OT: Question on Traffic Ticket

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Submitted by Ricechex on January 4, 2013 - 8:03pm

I'm hoping you all can help. You all have been a great help in the past.

Got a ticket for failure to stop at 4 way stop sign. Upon closer inspection, the ticket gave the wrong address for the violation. Imagine!

Can I fight this? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Coronita on January 4, 2013 - 9:12pm.

you have nothing to lose. Do a trial by declaration first. If you lose, you can then try again and appeal in person.

Submitted by ocrenter on January 4, 2013 - 10:56pm.

I recommend Mr Ticket if you don't want to fight the ticket on your own.

Submitted by patb on January 4, 2013 - 10:57pm.

yes you can fight this.

Submitted by jpinpb on January 4, 2013 - 11:27pm.

If you don't get a correction notice in the mail, they have to dismiss it. They have to send you a correction notice w/proof of service. If the cop happens to look at his notes and doesn't send a correction notice it is a dismissal based on a vehicle code section about filling out the ticket properly.

Submitted by Ricechex on January 11, 2013 - 12:12am.

Thanks Everyone. You guys are great.

Submitted by equalizer on January 11, 2013 - 1:26am.

See
http://piggington.com/ot_traffic_ticket

Mr. Ticket did work out.

Submitted by Ricechex on May 2, 2013 - 9:48pm.

Hi All,
We fought the ticket, written declaration. It was due 20 Feb and sent back via certified mail in January. The check for $290 was cashed. We have heard nothing since. Any idea how long this takes?

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 3, 2013 - 8:23am.

Ricechex wrote:
Hi All,
We fought the ticket, written declaration. It was due 20 Feb and sent back via certified mail in January. The check for $290 was cashed. We have heard nothing since. Any idea how long this takes?

I've arranged to have tickets fought for friends by way of a written declaration in recent years. One won and one lost. (They were left-turn-signal camera tickets.) I seem to remember that they took a little over a month to process back then. Both were submitted to the Kearny Mesa (SD) traffic court.

HOWEVER, the SD courts are extremely backed up right now, due to non-filling of positions vacated by retirees and having employees on extended leaves for various reasons.

I submitted a domestic order almost a month ago to a SD branch court and just checked on its status on 4/30. I was told by the clerk that they were currently working on orders submitted on 2/21/13 and that it would be another 1-1/2 to 2 months before the order I submitted to them was processed. Meanwhile, the client waits for an order concerning their kids.

It's just a function of not having enough judges, courtrooms and clerks. My advice is "Don't go there," unless absolutely necessary. It will eat up too many years of your life and too much of your money. Work out a settlement in a dark closet as soon as practically possible. If you can't do it, call in an experienced mediator.

I'm sure these traffic declarations are just piled high in a corner somewhere at every branch court and Kearny Mesa SD. It is well-known to them that there are a few internet "ticket-fighting mills" that crank them out by the dozens every day.

I'm not saying one shouldn't fight their red-light camera ticket (where no officer was present). What I AM saying is that the system is broken in CA's populous counties. They have been running on a skeleton crew for more than three years and it will only get worse before it gets better .... IF it EVER gets better. A big cause of the problem is gross overbuilding, causing the population to (artificially) triple or quadruple in the last 12 years or so in some judicial districts.

Submitted by spdrun on May 3, 2013 - 8:38am.

What's the harm in submitting a declaration? It doesn't go on your record till you're convicted, so if you get convicted in six months, you're saving insurance premiums. If you get acquitted, you get your money back.

(Though I prefer our system out here. You don't pay a dime till you're actually convicted of a traffic offense, and generally you get a response from the traffic magistrate inside of a month.)

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 3, 2013 - 9:11am.

spdrun wrote:
What's the harm in submitting a declaration? It doesn't go on your record till you're convicted, so if you get convicted in six months, you're saving insurance premiums. If you get acquitted, you get your money back.

(Though I prefer our system out here. You don't pay a dime till you're actually convicted of a traffic offense.)

That is true here, as well, spdrun. However, the red-light camera tickets are ~$400 and up and the registered owner of the vehicle (RO) gets a bill with a photo of his/her license plate and the face of the driver mailed to him after his license plate is tracked down through the DMV. The contractor running the red-light cameras takes these photos for "documentary evidence," which is submitted to the traffic court in the jurisdiction of the red-light camera.

The bill comes with instructions on the deadlines to fight it or pay the extortion amount and go to traffic school (at addt'l cost) if eligible.

No officer was ever present at the scene.

The identity of the driver and the position of the vehicle in front of the camera is for the registered owner of the vehicle to sort out. Meanwhile, the clock is running on late charges on the $400+ fine.

The "trial by declaration" is the means by which these "internet ticket-fighting mills" use to fight these tickets as the registered owner of the vehicle won't be able to cross-examine a police officer at trial because there isn't one. The registered owner can go to trial and bring in the actual driver of "their" vehicle (if they are cooperative) to say that they were driving (instead of the RO) but this won't get the RO off the hook. The RO is responsible for the ticket (unless the vehicle had been reported stolen prior) because it was their license plate which was photographed running the signal.

With a regular traffic ticket written by a law-enforcement officer, a driver can take it into court in a timely manner, plead out and successfully get a judge to cut it in half (if they otherwise have a good driving record) by presenting a recent traffic school certificate to the court and offering to pay the entire bail amount that day. The court does this so they don't further clog the traffic calendar and have to subpeona police officers for trial whose agencies are also short-staffed.

Not so with a red-light camera ticket. The owner of the vehicle is "guilty" and owes ALL of the bail amount ... or they are not guilty and will get a refund of their posted bail from the court in a few months. It is all or nothing.

Red-light camera tix are a "gotcha" for the public in these times of CA's insatiable need for more and more money flowing into the courts and DMV.

Submitted by bearishgurl on May 3, 2013 - 9:23am.

Ricechex wrote:
Hi All,
We fought the ticket, written declaration. It was due 20 Feb and sent back via certified mail in January. The check for $290 was cashed. We have heard nothing since. Any idea how long this takes?

Ricechex, I'm curious if you had a witness in your vehicle who would be able to verify the exact street corner the violation took place and if so, did you have them give an affidavit to your trial by declaration?

Otherwise, wouldn't it be your word against the officer's? This is assuming that the court wouldn't consider your witness to be biased.

Submitted by Ricechex on May 3, 2013 - 2:01pm.

Actually, it was my BF's ticket and it is his word against the officer's. He was on his way to work, so he was alone. However, we provided a map to show clearly the most direct route that he has taken every day for 15 years, and how he would have had to backtrack and go away from his destination to be stopped where the officer stated. We also provided his timesheet to show his regular reporting hours to work.

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