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QUESTION: "My question: does a judge have the authority to change the vehicle code cited and replace it with another and then find me guilty?"
ANSWER: No. Here is how this works. The legislative branch has provided this means of adjudicating certain cases. Law enforcement is to issue citations and cite code sections based on what they allege took place (after all, the Judge was not present when you were purportedly speeding). The judicial branch is bound to follow that structure. Note the following statutory language, which provides in pertinent part: "The court , pursuant to this section, shall, by rule, provide that the defendant may elect to have a trial by written declaration upon any alleged infraction, as charged by the citing officer, involving a violation of this code or any local ordinance adopted pursuant to this code,..." California Vehicle Code § 40902(a)(1) [emphasis added in bold faced font].
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I am going to court on the above issue this Friday. In as much as I originally filed a "trial by written declaration", does the law allow the CHP officer to amend the citation to a different code violation, therefore allowing the court to find me guilty of added violation? Thank you
I was cited in California for speeding under VC22349(b). Speeding in excess of 55MPH. I filed a trial by written declaration and was found not guilty. The judge however, changed the violation VC22349(b) to VC22349(a), speeding in excess of 65MPH. He found me guilty of this violation. My question: does a judge have the authority to change the vehicle code cited and replace it with another and then find me guilty?
The posted speed limit was 55, this changes the facts regardless of the benefit to me. Can the court and CHP do this?
I believe I have answered OK to your responses... So I am confused about the repeat request. Can you help me out here? Thanks.
Thanks for the reply and yes, I will let you know.
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