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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 997
Experience:  Experienced, and knowledgeable attorney.
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Speeding Ticket. At 8:20am 7/25/2013 I got a $152 speeding

Resolved Question:

Speeding Ticket. At 8:20am 7/25/2013 I got a $152 speeding ticket for allegedly doing 40 mph in a 25. Weather was partly cloudy, visibility excellent, pavement dry, traffic very lite, a rural residential setting and common speed trap site at end of every month when officer quotas are due. I know I was traveling over 25 but not convinced I was driving 40. I have spoken to another officer on that stretch of road in the past telling him that the limit seemed low, that 35 felt more appropriate. He politely assured me that he didnt stop anyone unless they were doing more than 10 mph over.

I also received a $122 citation for not having current proof of insurance as my card had expired 7/18/2013, however I now have an affidavit from my insurer that I was covered on that date. The affidavit will give me relief for this fine and will waive the summons to appear before the court.

Error noted on ticket. Back to the speeding ticket. There were 3 people in the car at the time. However, the ticket notes there were 2. An adult male (me) and a child (my daughter in the front seat). However, behind the drivers seat was my 9 yr old son. The rear windows are factory tinted on the mini van I was driving but can be seen through.

Q: Would this error in the officers observation of number of passengers be useful to me in getting the ticket dismissed?

Thanks!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) Would this error in the officers observation of number of passengers be useful to me in getting the ticket dismissed?

Probably not, but it could be used to impeach the officer's testimony.

Whether or not you were alone in your car or had 20 other people with you is probably not relevant to whether or not you exceeded the speed limit. It could be relevant, for example, if you had been cited for distracted driving (although more people in your car would have meant more potential for distractions...)

It's a common misconception that an error on a summons or arrest warrant is grounds to have it dismissed. Everyone has a sixth amendment right to notice of the charge against them. That's what a warrant or traffic summons does: it tells you what you've been charged with, advises you of your next court date, etc.The warrant or summons is notice that a trial will occur on such and such a date and either you are required to be there, or if you're not in court you could be tried in your absence.

So, as long as you know what you're cited with, that gives you sufficient notice of your charge under the Sixth Amendment. If the ticket were riddled with errors you might have an issue to raise with the judge, but the remedy would be a dismissal of the ticket and the officer could (but wouldn't have to) simply re-issue another ticket that adequately gives you notice of the charge and your court date.

If you elect to have a trial, however, the officer's errors about this issue could be used to impeach his testimony. For example, on cross you examination, you or your attorney ask the officer about the number of people in the car and he says there were two. You then call the other two people who were in the car (or you yourself could testify) to say a total of three people were in the car. Then, during the argument stage, you argue to the court that the officer's testimony has been impeached due to his error, and is thus not as believable as unimpeached testimony. He messed up on the number of people in the car; what else did he mess up on? The speed of your vehicle?There's no telling how many other errors the officer made, so that means that the state has not proven you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In reality, a judge will probably still convict you of speeding. I don't think a judge will put much weight in a simple error like 2 versus 3 people in the car to decide that the officer's testimony is not credible. Perhaps if the officer had made numerous significant errors, or some other factors were at play, this might work.

Since most people charged with simple traffic offenses like speeding are convicted, I think the better course is to find out whether you can go to driving school in exchange for having the ticket reduced to a lesser speed or dismissed. (I'm assuming you have an otherwise good driving record.) If dismissed, the ticket will not go on your driving record, cause you to have points on your DMV transcript and perhaps cause your insurance rates to go up. You or your attorney could call the prosecutor ahead of time and see if this is a deal that could be made, or ask the judge on the day of trial. Assuming you were polite and cooperative with the officer, mention this fact, too.

Or, you could just bite the bullet and pay the ticket. That way you won't have to fiddle with driving school. You'll probably have to pay court costs either way.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the response Shuband.


 


I will likely just pay it unless I feel the court experience would be useful to me.


 


Q: What is up with giving you the option to sign or not sign your ticket? Does it preserve more rights if you do NOT sign?

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for the update. I'm glad to have been of help.

Q) What is up with giving you the option to sign or not sign your ticket? Does it preserve more rights if you do NOT sign?

No. Signing is not an admission of guilt. It is usually nothing more than a promise to appear in court.

It's also an issue related to your Sixth Amendment right to notice of the charge or charges against you. Your signature verifies that you did, in fact, have notice of the charge and were notified of your opportunity to contest the charge in court. (i.e. To have a trial.)

If you did not sign the ticket acknowledging receipt of it, the officer could probably place you in custody and take you to the magistrate. That way, there would be clear evidence that you had notice of the charge! Ugh. Don't go down that road. (Pardon the pun.)

I hope this helps you. If you have follow up, please let me know. Otherwise I appreciate your positive rating, so that I am credited for my work.

Take care and best wishes with this case,
Shuband
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 997
Experience: Experienced, and knowledgeable attorney.
S. Huband, Esq. and 3 other Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Hello,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively and that you generously applied a bonus payment for my efforts. Thank you so much. I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely XXXX XXX matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Again, thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband

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