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How to fight California VC22450 Rolling through stop-sign ticket


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11-13-17, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)  
How to fight California VC22450 Rolling through stop-sign ticket

Hi, this part of the forum isn't too active so I'm testing the waters to see if anyone here is willing to help me out on fighting this ticket!

I've already plead Not Guilty and have received my Trial by Written Declaration forms. I called both the court and the Sheriff's office to request notes taken by the officer, both said there were none written on the ticket but they could not guarantee he did not write notes in his own booklet. I also already received a one-month extension to fight this. Not included in this post but I took pictures of the intersection and how all cars I observed had to pull in half a car's length to get as good a view up the street as possible. I also found that most cars took about 7 seconds to get from Point A(Where I believe the deputy first saw me) to point B (where I completed my turn), completing the turn takes about 4sec on average, he was right on me when I straightened out leading me to believe he was speeding.

Below is what I have for my defense thus-far, please advise if I should add/detract information. Thank you!

"On August 4th, my wife dropped me off at my car and I was following her out of the neighborhood. She stopped at the Stop sign at the corner of Bath and Montecito st in front of me, and I proceeded to do the same. There was a large vehicle/RV parked up the street on W. Montecito st, as well as a tree that obstructed my view and Deputy Greenís. Once stopped, I took time to look both directions several times before turning right on to W. Montecito st from Bath.
Once I completed my turn, because of the lack of visibility up the street, I looked in my rear view mirror in case I had accidentally cut anyone off and I immediately saw Deputy Greenís motorcycle directly behind my vehicle.

He pulled me over and first said that I did not stop, then he asked me if I did stop. His questioning really confused me and I second guessed how I made the right turn. My wife stopped at the sign in her car, I did the same. Had I had better visibility up the street, I would have waited for the Deputy to pass me. If my view was obstructed and I could not see him, then Green also could not see me. Iím sure he didnít see me because he then also asked whether I looked in his direction at all, I absolutely did. Iíve had a perfect driving record since I received my drivers license about 10years ago, I would not have made such a careless mistake now.

I truly believe Deputy Green did not have a clear line of sight to where I stopped, further evidenced by the fact he wrote on the ticket that my car has two doors, it has four. At the very least, I believe this all amounts to reasonable doubt."

Thanks again for reading this! Looking forward to any help.

 
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11-13-17, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)  
We all do it. Very rarely do we make a 100% stop at a Stop sign.

When you come up to a Stop sign and can't see clearly in either direction.... you are supposed to stop fully first and then roll forward for a better view.

I don't really have any advice for you in fighting the ticket. It's basically your word against the officers.


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11-14-17, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Jeez, how much is the ticket? Is it worth missing work and sitting in a courtroom for hours? Do they add court costs if you lose but not if you pay by mail?

As said, basically your word against his and by virtue of his job and training, he is considered a more reliable witness than you. If you had been a bit more focused at the initial stop and said "Yes sir, I stopped, looked both ways several times because of that RV there and when it was clear I proceeded with my turn." he might have said "Well, just be careful, it didn't look like a complete stop to me. Have a nice day."

A few things I've learned (and I've been driving a heck of a lot longer than 10 years), you don't ask why you were stopped, you let him tell you. You answer the questions truthfully to the best of your ability and recollection. He already knows (in his mind) what happened, he's just gauging your character. If you waffle, he'll take that as admitted guilt. If he hasn't written a citation when he gives you your license back, he probably won't. If he hands it back and says he'll be right back, he's going to probably give you a ticket. Then you can ask him if you could be let go with a warning and you'll be more careful in the future. Oh, and plenty of "Sir" and "Officer/Deputy" scattered in. Since he was a motor cop, he wasn't a rookie most likely. He's heard every excuse possible from my foot slipped to I didn't want to lose the car in front of me to the sun was in my eyes so I just rolled up to where I could see.

In court...you don't state what you believed he could or couldn't see. You explain what you did and then say "Possibly the Deputy didn't see me stop completely, but I did". See, now you've reinforced what you stated happened while also putting a shadow of a doubt out there. As to the 2 doors vs 4 doors...simple mistake. Not like he wrote the ticket as he was riding up to you. Also not enough to have it thrown out. Was it you? Was it your plate? Was it your DL? Was it a purple and green Merbeemer-Hyunddakia 6000SUX? No? Close enough, it had 4 wheels.

I also suggest using "the Deputy", w/o his name. Helps to make him a faceless "The Man". Unfortunately, he will probably testify first (if it's like Courts I've been in) so he'll give his employment, rank, years of experience, possibly training and that puts him ahead in the game. Then the Judge or Magistrate will ask for your version. You need to pay close attention to how the Deputy described it and follow sort of the same timeline. Your's probably won't be the first case. In fact, it will likely be one of the last. Any cases with lawyers involved normally go first (because their time is oooohhh sooo valuable)

Now, if you had gotten a ticket for reckless driving or excessive display of speed I'd have given you a couple of other things to try that got those knocked down or thrown out for me...lol.

You can also say a little prayer that your docket number doesn't come up because they lost the paperwork. Had that happen once, Judge gave them time to look for it, asked if I'd been there all day, dismissed it right as the woman came through the door with it! Too late, I win.


Anyway, I'd still weigh the inconvenience and possible extra costs against just paying. That's a pretty minor infraction, probably only 1 point? And though I'm not up on how CA does it, many places if you plead guilty and just pay the ticket at the Clerks office and volunteer for traffic school (normally 1 or 2 days on weekends or nights or whenever for about $30?) the ticket will come off your record 3-6 months later. You are still out the fine money, but you keep a clean record. Not sure you'll have that option if found guilty by a judge.


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11-14-17, 12:44 AM   #4 (permalink)  
Thanks for some of those ideas Gunguy, it's a $300+ ticket plus 8hr traffic school on a Saturday, it's worth fighting for me and I hope to learn something new along the way Community Service pays $10/hr, not worth it.
Unfortunately I did waffle my answers around a bit when he stopped me, I was trying to be honest while also playing his game, didn't get let off though The fact he bounced around in his questioning as well is why I'm fighting this, he wasn't sure if I stopped or not, I shouldn't have received a ticket if he wasn't sure!

 
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11-14-17, 05:50 AM   #5 (permalink)  
From my experience, and I've only had a few tickets in a long time, the courts don't cut you any slack. Cars rolling or outright running stop signs is rampant.

At least in San Diego going to traffic court is a major pain. I would just pay the ticket.
You can attend traffic school on-line for maybe $25 to $75.00 and it takes way less than 8 hrs.


Brian

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11-14-17, 06:16 AM   #6 (permalink)  
...have received my Trial by Written Declaration forms.
This reads to me as if you will NOT have your "day in court" but instead the officer submits a written report as well as yourself and a magistrate (most likely) or judge will read each side and then make a decision. You want the day in court before a live judge or magistrate with the officer also present. You cannot cross-examine a written statement and most likely cannot amend your written statement after the fact.

You MUST be given a copy of any evidence that may be used against you. That includes any and all "notes" made by the officer whether they are on the ticket copy or in personal notes. The process in which you request the evidence is called "discovery" and IF the state (sheriff) does NOT comply you would then make a motion for dismissal. This motion will be denied by the court and the sheriff's office will be required to produce the evidence or else it may not be introduced.

Gunguy has given you other good information.


We all do it. Very rarely do we make a 100% stop at a Stop sign.

Speak for yourself, Pete. It is extremely rare for me to make a "California" stop although I see it more and more the older I get. In my area we have one city that has numerous "red light" cameras they use mostly for revenue. The timing is set that one must stop for three seconds or else it takes a picture. Many people complain about getting caught but I have never been caught although I go through this city often.

 
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11-14-17, 07:17 AM   #7 (permalink)  
If were an odds maker I would give10-1 you lose. It's your word against the officer's. In my mind this says it all - Unfortunately I did waffle my answers around a bit when he stopped me, I was trying to be honest while also playing his game,


Sounds to me that you may have had a bit of an attitude which never helps when dealing with a traffic stop. I

My advice - give it up and pay the fine.

 
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11-14-17, 07:17 AM   #8 (permalink)  
Posted By: Furd The timing is set that one must stop for three seconds or else it takes a picture.
I've never heard of the "3-second rule" as the definition of a "complete" stop. Is this in the code?

Serious question: Do traffic light cameras take a still photo or a video clip? When it comes to a day in court how does a photo "prove" you were rolling, or maybe stopped for "only" 2 seconds.

 
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11-14-17, 07:44 AM   #9 (permalink)  
We all do it. Very rarely do we make a 100% stop at a Stop sign
Nope, I always come to a full stop. When I first started driving (a long time ago, lol), I did not, got caught and got a ticket. Since then I always fully stop. Lesson learned.

Anyways to the OP, sounds like you didn't come to a full stop and got caught and you're asking us for a way out of it. Around here, if you go to fight a ticket and the cop that gave it to you doesn't show up and you have any lame excuse, they usually let you go. But I don't know how things work over where you live. If you go and lose, you'll pay more than the $300. I think I'd just pay it and learn my lesson.


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11-14-17, 07:48 AM   #10 (permalink)  
Guy, those are good questions and I don't have any answer. I seriously doubt that the "three second rule" is encoded in the municipal traffic code but is just something the city traffic engineer and/or the police pulled from a hat. The "enforcement" is all by mail, in fact, the cameras are owned by a private corporation (in Arizona as I recall) and they send the notice of violation to the registered owner of the vehicle. That private corporation also gets a portion of the fine for installation and maintenance of the camera. This is not uncommon, at least in my area. Cameras are also installed in school zones with radar to nab anyone exceeding the 20 mph school zone speed limit.

So far as I know all court challenges to the "system" have failed. It is a perversion of justice in my opinion as it puts the burden of proof on the driver/owner of the vehicle that he/she did NOT violate the law rather than the state proving the person DID violate the law. Welcome to 1984.

 
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11-14-17, 08:02 AM   #11 (permalink)  
Around here, if you go to fight a ticket and the cop that gave it to you doesn't show up ... they usually let you go.
Worked that way for me. I got caught in a radar speed trap with one smokie doing the radar from the left shoulder and three smokies in chase cars writing the tickets as fast as they could. When they got me I asked the trooper if he had observed my speed and he said, "No, the other officer got you on the radar." I asked that the name of this trooper be included on the ticket and he stated, "It's right there on the bottom of the ticket."

I was going to destroy this by asserting in court that the trooper that gave me the ticket did not observe my speed and thereby using hearsay evidence of my speeding. I was also going to nail the radar man because he had signed the ticket BEFORE observing my speed and thereby was guilty of perjury. I had both troopers subpoenaed and the radar man ignored it. When I asked the judge why the other trooper was not present, since I had him subpoenaed, the judge asked the prosecutor if the subpoena had been issued and the prosecutor said yes. Then the judge roared, "WHERE IS HE?" His partner replied, "It's his day off." The judge then roared CASE DISMISSED!" I thanked the judge and he told me to thank the law, not him. I'll bet it is a cold day in H**l before that cop ignores another subpoena.

BTW, I was not speeding. The radar obviously caught the 2-1/2 ton box van that was passing my little car.

 
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11-14-17, 08:50 AM   #12 (permalink)  
Furd, I hate to tell you, but if you stop for three seconds at a red light and then go through it, you still ran a red light. Did you mean stop sign? Or right on red?

Guy, many photo enforcement cameras are going to both still and video. Around here, you'll get a ticket in the mail with two pictures, as well as a website to go to if you want to view the whole video. If there's no video, stills are also pretty effective. There are several different systems in use, but it all generally works like this: A sensor trips the red light camera when it detects a vehicle at a predetermined point and/or speed. In other words, the camera says, "wow, the light is red, and that car is still moving towards the intersection -- flash!" It then takes another picture a short time later (a second, maybe less, depending on the roadway, camera configuration, etc.) That second image will show the car either having stopped before the intersection (in which case it should get tossed upon review), or proceeding into the intersection (whereupon a ticket is issued). It also shows the red light. If you were before the stop line, and the light was red, and then you were after the stop line, and the light was red, you ran the red lights.

There are also stop sign cameras in places, and I'm less familiar with how they work, although I would presume they are similar. It's less binary than "light is red, vehicle went" of course, and probably relies a lot more on human review. There's some math that could come into play, such as time/distance calculations, acceleration factors, etc., but I won't get into that for now.

The thing with photo enforcement is, it's dumb. And by that I mean, it's a computer. It will take pictures when certain parameters are met, but it relies on humans to configure and test and maintain the system, and humans to review the pictures to issue the tickets. Baltimore had major issues with their photo enforcement program, and it was shut down for several years. It was ticketing stopped vehicles for speeding, stationary vehicles for running red lights, etc. At one point, tickets were being "reviewed" and "signed" by a police officer who was dead.

I'm personally not a fan of the system for many reasons. There are cities that have been caught reducing yellow intervals below nationally accepted standards, to get the light to go from green to red faster. There are cities that abruptly drop speed limits and then put up speed cameras right after the sign. I've even seen reduced speed limit signs hidden behind trees right before a speed camera. Some speed cameras hadn't had their RADAR or LIDAR calibrated in years. And here, it's a civil infraction, with no points, and it doesn't go on your driving record, and is only a $40 or $75 fine (red light or speed). So they make it not worth your while to take a day off of work to challenge it. Even if you have a valid excuse, like pulling through a red light under police direction, you have to appear in court to make your defense. So do I lose a day's worth of pay to save $40?

 
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11-14-17, 09:16 AM   #13 (permalink)  
Furd, I hate to tell you, but if you stop for three seconds at a red light and then go through it, you still ran a red light. Did you mean stop sign? Or right on red?
Right turn on red, of course.

 
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11-14-17, 09:33 AM   #14 (permalink)  
Of course. Those are "supposed" to be tossed upon human review. Though allegedly some of the systems are set to not trip the camera if you cross them at a slow enough speed. I think the city said the detection threshold was 15 mph, but that was on their old technology, and I'm not about to go try it myself.

 
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11-14-17, 09:43 AM   #15 (permalink)  
[QUOTEbut you keep a clean record.[/QUOTE]


That is how it used to work when you were given an option to pay the fine but not receive points.

Today there is a national database called CLUE, even if you do not receive points the paid fine is reported and your insurance company will know about it.

Maybe they wont react but my experience is that they will just like you go the points.

https://wallethub.com/edu/clue-report/10595/

 
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11-14-17, 01:41 PM   #16 (permalink)  
I prefer questions over assumptions/judgement...
My conversation with the deputy was completely normal, as if I were speaking to an acquaintance, I was honestly surprised he didn't let me go with a warning when he was wavering on his own observation
I'm a safe driver, I don't remember every single action I take behind the wheel, I was erring on the side of the Deputies judgement, he himself sounded like he had doubts thus why I'm fighting this.

If I lose the TWD, I have the option for a completely new trial via Trial de Novo. I have 20days from judgement to request it, this allows me to go to court and cross-examine the evidence in front of a judge and the deputy.

 
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11-14-17, 02:29 PM   #17 (permalink)  
I prefer questions over assumptions/judgement...
Then you shouldn't ask questions on message boards. This is what happens! You get a lot of opinions, whether you like it or not. Maybe a lawyer or a friend would be the best ones to ask.


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11-14-17, 04:01 PM   #18 (permalink)  
Marq....Clue is for claims, not for tickets. Insurance companies get access to your DMV driving record by other means.


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11-14-17, 04:10 PM   #19 (permalink)  
Claims, tickets, and payments,

After a ticket in 2010 which I paid and my rates when up despite points being assessed my agent got a report that showed the payment for the ticket!

 
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11-14-17, 06:06 PM   #20 (permalink)  
I'm in PA and don't know anything about CA. I have fought tickets in PA and NY and, for the most part successfully. The officer might not show but in PA and NY he doesn't have to, In PA another officer can present the case and in NY the DA does it. I would explain the story to the judge that you stopped and it is a blind intersection. You couldn't see the officer and, therefore, he could not see you. The judge might well know the intersection and understand your dilemma. In NY the DA (ADA actually) is willing to plea the ticket down to something more amenable. In PA after losing in traffic court we can appeal to county court and the DA will plea the ticket down. Of course it costs more money to go to county but sometimes it's worth it.

 
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11-14-17, 07:51 PM   #21 (permalink)  
Marq...that's not what your link or any other site I saw said. That's all I was going by. And just paying doesn't stop any points being assessed. That's basically pleading no contest or guilty. It's the traffic school that can take it off your DMV record.

I dunno, maybe MI does it differently or your company was just doing some sort of annual review. I've had it happen twice in 40 yrs and both times it came off after 3 months. Never had any insurance issues either, not for just 1 or 2 points for minor violations.


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11-14-17, 08:33 PM   #22 (permalink)  
I always do a full stop at all stop signs and flashing red or turn on red much to the annoyance of other drivers. I also go the speed limit or keep up with prevailing traffic faster than the speed limit ONLY if I'm impeding the flow, otherwise the limit and not 5 mph more! I find it much more enjoyable and relaxing if I drive the limit and do the right hand lane.

Recently I was stopped in the country road doing 65 in a 50. Officer stopped me. I made sure, 1) keep my hands on the top of the wheel, 2) asked if I was speeding, 3) explained that the car was new (less than 1000 miles on it) and I wasn't used to it, 4) I have not had any marks on my license in over 40 years. He took my registration, and license and took about 10 minutes to return. Told me that he was going to give a citation for a "covered" plate and to pay the fine and no marks would be posted. I thank him and felt very lucky. The fine was $250 plus cost of certified mail for the guilty plea and another certified mail to pay the fine. I have since bought one of the head-up displays that tell me my speed without trying to squint at the speedometer.

There is a section of road just around the corner from me that has two troopers with radar and catch dozens of drivers daily. What I don't understand is that the majority of drivers take this route everyday and see what happens and still exceed the posted limit (which by the way is 45 to 55 in one direction and 45 in the other)! What's not to expect?

To the OP, pay the fine and be more attentive.

On a lighter note...

This is a true story that happened about 7 years ago to my daughter-in-law. I posted this to family members and a car forum back at that time that I was a regular participant.

True Story

This just happened to Stacey (Scott’s wife) this past Friday. This is much better hearing it from Scott or Stacey but I’ll try to put on screen the inflection of the conversation. The quotes might not be exact but close enough to make it accurate.

Have you ever had the fantasy of putting one over on the cops or better still watching them put one over on themselves?

Let me set the stage. You must imagine a police officer who was having a bad day. (In this case a state trooper, I think they were helping out the West Seneca Police because West Seneca Police were using much of their force patrolling the carnival.) Now think of him as talking in a very loud rough and stern voice not wanting to take any gruff from anybody be man or woman. Also remember he did not change his demeanor throughout the whole episode.

It was late Friday afternoon around 5:00 pm. Stacey had left the Church Carnival to go home to check on the dog. She takes Scott’s hot looking dark blue Mustang instead of her Ford Focus sedan. It was a hot day. She approaches a nearby intersection with one of those traffic lights that says “NO RIGHT HAND TURN BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 7:00AM AND 4:00PM”. She stops fully on red and looks around, and makes her right hand turn on red. Immediately the cop speeds around the other corner and pulls her over in a matter of moments. He crisply walks up to her car just looking for a place hang his hat and bellows

“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

DO YOU THINK YOU’RE SPECIAL OR SOMETHING?

ARE YOU PRIVALIGED AND ABOVE THE LAW?

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?”

Stacey very politely looks at her watch at the same time that the cop did and said very nicely

“Why yes, it’s 5:00 pm”.

Without missing a beat and maintaining the same demeanor the cop bellows

“YOU’RE ABSOLUTLY CORRECT”

and stomps off into his car and drives off. Stacey sits there a bit stunned not sure of what to do. Meanwhile an older couple had witnessed the whole scene. The gentleman walks up to Stacey and says, “I guess that means you can go.”

When we were told this storey the next day by Scott and Stacey we all laughed so hard it hurt.

Yes, God has a sense of humor.

 
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11-14-17, 09:30 PM   #23 (permalink)  
WTH is a "covered plate" and wth would it cost $250? Jeez, you guys are as bad as CA it seems. I mean, I haven't had a ticket in 30 yrs, but "she" has, about 10 yrs ago in VA and they were no where near that.


I can get in to just about anything and drive it w/in about 5 mph of the limit (normally slower). Unless of course maybe if I went from my noisy little truck to a MB S-class. But I've never had that chance. Of course if anyone wants to lend one to me for a week or 10, we can find out??? Anyone? Anyone?


Vic
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11-15-17, 04:47 AM   #24 (permalink)  
WTH is a "covered plate"
The dealer license plate holder. Apparently, they use this as a way of dropping down a speeding ticket but still get their money. This was a small country village of Napoli, NY. The officer was very careful in the way he stated the "covered" plate, without saying it right out, making sure that I should not change anything on the car and to just take the fine and be quite.

 
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11-15-17, 07:49 AM   #25 (permalink)  
Posted By: Norm201 Apparently, they use this as a way of dropping down a speeding ticket but still get their money.
Around these parts they use "Impeding Traffic" citation as an on-the-spot plea bargain to get you to accept the ticket without a fuss. No points--but the fine is higher. Most go for it I guess since I hear this quite often.
Of course the reality is the driver isn't impeding anything UNTIL pulled over by the cop.

I take a pretty dim view of cops who pull over drivers for no reason, or extremely minor offences and create a road hazard where none should be.
My daughter was a bartender for a while and got pulled over 3 times after 2am by cops hoping to catch a drunk. A pretty girl driving alone after 2am just HAS to be drunk, right?

 
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11-15-17, 11:03 AM   #26 (permalink)  
A pretty girl driving alone after 2am just HAS to be drunk, right?
When my youngest son was in high school he worked at McDonalds. Every Saturday night they kept him and few others a few hours past closing to clean up the store. He got pulled over more weekends than not until all the patrol men got where they recognized his car. Then he bought a nicer car and it stared all over again.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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11-16-17, 12:16 AM   #27 (permalink)  
Well, this thread got hijacked pretty hard...

Any other suggestions before I finalize my declaration? What's a good diagram maker? I was thinking of taking a screenshot of Google Maps and trying to add some lines to visualize line of sight.

Thanks for the help folks!

 
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11-16-17, 12:34 AM   #28 (permalink)  
Use paint in windows 10... .


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11-16-17, 12:48 AM   #29 (permalink)  
Well, this thread got hijacked pretty hard...
Yeah, It happens when pretty much all the answers have been given. Not much else to do except smile at other peoples experiences.


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11-16-17, 01:02 AM   #30 (permalink)  
Yea, we should all laugh at the Deputy, another insightful and original comment.

I've been on forums for nearly 20years, this one leaves a lot to be desired, like acting a bit more mature and sticking to the original point of the thread. Do you people really talk like this in person? lol, now that's something to laugh at

 
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11-16-17, 05:03 AM   #31 (permalink)  
TheIVJackal,

Don't judge us too harshly. We gave you our advice and you can choose to take it or leave it.
And why not add a bit of humor to our conversations?

This forum is very good and mild compared to most. Ask a question and you get an answer! What more do you want?

As to your last question, since you're hell bent on pursuing this, I like the idea of using Google maps to show the intersection and it's failures. Just be sure it will in fact show what you want. Remember you have to prove that the officer was in error. Most of our opinions have advised you not to go forward but pay the fine. Hard pill to swallow but hey, that's life sometimes.

 
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11-16-17, 07:45 AM   #32 (permalink)  
". . . .this one leaves a lot to be desired, "


I see that my original assessment of you was correct.

 
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11-16-17, 07:58 AM   #33 (permalink)  
I'm not sure what the going hourly rate is for a lawyer, but I know that we're not getting paid it (or anything) to answer legal defense questions or to unequivocally take your side on this matter. People have offered good advice and, IMHO, useful opinions about your ability to mount a solid defense, and all for free. Just because you don't like the opinion doesn't mean it's not a valid one.

As for Google Maps, it's okay, but not ideal. If you want to accurately portray what you saw, go to the intersection and take photographs. Neither you nor the deputy were viewing the road from above at the time, and aerial images won't take full account of things like trees, shrubs, signs, or a crest in the road. A saying that I like is that "the map is not the terrain."

 
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11-16-17, 08:26 AM   #34 (permalink)  
That attitude towards this forum and it's members, can easily get you suspended.

I think you got all the advice you're going to get on this, so I'm now closing it.


In our hearts, we all know that it's wrong to harm an animal and that we should take action to protect them -
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Adopt a shelter pet!
Spay or neuter your pet!
Please don't leave pets or kids in a hot car!

 
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