Interstate 5 or I-5 runs from Canada to Mexico and is a favorite route for many commercial vehicles, so it is crowded. On any given day, you can see the many California Highway Patrol (CHPs) law enforcement officers on patrol with their radar guns. When you get a speeding ticket on I-5 or anywhere in the state of California, your best defense for dismissal is to attack the method of determining your speed, the radar gun or what is known as “pacing.” Fighting an I-5 ticket may be entirely different than fighting a ticket on Highway 99 or 101. In fact, the procedures to fight any two tickets could be entirely different depending on where you received the ticket, what type of vehicle was involved, was the police officer stationary or moving, or if a speed trap was used. One procedure used to fight a speeding ticket is a “Trial by Written Declaration.”
Trial by Written Declaration
A speeding ticket is the most common form of law enforcement moving violation ticket in any state in the USA. And, the most common defense used by people with speeding tickets is, “I was not doing 85, I was only going 75,” or “everyone was doing 80 and I was the only car pulled over.” Those are not a good defense, as in both cases you admitted you were guilty. This is what is known as self-incrimination. What was it your mother always asked, “If everyone else jumped off a cliff...” the judge will politely interrupt you and say, pay the fine at the cashier’s window.
Instead of giving the judge ammunition for your speeding ticket suicide weapon, why don’t you send us a scanned copy of your ticket and the details surrounding the event by email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will develop your defense. If a written declaration is proper for your circumstances, we will prepare the documents for your defense, send them to you for signature, and you will not have to go to court. The written declaration is your defense and trial. You sign the documents and send them to the court by certified or registered mail along with your check for bail and that’s it, you are done until the court responds. Sometime within 30 to 90 days depending on how busy the court is they will look at your documents and decide on your speeding ticket.
The Court Ruling
Just as if you went to court, the ruling will be guilty or not guilty. If it is not guilty, the court clerk will refund your bond and you may go on about your business. The case is dismissed with no points, no increased insurance premiums, and your good driving discount with your insurance company is intact. If, however, the court rules guilty, you still have choices.
You could consider the episode over, fold your tent and move on, or you could attend traffic school if you are eligible, which is simple, DMV even has a list of inexpensive online choices, where you will not even have to leave the comfort of your home. If you have attended traffic court within the last 18 months or were driving a commercial vehicle you are not eligible.
Or, you could pull a John Paul Jones and say, “I have not yet begun to fight!” This is where you ask for a new trial.
Trial De Novo
A Trial de Novo is a new trial just as if the written declaration never happened. Be careful to act quickly with this choice because you only have 20 days to render your decision. In this trial, you will need to appear in court with or without representation. The smart choice is with representation. Keep in mind that getting this speeding ticket dismissed could save you around $500 in ticket fines, plus higher insurance premiums, and points on your license.
There are other processes and procedures that we will be doing in the background. There are many DMV procedures and technicalities that we as practicing traffic ticket defense attorneys are privy to that many other lawyers are not. We know the judges in many of the court in Kern, Tulare, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties and have a good reputation with them, we know many of the clerks, police officers, and DMV officials. We are not bragging, just telling you the facts so you can make an informed decision, as we are sure you know there are other lawyers out there. But, not all strictly practice traffic ticket defense as vigorously as we do.
We are Bigger & Harman, give us a call, 661-349-9300 before you decide what your next course of action will be with your speeding ticket.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.