Articles Posted in Traffic Ticket Defense

The California Office of Traffic Safety has granted The Novato Police Department $120,000 for a year-long traffic enforcement program focusing on drunk driving patrols, red-light violations traffic citations.

The Novato Police will use the grant money to pay for LIDAR speed-detection devices, DUI saturation patrols and to enforce traffic regulations at certain problem intersections. LIDAR devices are taking the place of or supplementing radar devices in many jurisdictions in Marin County and throughout California. LIDAR uses a laser beam to detect the speed of moving vehicles. Marin County police agencies believe that LIDAR is more accurate than radar. The use of LIDAR is subject to the same officer training requirements and speed trap laws as the use of radar. In many instances if the citing officer cannot show that the use of LIDAR is justified based on a valid traffic and engineering survey a speeding ticket issued based on the use of LIDAR will be dismissed.

Novato’s traffic ticket and DUI grant enforcement runs through September 30, 2013 and will include 10 DUI saturation patrols and 10 distracted-driving patrols. Novato Police Officers will also conduct 10 traffic enforcement actions aimed at red-light running and excessive speed.
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The California Office of Traffic Safety has awarded the City of “San Rafael Police”:http://www.marinij.com/sanrafael/ci_21914850/san-rafael-police-use-102-000-grant-traffic Department a grant of $102,000.00 for “traffic enforcement”:https://www.stankolaw.com. San Rafael Police officers will use the state allocated funds in an effort to prevent traffic collisions.

As part of that effort the San Rafael Police will conduct a series of “DUI”:https://www.stankolaw.com saturation patrols, enforcement aimed at distracted driving and seat belt and child safety seat enforcement. Repeat DUI offenders will also be staked out as part of the traffic safety program.

A conviction for a first drunk driving offense in Marin County can result in punishment including probation, fines, a DUI school and up to 6 months in jail under the California Vehicle Code. Drivers with multiple offenses for driving under the influence face even greater punishment. Whether arrested for DUI in San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Kentfield, or San Francisco, you need to call an experienced aggressive driving under the influence attorney for help.
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San Francisco citations for a red light camera violation and for making an illegal left turn were dismissed this week after Attorney John Stanko had filed requests for a trial by written declaration for two clients. Both matters resulted in not guilty findings by the San Francisco Superior Court Traffic Division. As such, neither client will receive a point on their California DMV record and the payment of their bail/fine amounts will be refunded.

Should the trial by written declarations have resulted in a finding of guilty the clients would have had a right to request a new court trial. A request for a trial de novo, new court trial, must be filed with the court within twenty days of the mailing of a finding of guilt on a trial by written declaration. The California Judicial Council provides a form, TR220, on which to request a trial de novo.

In addition, in the last two weeks client’s were found not guilty after trial by declaration of violating Vehicle Code section 22349(a), maximum speed violation, in Sonoma County and not guilty of Vehicle Code section 22350, the basic speed law, in Marin County.

Further, the Law Office of John Stanko, Inc., was able to have a commercial driver speeding ticketed in Fairfield, Solano County, reduced to a no point mechanical violation.
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A woman charged with violating the basic speed law, California Vehicle Code section 22350 based on radar in Santa Rosa has her speeding charge dismissed when Attorney John Stanko negotiates a no point violation.

A basic speed violation based on the use of radar or lidar in a pirma facie speed limit area, i.e., 25 mph, 30 mph, 45 mph, must be justified with a valid traffic an engineering survey. Should the prosecuting officer not have the survey or if the survey is invalid or does not properly set the speed limit pursuant to the Vehicle Code and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices then the use of radar amounts to an illegal speed trap. With a speed trap the police officer is incompetent to testify and the court is without jurisdiction to render a finding of guilt and an alleged violation of Vehicle Code Section 22350 must be dismissed.

A second case for a woman charged with speeding was dismissed upon payment of court costs after argument concerning the improper continuance of her court trial.
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A woman charged with violating the basic speed law, California Vehicle Code section 22350 based on radar in Santa Rosa has her speeding charge dismissed when Attorney John Stanko negotiates a no point violation.

A basic speed violation based on the use of radar or lidar in a pirma facie speed limit area, i.e., 25 mph, 30 mph, 45 mph, must be justified with a valid traffic an engineering survey. Should the prosecuting officer not have the survey or if the survey is invalid or does not properly set the speed limit pursuant to the Vehicle Code and Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices then the use of radar amounts to an illegal speed trap. With a speed trap the police officer is incompetent to testify and the court is without jurisdiction to render a finding of guilt and an alleged violation of Vehicle Code Section 22350 must be dismissed.

A second case for a woman charged with speeding was dismissed upon payment of court costs after argument concerning the improper continuance of her court trial.
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The City of Novato Police Department conducted a special traffic enforcement from Friday, February 24 to early Saturday morning on February 25, 2012. Their efforts were funded by a grant from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety.

Two drivers were arrested by Novato Police Officers on suspicion of DUI. Further, officers of the Northern Marin County City also cited forty-four drivers for speeding tickets, arrested one person for a drug offense and issued citations to two people for driving on a suspended license.

Speeding tickets and other moving violations are handled at the Marin County Superior Court via the traffic clerk’s office in Room C-10 at that Marin County Hall of Justice. Contested traffic tickets are heard by a court commissioner in Department N. A conviction for a speeding ticket, red light camera ticket or other moving violation will result in points being placed on a driver’s DMV record and in increased insurance rates. One point violations like speeding and stop sign violations will remain on a driver’s record for insurance and negligent operator purposes for three years.
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The San Francisco Police Department says that a 40 year old man from Sebastapol, California, in Sonoma County, drove his SUV into the the San Francisco Municipal Railway underground tunnel on Church Street around 6 O’Clock in the morning on Thursday. The man was arrested a short time later for suspicion of driving under the influence, driving on train tracks and he was cited for disobeying a traffic sign.

The San Francisco MUNI subway system was closed for over two hours due to the suspected drunk driver as he made his way eastward almost into the Van Ness Avenue station. No one was injured in the traffic related incident and the DUI driver is expected to by released on a citation and promise to appear in the San Francisco Superior Court, Hall of Justice.

Some MUNI railway tracks were damaged and the driver will have to pay restitution for the repairs if he is convicted of a DUI.
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The California Highway Patrol arrested 24 drivers for suspected driving under the influence over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend in Sonoma County.

CHP officers made traffic stops resulting in DUI arrests for speeding and making an illegal left turn. One driver was also arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car on Heather Land in West Sonoma County.

Four children were in the car of one suspected drunk driver and he will likely also be charged with child endangerment by the Sonoma County District Attorney. A conviction for a DUI while having passengers under the age of 14 in the car can result in enhanced penalties including additional jail time. Further, a person convicted of child endangerment will be placed on 4 years of probation and must attend mandatory parenting classes.

A 24 year old man arrested over the weekend was found to be driving without a license and was determined to be on probation. That driver fought with police officers and refused to get out of the police car. He was booked on charges of resisting an officer and violating his probation.
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The Marin County Avoid the 13 DUI task force has received funds for the next year, its 11th, to continue its battle against drunk driving. The money was awarded by the a California Office of Traffic Safety directly to the San Rafael Police Department, which will administer the one-year grant for the entire county.

Marin County DUI Police Officers will use the newly awarded funds to run DUI and driver’s license checkpoints, drunk driving saturation patrols and courthouse stings. The 13 Marin County Police Departments involved in the Avoid the 13 campaign will also target repeat offenders and scofflaws by conducting warrant and probation sweeps.

DUI and Driver’s License Checkpoints aimed at deterring people from driving impaired and driving while unlicensed, have become commonplace in recent years. Although these checkpoints amount to a warrantless intrusion and their effectiveness can be questioned, the courts have ruled that checkpoints are legal provided that the police follow guidelines including the giving of advance notice to motorists, the use of proper warning signs and lighting and a neutral based formula for stopping cars.

Drivers in Marin County can expect to see DUI campaigns during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend and Christmas holiday season as well as on Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. Traditionally those holidays see and increase in DUIs.
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Client charged with violating Vehicle Code 21453, red light camera ticket in Emeryville. Case dismissed at court trial in Oakland, Alameda County Superior Court.

Marin County man alleged to have been driving 71 mph, based on radar, in a 35 mile per hour zone on Nicasio Valley Road. Court trial in the Marin Superior Court. The citing CHP officer failed to produce a valid traffic and engineering survey and the charged violation of Vehicle Code 22350 and court ordered suspended license from prior trial by written declaration are dismissed.

In California the use of Radar or Lidar on most surface streets where the speed limit has been set at prima facie limit the police must produce a valid traffic and engineering survey in order to justify the use of a speed measuring device. According to the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, prima facie speed limits should be set at the nearest 5 mph increment of the 85% of all driver’s in the survey unless proper legal reasons allow for a reduction below that setting. The use of Radar or Lidar where there is no valid survey amounts to an illegal speed trap.
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