Even the most careful California drivers can find themselves facing a speeding ticket charge. Although many people may think that fighting a speeding ticket is futile the reality is that speeding tickets can often be successfully disputed by following a few simple steps.
If you are issued a speeding ticket and you did not think you were driving over the legally posted speed limit, it is important to try and recall exactly what you said to the police officer. Admitting to speeding can seriously weaken a speeding ticket defense.
If you decide to dispute the speeding charge but can’t remember what you said, you may ask for a copy of the officer’s notes. This can be done by filing a request for discovery. Drivers are legally entitled to this discovery, so if it is not received within a few weeks, follow up on the request. Additionally, read and review California’s traffic laws, which can be found online at the California Department of Motor Vehicle website.
Speed detection technology
The next step is to learn what technology was used to gauge your speed. A police officer may simply follow a driver for a while and measure the driver’s speed against his own odometer. In this case, it can be argued that the officer was too far behind the car or didn’t follow the car for a long enough time to get an accurate speed reading.
Police officers can also use laser or radar technology to measure a driver’s speed. There are various arguments that can be made pointing out the weaknesses with these technologies. The weather could affect the accuracy of readings, they may have targeted the wrong vehicle or the technology itself may have not been working properly that day. The officer’s unfamiliarity with the technology could also be a potential argument.
Finally, if someone was with you when you received the speeding ticket, they may act as a witness for you. They may testify that they were with you, and you were not speeding. This is a simple, yet effective, way to potentially get a speeding ticket dismissed.
A hearing on your speeding ticket will be scheduled. Make sure to arrive in court early and be prepared. Present evidence clearly and have any witnesses available. Remember that you are not required to testify, which can harm your case, particularly if you have trouble speaking in public.
San Joaquin Valley residents who have received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation may find it helpful to speak with an attorney who can provide advice, answer questions and potential representation at a hearing.