Everyone who has been pulled over in California must know their rights.
You need to know how the law enforcement officers (LEO) concluded that
you were speeding. If a radar gun was used, was it calibrated properly
and was the LEO trained on the use of the device?
What's the Difference Between Radar & Lidar
Radar uses a radio frequency (RF) signal to determine how fast you are
going, but Lidar uses a laser to come to the same determination. Police
use radar most often to determine a driver’s speed; however, you
would be shocked to find out that many radar guns are not calibrated properly,
or that many of the law enforcement officers (LEO) are not trained to
use them properly, which is required according to CA law.
When an LEO gives you a ticket based on their opinion of your speed (without
radar or lidar), most judges will allow their “eyeball” judgment
depending on the number of years’ experience of the LEO. If the
LEO has been on patrol for a lot of years vs a rookie with only a year
or two on patrol, the judge is more liable to agree with the LEO’s
assessment of your speed with or without a radar gun.
However, you should always consult a traffic ticket attorney before deciding
to fight a ticket. Make sure you ask a Traffic Ticket Attorney, not just
any lawyer, there’s a huge difference between a traffic attorney
and a family court lawyer. As much difference as there is between the
rookie and the 8-10-year veteran patrol officer, maybe more. Traffic attorneys
are in court four or five times a week and hear all the arguments. They
know the LEOs and the judge and whereas they won’t get any unlawful
favors (or even ask for one) from either, they know what arguments or
justifications work and which do not.
Speed Traps in CA
Today’s speed traps a much more sophisticated than the
Dukes of Hazzard or Burt Reynolds cross-country race,
The Cannonball Run. In that TV series, as well as in the movie, LEOs hide behind the reduced
speed limit sign and entrap the speeder before they have time to slow
down. In nearly every instance, the LEO used a radar gun. Whereas that
method is probably still used in some places, more cultivated methods
are used nowadays.
Instead of hiding, LEO marks a spot on the freeway and another location
further on the same road and measures how long it takes a vehicle to go
from the first spot to the second location, typically using a push-button
timer or aerial surveillance. Without enlisting a pace car as a second
measure because of the human error element and the chance of mistaken
identity most of these tickets will be dismissed. From the air, all the
spotter can determine is the color of the car, not the plate number, make
or model. Therefore, it is necessary to have an LEO pacing the car or
another LEO with a radar gun so there are two methods of determining speed
What is Pacing?
Pacing is a method LEOs use to determine your speed by following you for
a certain distance and using their speedometer to approximate how fast
you are going. However, when an LEO paces you and determines that you
were speeding according to CVC
22350, just stating that you were going too fast for conditions may not be enough.
The LEO must explain how your speed put other’s lives or property
in danger or that it was unreasonable. In the case of People v. Behjat,
the court determined that “…substantial evidence from which a fact finder could conclude either
that they drove at a speed that endangered people or property or that
they drove at a speed that was unreasonable for the driving conditions.” If you were driving less than the posted speed limit, your speeding ticket
was based on the LEO’s judgment that it was too fast for road conditions.
Therefore, you or your traffic ticket attorney must convince the judge
in traffic court that your speed was not unreasonable or that the LEO
did not have a proper vantage point to determine your speed with any amount
of certainty without a radar gun or lidar device.
Hire a Local Inyo County Court Lawyer
Call Bigger & Harman if you have received a ticket based on a law enforcement
officer’s (LEO) assumption of guilt but no clear proof. Or, send
them an email with the details of your situation and they will respond
Bigger & Harman will help you to resolve traffic tickets in Central
Valley and Southern CA traffic courts. They serve clients in Inyo, Tulare,
Kings, Kern, Fresno, and others. Bigger & Harman has a reputation
as a tough traffic ticket defense team in Independence, Mammoth, Bridgeport,
Fresno, and in some SoCal County courtrooms in Paso Robles, SLO, Barstow,
LA and others. For a confidential and convenient appointment set up, use
contact form. See what your neighbors and friends are saying about the Bigger &
Harman defense team on
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.