Articles Posted in Speeding Tickets

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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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 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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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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Local traffic Attorney John Stanko beats tickets in Marin, Sonoma and San Mateo Counties in September 2011.

Marin County.
Speeding ticket, violation of Vehicle Code section 22350 on Lucas Valley Rd. in San Rafael is dismissed at court trial.

San Mateo County.
Violations of Vehicle Code sections 22348(a) speeding over 100 mph and 22349 violating the maximum speed limit. Attorney filed demurrers in both cases which were granted after prosecution failed to file amended verified complaints. Both cases dismissed.

Somoma County.
Speeding ticket on Highway 101 dismissed when demurrer is granted!
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On Tuesday, August 12, 2011, a speeding ticket in violation of California Vehicle Code section 22349(b), exceeding the posted 55 mph limit was dismissed out of the Pleasanton Courthouse in Alameda County. The client from Oakley California hired an attorney to represent in him connection with his traffic ticket. His traffic defense lawyer submitted a trial by written declaration on his behalf and the Alameda County Judicial Officer made his ruling based on it.

A trial be written declaration must be filed prior to the original due date on a traffic ticket in California and the defendant must post any associated bail in order to have the matter heard. The citing officer must then submit a declaration to the court in order for a trial to be held on the written declarations. If the officer fails to respond or does not provide evidence sufficient for a finding of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt the matter will be dismissed and the bail amount refunded. If the court renders a finding of guilt the defendant then as a right to request a new trial in front of a judicial officer.

A conviction for a violation of Vehicle Code section 22349(b), would have resulted in one point on the client’s driving record and increased insurance costs.
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In a traffic court trial on August 3, 2011, in Marin County, the Court Commissioner agreed with Attorney John Stanko’s argument that a speeding ticket issued on Northbound Nicasio Blvd. in West Marin was illegal. The CHP had cited the driver for allegedly going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone just North of Nicasio Elementary School. The Highway Patrol Officer had used a Radar gun to determine the driver’s speed.

In California the use of Radar on most surface streets must be justified by a valid traffic and engineering survey. California Vehicle Code sections 627 and 40802 et sec. discuss the use of radar to detect the speed of a moving vehicle. Absent the proper introduction of evidence, including a valid certified traffic and engineering survey a peace officer’s use of radar is an illegal speed trap. When the court finds that the use of radar was illegal the officer is incompetent to give testimony and the court is without jurisdiction to render a finding of guilt.

The California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the Vehicle Code require that the speed limit be set within the nearest 5 mph of the 85 percentile of drivers in a traffic and engineering survey. Absent proper justification based on factors not readily apparent to drivers, the speed limit may not be reduced lower than the nearest 5 mph of the 85 percentile. In this case the 85 percentile speed was 45 mph but the speed limit had been set at 35 mph without proper justification and the Court had to dismiss the case.
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