Author Topic: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?  (Read 11156 times)

S.S.

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SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« on: March 23, 2015, 05:06:45 PM »
I was cited about 1 month ago for "failure to yield to a pedestrian", or 21950(a) of the CVC.

In my version of the events, the ped, failing to pay attention, walked into the crosswalk when I (in my vehicle), was already halfway through it; she was within a few feet of my car when she noticed I was there and stepped back, looking really pissed at me. 

It was a tiny one-lane road on-campus, and I was going 5 mph (according to the ticket).  Previously, I made a complete stop at the stop sign (and the officer said he saw me stop), but the girl, still walking parallel to my vehicle at the time was faced forward, as if she was going to continue straight instead of making a left into the crosswalk, so I proceeded to continue, when she suddenly made a left, stepping off the sidewalk and into the crosswalk.  A campus officer on a segway saw this and pulled me over.  The girl ran up to up him at that point and proceeded to (I assume) tell him I almost hit her, which is what he told me he saw.

I got the notice yesterday for the citation, and it will come out to about a soul-crushing $600 for both the fine and traffic school.  I am still in shock about how much this is going to cost and I am completely torn about whether I should just pony up and be done with this or try to get my ticket dismissed (FYI, I am not stressed financially and have the money to pay it- but it would really hurt).

I am a regular lurker on the MMM forums and know some of you are definitely wiser and more experienced than I, so I defer to your judgment.  So far, the few people who know about this think I don't have a shot and it would be a total waste of time, but what do you guys think (especially those living in San Diego county)? 

Reynolds531

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 05:14:04 PM »
Don't know about California, but I got a $400 ticket down to $80 just for a ten minute discussion. Find out what the process is.

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 05:17:42 PM »
I can only get my fine reduced if I plead guilty at my arraignment.  It is my understanding that if I plead guilty, I essentially waive my rights to contest the ticket with no guarantee the judge will reduce my fee.

Le Poisson

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 05:18:20 PM »
Fight it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Get it off your insurance if you can.

luigi49

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 05:20:01 PM »
I was cited about 1 month ago for "failure to yield to a pedestrian", or 21950(a) of the CVC.

In my version of the events, the ped, failing to pay attention, walked into the crosswalk when I (in my vehicle), was already halfway through it; she was within a few feet of my car when she noticed I was there and stepped back, looking really pissed at me. 

It was a tiny one-lane road on-campus, and I was going 5 mph (according to the ticket).  Previously, I made a complete stop at the stop sign (and the officer said he saw me stop), but the girl, still walking parallel to my vehicle at the time was faced forward, as if she was going to continue straight instead of making a left into the crosswalk, so I proceeded to continue, when she suddenly made a left, stepping off the sidewalk and into the crosswalk.  A campus officer on a segway saw this and pulled me over.  The girl ran up to up him at that point and proceeded to (I assume) tell him I almost hit her, which is what he told me he saw.

I got the notice yesterday for the citation, and it will come out to about a soul-crushing $600 for both the fine and traffic school.  I am still in shock about how much this is going to cost and I am completely torn about whether I should just pony up and be done with this or try to get my ticket dismissed (FYI, I am not stressed financially and have the money to pay it- but it would really hurt).

I am a regular lurker on the MMM forums and know some of you are definitely wiser and more experienced than I, so I defer to your judgment.  So far, the few people who know about this think I don't have a shot and it would be a total waste of time, but what do you guys think (especially those living in San Diego county)?

Very difficult to fight unless you have an attorney.  Don't fall for those attorney that charge $99 either to fix traffic tickets.  Its a scam.  You will maybe reduce the bill by $50 when using the $99 attorney and you will end up in traffic school which you can do without using the cheap attorney. 

 This type of ticket(traffic) is called unnecessary tax.  Its not personal but just a tax.  Its to fund your school and the state.    Was the girl pretty BTW?  Probably another reason why the police sided with her. 
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 05:22:19 PM by luigi49 »

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 05:28:39 PM »
Luigi, that was my feeling, but cost of a proper attorney will rival the cost of the fine, so either way I am spending hundreds.  Haha she was very average-looking, so I don't think this was a factor.

Prospector, I have been given the option to go to traffic school (for an extra $300, of course), to keep this off my insurance if I plead guilty.  It would take a lot up a lot of time for legal research to prepare and I could still lose.  What is lost is time and a little of my sanity, hence, my indecision about what the next step should be.

SDMathias

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 07:01:39 PM »
Now this is what I would do, but as a disclaimer this is only 100% true for Traffic Court in San Diego. First I would put in initially a not guilty plea, at which point they'll give you a new court date. They have to give you a new court date to subpoena the Officer to come in. Now you're entered into the ticket lottery, yes you'll have to show up to court but if the Officer doesn't show then it's an automatic not guilty and you don't pay anything. If the Officer does show up then they're going to ask if anyone wants to change their plea before going to trial. I would change my plea to guilty at this point, as if you go to trial you'll 99% chance lose and the judge feels little mercy when you wasted their time fighting it. When changing your plea to guilty you can ask the judge for reductions or even a suspension of the fee. They are more willing to grant it as you didn't waste time with a trial. If you're capital P poor then bring in some financial statements as proof you would be hard pressed to pay 600. Will they give you a break? No guarantees, but this maximizes your chances. Although if you go this way you have to show up to court no matter what, or you're auto guilty with at least an extra 300 failure to appear fee that goes to collections. I hope this helps

Dicey

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 07:06:39 PM »
Following.

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 08:12:28 PM »
My arraignment date is 4/7.  When it rolls around I plan to request a 30-day extension online, which, from what I gather, is almost guaranteed.  This will move my new arraignment date out one month, which serves a couple purposes, the most important being that it buys me some more time to think about whether to plead guilty or not guilty.  I am also hoping (although not relying) on this new arraignment date being an inconvenient time for the cop to make an appearance.

SDMathias, out of curiosity, what makes you say I stand no chance of winning?  Is this from personal experience?  Because if more people contribute to my thread and you all say I don't have a chance, then I very much agree I should plead guilty and then attempt to plead down my bail and the fee to go to traffic school. 

DanM

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 08:26:51 PM »
Yes!!! You should fight it, but with the little-known "Trial by Written Declaration". This method just requires that you write a statement giving your version of events (hey, you've already done that!), then mail it in along with any evidence you wish the court to consider. Here's detailed instructions: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/tr200.pdf, and here's the form itself: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/tr205.pdf

The great thing about this is that the citing officer has to reply in writing as well, and if they don't  your ticket is waived. Many police officers can't be bothered. And even if you lose, you can appeal the decision. No need to show up in court. This worked for me when I got a ridiculous ticket a few years back.

Spondulix

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 08:31:34 PM »
I have a friend who fought a citation (no attorney), and she got off the hook because the officer didn't come to court. So you may want to do some research on that angle.

milesdividendmd

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 09:39:50 PM »
Fight it. In SoCal The cops often don't show up and the case gets dismissed.

I got out of the ticket in Los Angeles this way when I lived there.

Sadly, in Portland where I live now the police get paid overtime to show up. So they always show up!

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 09:58:40 PM »
Thank you so much for your responses so far.

Small update that may be useful to those in SD county: I just requested my 30-day court appearance (aka arraignment hearing) extension online.  Within a matter of seconds, it was processed and set for 30 days from my ORIGINAL court appearance date printed on my citation (4/7/2015), not the date I filed for the extension (today), so my new appearance date is 5/7/2015.


anon-e-mouse

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2015, 10:06:00 PM »
Short answer - yes... always fight the ticket.
Normally, if the officer does not show, the ticket is dismissed.
If the officer shows, you can at least challenge it.
Most of the time, I have seen ticket fines lowered (if there is not a required minimum fine amount) if you are courteous to the judge.
Don't expect the judge to take your side of the story over the officer's.

Worst case... you get stuck paying the face value of the ticket and wasted a couple of hours.

DB43

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2015, 10:20:33 PM »
I never recommend anyone fight a traffic ticket unless they honestly believe they did not commit the violation, which seems to be the case. If you fight it do not bother with an attorney. Simply go into court and tell your side of the story. Make sure you detail what happened and when. Articulate you saw the pedestrian on the sidewalk and YOU entered the crosswalk before she stepped off the curb.

5 Suggestions:

1. Go and watch a traffic court session well before your court date. ($600.00 is worth the investment of a couple of hours) 
2. Learn the elements of the crime you were cited for.
3. Practice your testimony.
4. Do not argue with the Officer or Judge for any reason- be 100% respectful even if you disagree.
5. Tell the truth.

SDMathias

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2015, 05:59:42 AM »
My arraignment date is 4/7.  When it rolls around I plan to request a 30-day extension online, which, from what I gather, is almost guaranteed.  This will move my new arraignment date out one month, which serves a couple purposes, the most important being that it buys me some more time to think about whether to plead guilty or not guilty.  I am also hoping (although not relying) on this new arraignment date being an inconvenient time for the cop to make an appearance.

SDMathias, out of curiosity, what makes you say I stand no chance of winning?  Is this from personal experience?  Because if more people contribute to my thread and you all say I don't have a chance, then I very much agree I should plead guilty and then attempt to plead down my bail and the fee to go to traffic school.

I did not say no chance, just slim if you go to trial, as it usually turns into a "yes he did" "no I didn't" argument. As long as the Officer can articulate you committed the elements of the violation then you'll probably be found guilty(and they are usually well practiced at it). Also San Diego county Officers do get overtime for court and trials by written declaration may work if the Officer doesn't fill out the form. If they do fill out the form though their word is usually taken as 100% accurate, as there is no cross examination.

JLee

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2015, 10:22:51 AM »
I would fight it.

I worked for a college town police department for years - I'm used to watching students blindly meandering across the road (usually without even a crosswalk) while glued to their cell phone/etc. I would not be at all surprised if that was the case here.

ethereality

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2015, 09:11:24 PM »
Following. I'm also a California and got a traffic ticket as I made a right turn. Came to the full stop, as backed by the officer. Saw an officer on a motorbike coming, but there was plenty of room and no cars. Made a right with no problem and the cop pulled me over for reckless turning. Sigh.

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2015, 10:51:28 PM »
ethereality, aside from wanting advice, I posted this so mustachians in CA may benefit from knowledge of my experience whether or not the results are favorable.  I plan to update whenever new information becomes available all the way through this ordeal.  In particular, if this can be fought and won, I want to help as many of you guys as possible hold on to your hard-earned 'staches.

Update: I have decided to fight the ticket and first try a Trial by Written Declaration.

There seems to be little downside to this.  If I lose, I still have the right to go to court, and at that point I can choose to either plead not guilty and go to trial or plead guilty and attempt to get my fine reduced.  Of course I am praying the officer will not respond to the TWD (automatic win for me) or not show for court (another chance for an automatic win), but I expect him to do his due diligence so I'm not banking on it.

Incidentally, JLee, what is your experience with campus police?  I'd love a general profile.  Are they fastidious fellows in general... or likely to blow off court dates and paperwork?

JLee

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2015, 08:35:59 AM »
ethereality, aside from wanting advice, I posted this so mustachians in CA may benefit from knowledge of my experience whether or not the results are favorable.  I plan to update whenever new information becomes available all the way through this ordeal.  In particular, if this can be fought and won, I want to help as many of you guys as possible hold on to your hard-earned 'staches.

Update: I have decided to fight the ticket and first try a Trial by Written Declaration.

There seems to be little downside to this.  If I lose, I still have the right to go to court, and at that point I can choose to either plead not guilty and go to trial or plead guilty and attempt to get my fine reduced.  Of course I am praying the officer will not respond to the TWD (automatic win for me) or not show for court (another chance for an automatic win), but I expect him to do his due diligence so I'm not banking on it.

Incidentally, JLee, what is your experience with campus police?  I'd love a general profile.  Are they fastidious fellows in general... or likely to blow off court dates and paperwork?

Our college had a security department and all law enforcement matters were handled by the town's police department. If we didn't show up for court we'd get in trouble. :P

thurston howell iv

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2015, 11:49:22 AM »
You let a cop on a segway catch you?!?!  Really? You deserve the ticket. j/k LOL

Seriously, I would show up and have my argument ready. However, before you go, consider all of the other sides of the story so that you will have a counter argument. Did you take any pics? maybe get a large pic of the area so that you can show the judge what you saw. (They help)

Worst case scenario, if you feel it's getting away from you, propose an alternative penalty. (Maybe $50 and court costs or something like that. If you're a poor student, that could work in your favor)

I went to traffic court once and the cop showed. They always showed. (Some Judges will have a rule about cops showing up, so don't count on a no-show, Campus cops are Real cops and not some rent-a-cop outfit)

Anyway, I successfully argued my case and the judge was this close to dismissing the case when the cop said that he caught me fair and square with his radar (there was more than just my car involved so it was impossible to be 100% certain) and that because it had been recently calibrated (he provided the certification of calibration) that he was positive it was me... (Of course this was a weak argument and I saw it on the judge's face but he nevertheless proceeded to ask me if I had had my speedometer checked for it's proper calibration. (WTF does that?).. I had nothing. The Judge sided with the cop.

Moral of the story- anticipate the weird oddball stuff- It can and will happen.

BTW, my experience with San Diego traffic &  parking enforcement was not good either. It is a huge income stream for them and they make it super difficult to prevail.
Again, really stupid stuff...
I once arrived at my meter to feed it. I still had like a minute left. Parking enforcement was already there writing the ticket. They gave me a ticket and told me I could appeal.
On the back of the ticket is said - and I shit you not- " having time left on the meter was not a valid excuse" WTF?!!?
The appeal process requires you to send in your appeal and it is review by the guy/gal who wrote the ticket. Guess how that works out?
Then you can appeal to their supervisor but you have to pay in full FIRST. Once they have your money, well... they're not going to give it back.

Ahhh the memories...

« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 11:51:26 AM by thurston howell iv »

JLee

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »
You let a cop on a segway catch you?!?!  Really? You deserve the ticket. j/k LOL

Seriously, I would show up and have my argument ready. However, before you go, consider all of the other sides of the story so that you will have a counter argument. Did you take any pics? maybe get a large pic of the area so that you can show the judge what you saw. (They help)

Worst case scenario, if you feel it's getting away from you, propose an alternative penalty. (Maybe $50 and court costs or something like that. If you're a poor student, that could work in your favor)

I went to traffic court once and the cop showed. They always showed. (Some Judges will have a rule about cops showing up, so don't count on a no-show, Campus cops are Real cops and not some rent-a-cop outfit)

Anyway, I successfully argued my case and the judge was this close to dismissing the case when the cop said that he caught me fair and square with his radar (there was more than just my car involved so it was impossible to be 100% certain) and that because it had been recently calibrated (he provided the certification of calibration) that he was positive it was me... (Of course this was a weak argument and I saw it on the judge's face but he nevertheless proceeded to ask me if I had had my speedometer checked for it's proper calibration. (WTF does that?).. I had nothing. The Judge sided with the cop.

Moral of the story- anticipate the weird oddball stuff- It can and will happen.

BTW, my experience with San Diego traffic &  parking enforcement was not good either. It is a huge income stream for them and they make it super difficult to prevail.
Again, really stupid stuff...
I once arrived at my meter to feed it. I still had like a minute left. Parking enforcement was already there writing the ticket. They gave me a ticket and told me I could appeal.
On the back of the ticket is said - and I shit you not- " having time left on the meter was not a valid excuse" WTF?!!?
The appeal process requires you to send in your appeal and it is review by the guy/gal who wrote the ticket. Guess how that works out?
Then you can appeal to their supervisor but you have to pay in full FIRST. Once they have your money, well... they're not going to give it back.

Ahhh the memories...
Having time left on the meter was not a valid excuse for having an expired meter? Or were you written for feeding a meter? Some places don't allow that.

california_daze

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2015, 12:06:55 PM »
An alternative: Write a letter to the judge. Simple, easy to do, might work.

I hopped on the 60 from Monterey Park and used the carpool on-ramp lane by accident (I was aloofly following behind a big-rig). Got busted and slapped with a pricey ticket.

I wrote a letter to the judge (heard it on 97.1 on the Tom Leykis show years ago...), mentioned it was a hardship (I was in college at the time), and that it was an honest mistake and I had no excuses and it got it reduced by more than half.

Good luck.

thurston howell iv

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2015, 01:22:54 PM »
JLee: I was at lunch with a friend around the corner. I had put enough for 1 hour and needed to add another 30 minutes of so. ot sure if that is defined as
"feeding" or not. Either way, I still had time on the meter. There should have been no ticket. Little guy vs. the State doesn't always turn out favorably.

JLee

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2015, 02:17:21 PM »
JLee: I was at lunch with a friend around the corner. I had put enough for 1 hour and needed to add another 30 minutes of so. ot sure if that is defined as
"feeding" or not. Either way, I still had time on the meter. There should have been no ticket. Little guy vs. the State doesn't always turn out favorably.

Oh, I agree there shouldn't be a ticket. I was just curious if they changed it to a meter feeding ticket when they saw you adding to it. Dunno if that's legal there or not. :)

luigi49

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2015, 03:50:38 PM »
Trial by written declaration is not a new thing.   This worked early on when it was discovered in 1999 and the guy spread it on the internet.  So what happens when its on the internet?  yup everyone reads it and follow it including ..... 

I also agree with some of JLee post and one of thurston post pertaining to yours. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 03:53:02 PM by luigi49 »

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2015, 03:53:59 PM »
california_daze, interesting approach.  I believe this is the written equivalent of pleading guilty with explanation, though.  If I lose the trial by written declaration and set a court date, I plan to do just that- plead guilty, look remorseful and (hopefully) sufficiently poor enough to get the fine reduced. 

JLee and Thurston, what are your opinions on the likelihood of the officer responding to the TWD?

The_Dude

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2015, 08:14:41 PM »
One thing I haven't seen pointed out is that the the arraignment date is just where you plead or guilty or not.  The cop won't be there.  If you plead not guilty then a trial date is set and that is the date the cop would show up.  I realize you have changed strategy from what was written earlier on but for anyone else reading this it might be helpful.

For more random anecdotal evidence, I have fought tickets three times in my life and yes I have received more than that and for the ones I was truly guilty I paid my fine and went on my way but for the three I felt wronged I fought.

1) Got a ticket for exhibition of speed for doing a burn out in a parking lot.  Fought it as the parking lot was private and had not notice posted.  Got to court with witnesses and written testimony from 4 people who saw it and the cop proceeded to describe me racing another car on the street near the parking lot.  I kid you not the cops story was a 100% fabrication and I lost.  The ticket location was the cross streets where I got the ticket and didn't refer to a parking lot.  In testimony cop always > defendant + witnesses when debating facts.

2) Got a ticket riding my dirt bike in the desert for being too close to a crowd and exceeded 15 mph at informal sand drags.  There were 100's of bikes everywhere and I tried to tell the cop on site that it wasn't me that sped by the crowd.  I did a written deceleration and the case was dismissed.  No idea if the cop responded.

3) I got a ticket where the officer claimed I was doing 90 in a 50mph street.  I was doing a little over 60mph but had accelerated rapidly from a stop light compared to the rest of the cars and the officer did not use radar.  Due to the extreme difference in speed the ticket was a huge penalty and moved into misdemeanor territory instead of moving violation.  Given the misdemeanor implications I hired an attorney and it ended up costing me twice as much as the fine would have been but the case was ultimately dismissed which was totally worth it to me.

southern granny

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2015, 08:25:55 PM »
I have a friend who fought a citation (no attorney), and she got off the hook because the officer didn't come to court. So you may want to do some research on that angle.

It wasn't my ticket, but I saw the same thing happen.  The officer didn't show up for court so the judge dismissed it. 

S.S.

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 01:29:05 PM »
Dude, thanks for sharing your stories.  Regarding story #1, I have accepted that if the cop shows up to my court date (if I lose TWD), I have a very slim chance of swaying the judge and would at that point change my plea to guilty and hopefully get a reduced fine and maintain the option to go to traffic school.  I have heard too many stories of these guys completely making s#it up in court and it not mattering because generally judges find cops to be more credible than defendants.  Based on his convo with me, he definitely thinks he saw me almost hit her.  That's not going to bode well.

For those who mentioned stories about getting dismissed because the cop didn't show, I SINCERELY hope I get this lucky, but I am not holding my breath.  It seems like most of you think they get paid to be in court and can even get in trouble with their command if they don't show.  That's very good incentive for this guy to show.



thurston howell iv

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2015, 03:04:56 PM »
S.S. :  It is my experience that it is best to hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Anticipate that the cop will show. Of course this will be a he said, she said situation. Will the person who was "almost run over" be there?  Will hearsay be allowed?  Again, I will reiterate that if it were me I would take some pics, and maybe make some measurements.

You want to have all the answers when the judge asks the questions; or example:

1. What time of day was it?
2. How was the weather? (sunny with glare, or overcast and rainy?)
3. What color clothes was the pedestrian wearing? (easy to see?)
4. Was the pedestrian on the phone? (distracted and not paying attention)
5. How far away was the cop when he claims to have "seen" you?
6. Does the cop wear corrective lenses? If so was he wearing them that day?
7. What was the angle of the cop in relation to you and the pedestrian?

So on and so on, you get the idea. You want to be able to paint a picture for the judge so that he will "see" what you saw.

If you see it's not going your way, explain about the hardship and ask for warning or reduction of the fine or reduction of the charge that will not involve traffic school and points on your license. Be creative. You'd be surprised what judges will entertain.  Just be sure to dress appropriately (no jeans, shorts, flip flops, no chewing gum, leave cel phone in the car, etc.) and be respectful of the Court- it goes a long way.

Good Luck.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 03:07:53 PM by thurston howell iv »

Jack

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2015, 03:08:57 PM »
Dude, thanks for sharing your stories.  Regarding story #1, I have accepted that if the cop shows up to my court date (if I lose TWD), I have a very slim chance of swaying the judge and would at that point change my plea to guilty and hopefully get a reduced fine and maintain the option to go to traffic school.

Go to traffic school ahead of time.

I got a ticket for doing 70 in a 55 (on a stretch of freeway whose speed limit was raised to 65 about a year later! How's that for bullshit?).

I went to recorder's court for my arraignment, talked to the prosecutor, and got offered a bad plea deal, so I pled not guilty. That caused the case to be moved to state court.

I went to state court for my (second) arraignment, talked to the prosecutor, and got offered an even worse deal, so I told the judge I needed a continuance to go get a lawyer.

While I was at one of the arraignments -- I forget which -- I also had a short chat with a defense attorney somebody else had hired, and he told me that of the two charges (speeding in general, and speeding X mph in a Y zone), a reasonable plea deal would be to plead guilty to the first one and get the second dropped (the "X in a Y" charge results in points against your license; the first one doesn't). I tried to get the prosecutors to drop the "X in a Y" charge, but both so far would only agree to the opposite (dropping the generic charge, and keeping the one that would put points on my license).

Then, I finally realized I should preemptively take a traffic safety class.

I went back to the state court for my (third) arraignment, told the prosecutor that I was really really sorry and had taken a safety class to show my sincerity, and he immediately proposed a much more reasonable plea deal (including dropping the "X in a Y" charge).

I had been hoping to negotiate a reasonable plea without taking the class, but that was essentially impossible. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I'd just gone ahead and done it in the first place.

(Of course, in GA traffic safety class is $100 instead of $300, so that might make your situation different.)

Spondulix

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Re: SoCal residents- is fighting a ticket ever worth the hassle?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2015, 10:46:35 PM »
Any security cameras in the area to back up your case?