of the citation??

The court delay may work in some places, but an officer failing to show is usually a punishable offense. A few guys don't care and will take the risk, but most show as they are getting paid to go.

Either way, the offense is speeding and you were in violation of it regardless if it was 35 or 45. The difference may just be the court assessed fine.

Traffic school is always an option too.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 11:51:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RDP:
No distance measurement (estimate) listed on the radar portion of the citation??

Either way, the offense is speeding and you were in violation of it regardless if it was 35 or 45. The difference may just be the court assessed fine.



There is a distance measurement on the ticket, 602ft using lidar. That last bit is my question. Is the ticket still valid or not? *shrugs* I can't seem to get a straight answer on this at the various places I've asked, so I'm going to head to the law library on campus and see if anybody there knows. If not, I'll just head to a mitigation hearing and do my best.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 12:10:45 PM EDT
The judge is liable to just reduce the fine based on being in a 45 zone (you were still speeding) and be done with all your arguments.
He is very unlikely to dismiss the ticket.
The same thing often happens if you bring in a speedometer calibration and show you speedometer was off. Unless it completely eliminates the speeding, all you get is a reduced fine.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:40:48 PM EDT
OK, lidar is laser, not radar. The gun provides a distance for the officer. When we had them for a short time, I always wrote down my distance and speed estimates also.

If you want, go back to where the officer was and use a laser range finder to find out how far away the distance measurement really was. If you are right, take some pics of the area and bring it to court.

Like I said before, you aren't arguing the actual violation, just what the court fines and DMV classification will be.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 8:13:19 PM EDT
Ok, thanks for the information folks. I don't think I'm going to contes the ticket. I'd rather get a mitigation hearing and get the ticket deferred. That way it won't go on my record (if i don't get another ticket for a year).

Once again, thank you for your assistance. Guess I should mail this thing in with "Mitigation Hearing" checked on the back.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 8:16:46 PM EDT
if you do contest it, at least here in NC, if you plead for 9 over it won't make your insurance go up. a lot of times you can get the da to drop it to that and just pay court costs. its worth a shot
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 8:36:28 PM EDT
with my Exsperience with LEO you are never gonna convince a judge that sits and deals with shit allday long that you are not guilty so as was said earlier:
wait awhileand about a week before call and say you need another date, make sure to have a good reason in place like you have a relative multiple states away that is ill or you have a funeral to go to, some states will say be here or recieve a warrent for your arrest, unless you have a good reason, aALSO MAKE SURE YOU DO HAVE ANOTHER DATE AND MAKE SURE TO CONFIRM IT!

most of the time a LEO might not have the ambition to pursue the case, and if he doesnt show you are automaticaly deemed not guilty,

but if you do go to court usualy the smartest thing to do with something like that is not contest usualy you wont win you cant prove anything and it becomes your word against a LEO not to mention if you are found not guilty the state doesnt make any money so it doesnt happen much, and besides if you are percieved as honest the judge might have some simpathy when he shouts a price tag on the incident

good luck
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:14:57 PM EDT
Is there not some allowance for going over the speed limit while passing? If we are all restricted to the speed limit while passing it would decrease public safety.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 12:43:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/30/2006 4:45:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Royicus:
Ok, thanks for the information folks. I don't think I'm going to contes the ticket. I'd rather get a mitigation hearing and get the ticket deferred. That way it won't go on my record (if i don't get another ticket for a year).

Once again, thank you for your assistance. Guess I should mail this thing in with "Mitigation Hearing" checked on the back.



That sounds like a great idea. Also, they'll usually cut you some kind of break just for showing up.
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