There are several things you should and should not do when you are stopped by a law enforcement officer (LEO) for a speeding ticket.
Actions You Should Take When Pulled Over
Traffic stops are serious and can be deadly when you make the wrong choices. Trying to avoid a law enforcement stop is a misdemeanor crime; therefore, it is best to take your speeding ticket or other traffic ticket and hire a traffic attorney to deal with it. Even when you have a warrant for another crime, it is safer to submit to the arrest.
So, when the LEO attempts to pull you over, put on your right blinker to show the officer you have seen him and pull over to the right as quickly and safely as possible. Pull your vehicle as far off the road as possible to make it safer for the LEO.
Do not get out of your vehicle unless told to do so. Roll down your window and place your hands on the steering wheel where the LEO can see them and follow their instructions. Do not reach for the glove compartment or your wallet to get your paperwork until the LEO asks for them. It could be the officer only wanted to tell you about a vehicle defect such as an inoperative taillight or something.
You might consider being stopped as humiliating or inconvenient, but for the LEO, it often means their life is on the line, so putting them at ease usually makes the stop less painful for everyone.
When You Get a Speeding Ticket, Never Admit Guilt
When the LEO pulls you over, after they ask to see your license, registration, and insurance, they typically ask, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or something along that line. Do you know why they ask you that? Typically, the LEO is wearing a body camera. When you admit guilt by saying something like, “I may have been going a little over the speed limit, but I was just keeping up with traffic.” Or “I’m sorry, officer, I am a little late for work, and I didn’t notice I was going over the speed limit.”
If you decide to challenge the speeding ticket because you already have three NOTS points on two previous tickets, and are facing suspension, you take some of the arguments out of the traffic attorneys arsenal. If you have already admitted guilt, it is difficult to say, “Your honor, my client is not guilty.” However, an experienced traffic attorney can still argue that your speed was “reasonable or prudent,” which is part of California's basic speed law of California if the charge is Vehicle Code 22350.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22350, Speed Laws, cautions drivers, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent…” The code goes on to state some of the conditions that could affect what speed is reasonable or prudent, such as visibility, road width, weather, and others. Still, these are all settings a traffic attorney can point out to the traffic court judge to introduce “reasonable doubt” as to whether your speed was prudent.
In any court in California, reasonable doubt is the standard, which the state bears the burden of proof to prove. The LEO must show the court that your speeding ticket was warranted because you endangered people or property based on the conditions. The code also states your speed must not “endanger the safety of persons or property.”
Therefore, on a clear day with light traffic on I-5, your speed of 10, 15, or even 20 mph over the limit does not necessarily endanger people’s safety. That is up to the judge to decide, and an experienced speeding ticket attorney can raise a reasonable doubt based on the conditions.
Traffic Attorneys Who Handle Your Speeding Ticket in Kings County, CA
When you get a speeding ticket in Kings county and have a Hanford Traffic Court date, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are experienced and knowledgeable traffic attorneys. We have favorably resolved hundreds of speeding tickets for Kings county drivers. Give us a call, and let’s discuss your circumstances. Although speeding tickets do not always require an attorney to resolve, the only way to know when hiring an attorney is necessary is to give us the details. We will provide a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by asking.
The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdfCVC Section 22350, Speed Laws