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Could Your Ticket Be Part of a Traffic Ticket Quota System?

Law enforcement officers with the California Highway Patrol and other agencies do not like the idea of being perceived as having a quota. But many of them do concede that there is more pressure to write tickets and create a paper trail of their time rather than helping motorists and investigating more serious traffic crimes than a speeding ticket.

In KernCounty there are officers who write up more than 200 tickets a month on a consistent basis. Places like Highway 58 near Mojave, Highway 5 near Lebec or Fort Tejon (under the jurisdiction of the Lamont Court), and the new four lane stretch of the Highway 46 going out to Paso Robles (under the jurisdiction of the Shafter Court) are good places to catch speeder for officers under pressure to write more tickets.

Outside of California, this problem is oftentimes very direct. One police officer in Alabama was recently fired for speaking out against ticket and arrest quotas. He perceived the quotas as bullying and said that officers were "required" to make 100 contacts every month in the form of tickets, arrests, field interviews, and warnings. In his small town of 50,000, that equated to 72,000 "contacts" per year.

The California Highway Patrol denies having a quota system and I believe them. But there are more subtle ways to pressure officers to write more tickets. Most officers prefer to be left to their own devices to determine whether someone they pulled over should receive a ticket. But increased pressure from Sacramento, courts, and some supervisors to write more tickets can come in many different forms.

Challenging the merits of a traffic ticket is possible and winnable, but you need an experienced traffic ticket attorney to help..