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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Passing a stationary emergency vehicle, Texas Law...I slowed

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Passing a stationary emergency vehicle, Texas Law...I slowed 10 miles below the speed limit & could not get over due to traffice in the other lane, got a ticket becasue I did not slow to 20 miles below the limit. Any ideas on fighting this ticket??
Submitted: 4 years ago via ExpertLaw.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.
Please provide the Code Section number that you are accused of violating, so that I'm sure we're talking about the same thing. Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sec. 545.157. PASSING AUTHORIZED EMERGENCY VEHICLE

(a) On approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle using visual signals that meet the requirements of Sections 547.305 and 547.702, an operator, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:

  1. vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle when driving on a highway with two or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or
  2. slow to a speed not to exceed:
  • 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit when the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or more; or
  • five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is less than 25 miles per hour.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.

I can't promise you will win, but I can tell you how to defend yourself.

 

1. Do not admit to slowing only 10 mph below the speed limit. If you do, then you're guilty, no matter what other mitigating circumstances there may have been at the time.

 

2. The officer could not possibly have been able to obtain an accurate measurement of your speed, because this was an emergency situation -- so, the officer was almost certainly guessing at your speed. This puts you in a better position to state your speed, than the officer, and you may want to bring this to the court's attention (unless, of course, the officer tesifies that he/she was using radar/lidar, in which case, the question becomes: "Considering the emergency nature of the circumstances, how is it that you chose to set up to use a speed measurement device, rather than to help with the emergency?" In other words, you want to make the officer look ridiculous, so that your closing argument can be, "Your honor, under the circumstances, there is simply no way that the officer could have measured my speed, and if he/she was, then he/she was derelict in performing his/her duties as an officer in an emergency. The officer is clearly inventing a story, and his/her testimony should be given little if any evidentiary weight. The defendant was in a far better position to know his/her speed at the time of the alleged violation, and should be found not guilty."

 

That's how I'd do it.

 

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I believe he was using a radar and there were 2 police cars on the side of the road, so he was probably just there to catch those that did not slow down, what is funny is that there were several cars in front of me & beside me that were clearly traveling faster than myself. I had been stopped at a red light and after it turned green i proceded down the road, noticed the officers, slowed tried to get over could not, continued to slow & then turned right into a bank parking lot and that is where he pulled in, turned his lights on & gave me a ticket. After leaving the red light I never even got up to the speed limit & after seeing the officers I continued to slow until I turned into the parking lot where I was going in the first place, he followed me into the parking lot then turned on his lights & issued the ticket
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I honestly believe it was a trap and the only reason he choose to pull me over is because I was an easy target due to the fact that I turned into the bank parking lot & did not continue to travel. I understand that there is a number attached to the law but should I not be able to prove that I was making attemps to slow and get over? The other officer was just issuing a ticket also and I don't believe either of them were even out of their vehicles when I passsed (this probably does not matter)
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.
You could argue that it was in fact a trap, and that the road conditions and placement of the various vehicles were such that no one could have reasonably avoided violating the law. Therefore, since the police activity had a "coercive effect," and actually caused you to violate a law that you would never have ordinarily violated, the court should dismiss the charges on grounds of entrapment.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Do you think if I go with entrapment argument it will anger the judge? I believe that is probably my best defense. Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it and will be accepting your answer.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.

Traffic judges are bored. If you are convincing, and you can wake up the judge to the possibility that there may have been some legal shennanigans, then you might be able to get the court's attention. You could really play it up, that this entire event was entirely crafted as an exercise in revenue generation, in a manner so that no driver could possibly avoid violating the law.

 

Personally, I like my first argument better, because it calls into question whether or not the officer actually had any idea of your speed, and that you are testifying flatly that you were not violating the law. But, you're the one who must try to make your case, so you need to be comfortable with it.

 

Best of luck!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33862
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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