SPEEDING TICKET ATTORNEY AND SOME BASICS WHEN GETTING A SPEEDING TICKET:

First rule of thumb is to make the stop as unmemorable as possible.  Remember, contrary to public opinion, you will not talk yourself out of a ticket! The first question the Officer will ask is, "do you know why I stopped you". The answer should always be, no sir but here is my registration, proof of insurance and valid California Driver's License.  You do not need to disclosed anything else during the stop.  If the Officer continues to ask questions, respectfully respond that you do not wish to talk unless you are required (never required, even when under arrest - right to remain silent).  This will accomplish the goal of making the stop as unmemorable as possible.  

Next, sign the citation and be quietly on your way.  The time to argue is not in the field, but in the Courtroom. 

You should know that any speeding violation carries the possibility of a CDL suspension.  The suspension may, or may not, be imposed based on many factors including: What jurisdiction you are in; where you got the speeding ticket; what speed was alleged; and how many priors you may have.  So do not go to court alone.  See our section below. 

THERE ARE MANY DEFENSES TO SPEED CASES:

Speed cases are great cases to defend because there are so many defenses available.  I say this with caution because while there are ample defenses available, it takes a skilled litigator to be able to use them effectively in a Courtroom.  Most lay people will not be able to present the arguments and raise the proper objections in an effective manner.  Some of the defenses that we use are: argue dismissals based on lack of a fair trial for lack of discovery; Legal attack on the Officer's claim of visual; legal attack on the machine used to determine the speed your were traveling (Lidar, Radar, Pace, Plane, Stopwatch); legal attack on the elements of the offense; legal attack on the lack of survey; legal attack on the validity of a traffic survey.  The list goes on and on, but again in order to use it successfully you must know your audience, the law and your constraints.

SPEEDING VIOLATION COURT PROCEDURE:

Clear By Date:

When issued a citation, a date will generally be issued regarding action on the citation.  The driver must either pay the fine, show up to court(depending on the severity of the infraction), request a court date or request a trial by decalaration.

Trial by Declaration:

The first procedural option for a speeding violation is a trial by declaration.  This option is always recommended as it will give the driver a free "bite at the apple."  This means that there is no risk at a trial by declaration because if the driver doesn't prevail, he/she can still request a court trial in person while still giving the driver a chance to win.  Additionally, trial by declaration forces the police officer to put his side of the case down in writing under penalty of perjury.  This can be used against him at a trial should he try and change what he originally stated and it gives the defense attorney advanced notice of what he will say at a trial.

Trial:

the second procedure is a court trial.  At a court trial on a traffic matter the driver has a right to a trial in person, by a commissioner(not a jury) within 45 days of the arraignment unless time is waived.  A Vehicle Code infraction is considered criminal in nature.  Therefore the standard of proof is a "reasonable doubt" standard, just as it would be in a misdemeanor or felony violation.  The officer's presence in person at the court trial is mandatory.  Absence good cause, his failure to show at the court trial is cause for dismissing the action.  The driver however, may be represented by counsel and never need to appear in court on a traffic citation. 

SPEEDING VIOLATIONS UNDER THE CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE:

22348 - speeding over 100:

(a) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 22351, a person shall not drive a vehicle upon a highway with a speed limit established pursuant to Section 22349 or 22356 at a speed greater than that speed limit. (b) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour is guilty of an infraction punishable, as follows:

(1) Upon a first conviction of a violation of this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). The court may also suspend the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle for a period not to exceed 30 days pursuant to Section 13200.5.

(2) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within three years of a prior offense resulting in a conviction of an offense under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750). The person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of

Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13355.

(3) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within five years of two or more prior offenses resulting in convictions of offenses under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person's privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13355. (c) A vehicle subject to Section 22406 shall be driven in a lane designated pursuant to Section 21655, or if a lane has not been so designated, in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, the driver shall use either the designated lane, the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, or the right-hand lane for traffic as permitted under this code. If, however, specific lane or lanes have not been designated on a divided highway having four or more clearly

marked lanes for traffic in one direction, a vehicle may also be driven in the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, unless otherwise prohibited under this code. This subdivision does not apply to a driver who is preparing for a left- or right-hand turn or who is in the process of entering into or exiting from a highway or to a driver who is required necessarily to drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his or her intended route.

22349 - speeding over state max:

(a) Except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour. (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:

(1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.

(2) Passing lanes may not be considered when determining the number of through lanes.(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that there be reasonable signing on affected two-lane, undivided highways described in subdivision (b) in continuing the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, including placing signs at county boundaries to the extent possible, and at other appropriate locations.

22350 - basic speed law:

No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

22351 - basic speed law presumptions:

(a) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway not in excess of the limits specified in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is lawful unless clearly proved to be in violation of the basic speed law.

(b) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway in excess of the prima facie speed limits in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is prima facie unlawful unless the defendant establishes by competent evidence that the speed in excess of said limits did not constitute a violation of the basic speed law at the time, place and under the conditions then existing.