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Should I Fight My Speeding Ticket or Not?

Everyone wants to know if it is worth it to fight a speeding ticket, right? Not really, most Californians simply go to the court clerk and pay the fine or pay online without ever even looking up what the violation was or what the state had to prove to find them guilty of the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) for which they have been charged. Yes, some have fought their tickets and many have even been successful. If you know you were wrong and were caught speeding, one to 25 mph over the speed limit, traffic school could be a good option for you. The court clerk can authorize traffic school for up to 25 mph over. After attendance, you won’t get points on your license, so you will maintain your “good driver’s discount” on your insurance if you are a class C driver. But check with a traffic lawyer first, in case this is a good court to get a dismissal or avoid using your traffic school. Remember, you only get one traffic school every 18 months and the next case might be more difficult to fight.

However, if you failed to show up for court on or before your date of appearance, there is most likely a bench warrant for you due to that failure to appear (FTA). Or, is the case with infractions, a collection agency will be notified and DMV will suspend your license. You should call Bigger & Harman immediately and let them help you fix your FTA. You are not eligible for traffic school with a failure to appear.

However, if you feel that you were entrapped or the speeding ticket you received was wrong, then you should fight your ticket and you can win.

Are Police Radar Guns Accurate?

Radar guns when calibrated properly and when the user is trained on its use are very accurate. These guns send and receive a radio signal to determine your speed. When the user points (it could be in a fixed location as well) the gun at your vehicle it sends a signal towards your car, and then your car reflects the signal back, which determines how fast your vehicle is going.

These guns are so sensitive that they need to be calibrated regularly. Depending on when the gun was last calibrated, or if the LE was not trained on its use, it could help you win your speeding ticket case. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) requires that radar equipment used by LE must have been calibrated and certified by an independent calibration facility within the last three years.

When you hire a traffic ticket attorney, they can subpoena the radar equipment records and training records for the LE. Never stand on the side of the road and demand to see the calibration records. That will likely not end well for you. Just sign the ticket, which is your pledge to show up in court, not an admission of guilt, and then pay your fine or hire an attorney.

Entrapment Under California Law

CVC 40802 describes a “speed trap” as a section of highway that has been "marked, designated, or otherwise determined" so that an LE can determine how long it took you to go through that distance to estimate your speed, or a section of highway with a speed limit that is not justified by a recent (normally, within five years but there may be exceptions) traffic safety survey prior to you receiving a speeding ticket.

Some believe that if an LE officer was not clearly visible to the drivers on the highway, this is entrapment. However, there is nothing in the CVC which states such. It does, however, state that an “airplane surveillance” may not be used as the sole justification for a speeding ticket, another LE in a vehicle must pace the vehicle because the plane would have to use a marked or designated section once again, which violates CVC 40802.

Should I Fight My Speeding Ticket?

To fight your speeding ticket, you will need to enter a plea of not guilty at your arraignment, and then you will be given a new court date. If on that date of trial, the LE does not show up, your case will likely be dismissed because you have a right to face your accuser.

Another option is authorized under CVC 40902, Trial by Written Declaration (TBD). With this option, you also need to post bail in the amount of the maximum fine, but you will submit a Form TR-205, which has a space entitled, Declaration of Facts where you will write down exactly what happened and you can submit evidence to support your claim, such as:

· Diagrams

· Photos

· Receipts for repairs

· statements

· Insurance papers

· Registration papers

Once you submit your TBD through the court clerk or by mail (must be at least five days prior to your court date) with the check or money order for the bail, you will need to wait 60 to 90 days for a court decision. If you are found not guilty, your bail will be returned to you, though it may be in a separate envelope. If you are found guilty, you can ask for a Trial de Novo, or a new trial. However, any special conditions, such as traffic school or reduced fines will be wiped out. In a new trail, everything is new. Therefore, you should consult an attorney before requesting a new trial.

FREE, No Obligation Initial Consultation

If you feel you were wrongly given a speeding ticket, then speak to a traffic ticket attorney. Bigger & Harman offer a free consultation to evaluate your case.

Finally, not all speeding tickets are “created equal” because speeding tickets greater than 25 mph over cannot be rinsed away by a court clerk authorizing traffic school. Therefore, a judge must authorize traffic school for tickets of 26 mph over. In addition, speeding over 100 mph cannot use traffic school, period. Additionally, speeding over 100 mph has a 30-day suspension at the discretion of the judge.

Always consult a traffic ticket attorney when you have been ticketed for speeding 25 or over, or when there are special circumstances, such as an FTA.

Keep your eyes on your speedometer and avoid speeding tickets. Hopefully, then you will not need Bigger & Harman, but if you do remember 661-349-9300. Or, send an email, attorney@markbigger.com Bigger & Harman can give you the legal advice you need to fight and win or get your fine reduced, even if you use a TBD. Judges want to hear the legal justification to dismiss your case, so give it to them. They only practice traffic law. They are highly-respected by traffic court staff in south-central CA, including Mono, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, and other counties.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.