How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask socrateaser Your Own Question

socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33847
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
10097515
Type Your Legal Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Need a CA Traffic Code 21655.8(a) defense. I was cited on 1/21/11

Customer Question

Need a CA Traffic Code 21655.8(a) defense. I was cited on 1/21/11 for "crossing the double yellow line" to enter the I-605 N at the end of the I-105 E HOV lane. The double yellow lines end before you reach the I-605 N entrance and there is a restricted "white zone" where I actually crossed. The earlier dotted white line exit that I missed was about 1 1/2 miles behind me, and there is no direct HOV entrance from the I-105 E into the I-605 N like other HOV direct access interchanges. That's what I thought would happen. Don't know where CHiPS car came from, but officer came up right behind me. I questioned and challenged the the correctness and accuracy of applying 21655.8(a) but he ignored me. I must appear in Court by 3/24/11 and submit response five days earlier. I now live in Georgia and have not changed from my CA drivers' license. Trying to avoid points and reduce (eliminate!) the fine the best that I can. Specific questions include:

1. At $480 for the offense + traffic school fees + travel from GA to CA, do I have a reasonable TBD defense to "crossing the yellow double line"?

2. Would legal representation cost me less than #1?

3. Is there a lesser offense or defense for an incorrect violation citation by CHiPs?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
1. At $480 for the offense + traffic school fees + travel from GA to CA, do I have a reasonable TBD defense to "crossing the yellow double line"?

A: The only "defense" is to testify that you did not violate the law. I presume that you had a passenger in the vehicle. If both of you were to testify that you did not violate the law, then it's possible that your combined testimony would be deemed to have more weight than the officers -- especially as the burden of proof is beyond all reasonable doubt.

However, knowing that California traffic court judges routinely ignore due process of law, I doubt that the court would find you not guilty, even if you had a car full of passengers willing to testify in your favor.

2. Would legal representation cost me less than #1?

A: There are attorney's who will do traffic cases for $350 (I cannot make direct recommendations -- sorry). But, you coul still lose, which means that your bill increases by that same $350.

3. Is there a lesser offense or defense for an incorrect violation citation by CHiPs?

A: None of which I am aware.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to educate others about the law. I am always available to answering your follow-up questions after you click Accept – however, if you do not click Accept, the website gets paid, and I receive nothing. This is true, even if you are on a subscription plan. So please click Accept, so that I will be able to continue to provide this service for others in the future.


socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33847
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry about the delay, but I see that you got paid and that's OK w/me.

 

However, I found your answer to be generic, homogenized, vague and somewhat unresponsive. In short, rather lame response...like something that you see on the Steve Wilkos Show or Dr. Phil with five minutes of pop advice to solve your problem. Consequently, I will not be using this service in the future. Let me be more specific since it may be helpful for your future responses.

 

1. While I understand that your answer was not a "legal opinion" or "legal advice", and that your goal is to "educate" me, I have an education. I paid $28 for an answer. I do not need to spend $28 for someone to tell me that a technical legal defense is to inform the judge that "I didn't do it".

 

2. What I was hoping for is a defense that may have entailed the consequences or reduced charges for an officer citing an erroneous CA traffic code violation, or getting his/her facts incorrect. Didn't see anything like that in your response.

 

3. Possibly, there was a specific lesser code violation, that I may have pled in the alternative, for my actual infraction (i.e., crossing in the white zone). What was that Code section?

 

4. Let's see. The cost of airfare; room; rental car; bail for the fine; traffic school would be well over $1,000. My question was whether I would be better served to send a good attorney the $1,000 and move on. I did this once for a traffic violation in Virginia and it was "handled". Don't know how your calculations equated $350 to the true total cost of this thing. Next time, please learn math before you send advice.

 

5. Just one more thing. Do you have any research on similar cases, outcomes or even stats regarding similar hearings at the specific Court where I am due to appear? I believe, in your parlance, we are talking legal precedence and site culture. Would be nice to know if the lion will be at home before I walk into his den. Try some legal research which may make you more "aware".

 

I'm sure all of that is WAY TOO MUCH for $28 and you can make a pretty decent living popping out 10 or 20 of these legal aspirins each day until a REAL case comes along when you won't have time for it anymore. But it's $28 that I could have spent on a whole lot of other things when all I was trying to accomplish was to achieve a working legal framework and solid theory for my situation. Maybe I'll try Legal Zoom, instead.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.

1. While I understand that your answer was not a "legal opinion" or "legal advice", and that your goal is to "educate" me, I have an education. I paid $28 for an answer. I do not need to spend $28 for someone to tell me that a technical legal defense is to inform the judge that "I didn't do it".

 

A: You evidently didn't understand my answer (or perhaps my communication skill was insufficient), because in my view, the only way that you could legally prevail on this particular issue is to testify that you didn't do it, and then try to convince the judge to do his/her constitutional job and find you not guilty -- which is why I answered as I did.

 

Most states do not require proof beyond all reasonable doubt in a traffic infraction case. Instead, the burden of proof is lowered to that of a "preponderance of evidence" standard, which requires nothing more than any quantum greater than 50% to convict. California requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, and were the judge an honest person, there is no possibility that he/she could find any defendant guilty where the only evidence supporting conviction is the peace officer's testimony, assuming that the defendant waives his/her constitutional right to refuse to testify and then testifies that "I didn't do it" (by explaining what happened in detail).

 

The problem is that there are, in my experience, no traffic court judges in California who will honestly consider the state's burden of proof, because they all routinely find defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, where reasonable doubt clearly exists. Consequently, nothing that you could say or do would permit you to prevail in your action.

 

Which is what I was trying to explain -- without insulting your intelligence by telling you that you're simply wasting your time, and that you should just pay the ticket and move on.

 

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that traffic court is a huge revenue generator for each county. No one will rock the boat. Once you understand this political reality, you recognize that the solution for the vast majority of traffic cases is to take the traffic school option and then move on. But, as you are in Virginia, this is not a great option, and it will cost you more than the ticket -- so, it's a nonstarter for you.

 

2. What I was hoping for is a defense that may have entailed the consequences or reduced charges for an officer citing an erroneous CA traffic code violation, or getting his/her facts incorrect. Didn't see anything like that in your response.

 

A: That's because there isn't any lesser charge, or negotiation that would work. California law is highly deterministic. The judge is not going to negotiate over this sort of ticket. You have the option of attending traffic school and avoiding the points on your driving record, and that is the only option available.

 

3. Possibly, there was a specific lesser code violation, that I may have pled in the alternative, for my actual infraction (i.e., crossing in the white zone). What was that Code section?

 

A: See above. If you don't believe me, then hire a traffic defense lawyer and blow through another $350, only to get an "I'm sorry -- I did the best I could, but the judge was an a**" answer from your lawyer after he/she loses.

 

4. Let's see. The cost of airfare; room; rental car; bail for the fine; traffic school would be well over $1,000. My question was whether I would be better served to send a good attorney the $1,000 and move on. I did this once for a traffic violation in Virginia and it was "handled". Don't know how your calculations equated $350 to the true total cost of this thing. Next time, please learn math before you send advice.

 

A: I don't appreciate the ad hominem, re math. That said, California is not Virginia. If you are interested in an efficient economic and probabilistically certain outcome, and you are constrained by being located ~3,000 miles from the venue in which your case will be heard, then in my view, for a case such as yours, the odds of obtaining a not guilty verdict from the court is practically nil. This means that your expected value return for fighting the ticket is approximately 0% times your total investment (E = prob_success * winnings - prob_failure * wager) -- which, of course, equals ~zero. Whereas you can absolutely cap your risk at the cost of bail (plus a marginal 18 month increase in the cost of your auto insurance), by simply paying the ticket and moving on with your life.

 

5. Just one more thing. Do you have any research on similar cases, outcomes or even stats regarding similar hearings at the specific Court where I am due to appear? I believe, in your parlance, we are talking legal precedence and site culture. Would be nice to know if the lion will be at home before I walk into his den. Try some legal research which may make you more "aware".

 

A: Another ad hominem noted. I'm extremely thorough in providing legal citations when they exist. Sometimes, however, there is no legal research to provide. This is one of those times.

 

Best of luck with your legal issue.



Edited by Lori-Moderator on 2/19/2011 at 9:34 PM EST

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.