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Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

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  • Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

    So I just got back from court right now after receiving a guilty verdict. Basically what the ticket was for was that I was driving 85 mph in a 65 mph, and the cop was able to tell how fast I was going by pacing my car. Now, this is how the case pretty much went.

    Cop: "On date blah blah, I paced a car for x amount of distance and noticed that he was going at or above 80 mph. I pulled him over, took his drivers license, etc etc, and sent him on his way."

    Judge: "Do you have any questions for the officer?

    Me: "Yes your honor. Officer, when was the last time he had his speedometer calibrated?"

    Cop: "I'm not too sure, the technician does that"

    Me: "Can you produce the documentation that a certified technician calibrated your speedometer within a reasonable amount of time prior to my citation?"

    Cop: "I don't have the documentation with me"

    And at this point, I should've been able to motion for dismissal because he lacks the evidence to prove that I was going at the noted speed.

    However, the judge decides to butt in and says this.

    Judge: "You may not ask questions regarding his speedometer and only his experience"

    Me: "Your honor, with all due respect, I believe that the calibration and maintenance of the pace car's speedometer is a very important factor in this case. If the speedometer was malfunctioning or having technical problems, it would not be able to pace the speed at which I was going with accuracy."

    Judge: "Officer w/e, how many years have you been a highway patrol?"

    Officer: "About two years"

    Judge: "So I can assume that you have been thousands of cars?"

    Officer: "Yes, I believe that I am capable of doing that"

    Me: "Your honor, so I am not allowed to ask any questions related to the calibration and maintenance of the officer's car's speedometer?"

    Judge: "That is correct"

    And at that point, I attempted to give him case laws that I preemptively printed out where the court ruled in favor of the defendant due to laws regarding the calibration of speedometers, etc and the judge refused to look at them.

    Was I in the wrong? Or was this judge completely bias against me.. He did give me a reduced fine and a chance to go to traffic school, but I feel like this was such an unfair case. If a speedometer cannot be proven to have been in working order at the time that he paced my speed, how can he possibly to a legal degree of certainty say that I was going 85 mph?

    Prior to my case, he ruled not guilty on a case where some guy was using his phone while driving. He ruled it not guilty because
    1. The cop didn't check the phone after he pulled him over and
    2. The color of the phone he had at court was different from the one he had when he was pulled over (uhm.. he could've changed phones / changed the case..? It has been over a year since he received that citation..)
    3. He was on speaker phone (which means that at SOME POINT while he was driving, he had to have touched his phone, which in California is ILLEGAL)

    Is it possible to ask for a trial de novo?

    PS: This is in California.

  • #2
    Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

    I wish to inform you that you can file for Trial de nova. In this regard you have 20 days to request a new trial and file court form pursuant to CVC 40902-d. In this you may fill the form and mention in details as why you are dissatisfied with the decision of the judge in Form T-220. You can mention as to the fact that facts about calibration were not given due consideration and these factors were material to the case.

    AFF

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

      Thank you very much for the help.

      Do you think it would be wise to file for a trial de novo? I that if I file for a trial de novo, he will take the time to bring all the calibration documentation.

      This was a pivotal point in my defense, him not bringing the documentation of the calibration done on his speedometer by a certified technician.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

        The calibration on his speedometer was done by a certified technician. They call them vehicle manufacturers. It would be up to you to prove the vehicle had been modified.
        Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

        I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

        Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

          There is no requirement I'm familiar with that requires police to calibrate their speedometers.

          When was the last time you had YOURS checked? A few miles off could benefit your case.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

            Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
            The calibration on his speedometer was done by a certified technician. They call them vehicle manufacturers. It would be up to you to prove the vehicle had been modified.
            Yes, and he was unable to produce the documentation that the calibration was done by a certified technician during the time of the case.

            Originally posted by goddessoflubboc View Post
            There is no requirement I'm familiar with that requires police to calibrate their speedometers.

            When was the last time you had YOURS checked? A few miles off could benefit your case.
            In the case of State of Wisconsin vs. Hanson, they ruled in favor of the defendant and noted that a pace car's speedometer must be expertly calibrated.

            It varies from department to department, but police officers are actually required to have their speedometers calibrated, whether it be every 6 months, annually, etc. It just depends on the police department.

            Also, vehicle manufacturing regulations showing that vehicle manufacturers are allowed to make speedometers inaccurate by 12 to 16 miles per hour (+or- 6 to 8 miles per hour off of actual speed) and that is when they are brand new and when they are the most accurate. Speedometers can be inaccurate anywhere from 20% to 60%, depending on his used tires, used transmission, alternator outputting an unknown number of volts, etc.

            However, I've decided not to try for a trial de novo. I feel that he'll have the proper documentation ready in hand if I try for another case and end up as a big waste of time for me and the officer. Thanks for the information though, AFFA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

              All vehicles manufactured for sale in the US, must meet minimum standards of certification. You are not going to win this in traffic court. If you believe the manufacturer has built unacceptable error in their speedometers, I suggest you sue them for the price of your ticket.
              Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

              I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

              Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

                Originally posted by AFFA View Post
                I wish to inform you that you can file for Trial de nova. In this regard you have 20 days to request a new trial and file court form pursuant to CVC 40902-d. In this you may fill the form and mention in details as why you are dissatisfied with the decision of the judge in Form T-220. You can mention as to the fact that facts about calibration were not given due consideration and these factors were material to the case.

                AFF
                I too was just issued a guilty verdict today over a speeding ticket. What happened to Simmination is very similar to what happened to me. However, my case used radar, the evidence behind which I went after. The cop was able to prove and provide documentation for everything except for whether or not the tuning forks and radar device had been sent to a certified facility within the past few months. In the end however, my motion for dismissal based on this was ignored, and even though in my case the judge did sit there and read the case law I presented, he decided that it was irrelevant (though it was very relevant), and suddenly passed verdict that I was guilty. Even as I calmly continued to point out that evidence hadn't been presented to find me guilty. Even outright ignored me at that point, signing off on the ticket and handing it to the officer.

                While I strongly believe that they lack this evidence, no matter how long I give them to provide it, my question is how much sway would the judge's "unbiased" judgement would still hold if I did file for Trial de nova. Especially if there's a chance/liklihood of this happening again, by being trialed the same judge at that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

                  The burden in traffic court is lower than it is for a criminal citation. Case law, from another area, is irrelevant. You failed to seek due diligence by requesting calibration records via subpoena just as the first poster failed to subpoena calibration for the speedometer. The burden of proving your case falls to you, not the officer.
                  Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                  I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                  Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

                    Originally posted by Disagreeable View Post
                    The burden in traffic court is lower than it is for a criminal citation. Case law, from another area, is irrelevant. You failed to seek due diligence by requesting calibration records via subpoena just as the first poster failed to subpoena calibration for the speedometer. The burden of proving your case falls to you, not the officer.

                    If I file for Trial de nova, can I still subpoena the documents or lack thereof? If I do, is the judge allowed to pass judgement that ignores this evidence still? And what are the chances of me getting the same judge, since it was his judgement I was dissatisfied with to begin with?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Question about Guilty Verdict (Speeding Ticket)

                      I am not sure that Trial De Nova is available at this point. I am not from CA. If it is, you can certainly subpoena the calibration records to ascertain if the unit was within certification period and had been calibrated.
                      Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

                      I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

                      Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

                      Comment

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