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Paperwork Snafu Puts Speeding Tickets In Question

A San Diego lawyer may have found a deficiency that could be an effective defense to traffic tickets in Mono and Inyo Counties.

Coleen Cusack directs a traffic court clinic at California Western School of Law; in this program, law students serve as attorneys for indigent defendants in traffic court under the close supervision of a licensed attorney. Under state law, if a speed limit varies from the presumed limit, such as 65mph on a freeway, there must be an engineering study that supports the difference; the study must usually be no more than 10 years old. Ms. Cusack noticed that one man had literally rubber-stamped dozens of studies, and she suspects that the studies may be invalid. She is currently appealing a case that involved a 27-year-old traffic study, and associate engineer Ty Palusky has thus far refused to testify.

“If [city officials] want to collect money from [traffic tickets], then they have to do the work required,” she opined.

Defenses to Speeding Tickets

The underlying study is just one example of the technical defenses available in court. Another one is an error on the ticket that creates a variance between the proof and the pleadings. For example, in their haste, officers may record the wrong intersections on the tickets. So, if the officer says the motorist was speeding on Chester at 19th when the infraction actually took place on Chester at 22nd, the judge might be convinced to throw out the ticket.

In addition to technical defenses, there are legal defenses, like the 85th percentile rule. The posted speed limit must comport with the actual vehicle speed of 85 percent of the motorists. Many times, the engineering study in support of a lower speed limit is either out-of-date or does not even exist.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.