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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:33 am 
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Like millions of Americans, I and my family took a car trip out of town for the 4th of July weekend. But until then, completely unjustified speeding tickets were things that happened to other people. Now we, the lightup family, are a target of crooked law enforcement.

This was just laughable, folks. I was on a side road, trying to leave my neighborhood. I was going up a hill after being at a full stop at a traffic light at the bottom of the hill. I was behind another vehicle that was going the same speed as I. We approached a fork in the road. A cop was out in the middle of the road. He directed the car in front of us to fork left, but urgently waved us to pull over to the right. I thought I might have a flat tire or something, or that there was a shooting nearby or something.

The cop told me with a straight face that he had clocked me at going 55 in a 35 MPH zone. To justify this claim, he showed me his radar gun, which sure enough, was blinking "55". Now, I knew that I was getting a ticket no matter what I said, so I just let it go and did everything he said and figured I'd sort it out in court or something. Don't want to risk the full cavity search a la Rob Lowe in Waynes World.

My wife was aghast. Even my 2 year old daughter in the backseat had a look on her face which said it all: WTF??

Question: what's the best way to fight a speeding ticket like this? The last time I got a speeding ticket (which WAS justified, by the way), my friend advised me to show up in court, and request that proof be shown that I was speeding. The idea here was that the cop who pulled me over wouldn't be there, and therefore there would be no one there to testify against me. Instead, the cop WAS there, and the judge asked him if he could prove I was speeding, the cop said yes (though he didn't actually provide proof), and that was that. Guilty as charged. Ah well.

Now, I had a neat idea. His nabbing me so arbitrarily by showing me a "55" on his radar gun made me think: why don't I just take a picture of my speedometer going 35 and bring THAT to court? Chances are, that would be taken as a sign of insolence... but my argument would be that that is just as believable and arbitrary as that "55" radar gun was to me on July 3rd.

One thing I noticed with the Atlanta court system last time I got a speeding ticket: if you plead guilty, the judge rails on you, but if you plead innocent, they treat you with a lot more respect, as if to say, "Let's hear this guy out." I liked that.

Feel free to comment on my or other horror stories with the law, or to post Dweezil Zappa quotes, or just fight amongst yourselves. Just please don't let this thread die. I spent 24 minutes on this sumbitch.


Edit: corrected some grammar mistakes. Sorry, jimmie d!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:12 am 
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First, sorry about your bad experience.

We have issues about that here. Thought I am no lawyer, I guess it is pretty much your word against his, unfortunately... Here they used to let the radars alone on the road but now the ticket is only valid if there is a cop by the radar's side...

It is a global problem:

Motorista do DF é 'flagrado' a 880 km/h no Rio de Janeiro [DF Driver "caught" at 545 mph in Rio]

LINK

:roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:19 am 
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feetlightup wrote:
Like millions of Americans, I and my family took a car trip.........................

Edit: corrected some grammar mistakes. Sorry, jimmie d!

My family and I took a car trip.........

Gee whizzzz, feets, I've come to expect better of you. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:28 am 
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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
feetlightup wrote:
Like millions of Americans, I and my family took a car trip.........................

Edit: corrected some grammar mistakes. Sorry, jimmie d!

My family and I took a car trip.........

Gee whizzzz, feets, I've come to expect better of you. 8)


Dammit! I missed one! 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:34 am 
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What? His Family could have taken a car trip without him, isn't it?

EDIT: OOPS, I take it back... now I see...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:23 am 
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Sorry about your bummer trip, feets. It sounds like a shonky rap if you ask me.......20mph over the speed limit in those circumstances is a bit rich. Can the cop prove that the reading he showed you was actually for your vehicle, and not for the vehicle in front of you? Can he prove that the radar equipment is accurate? I don't think they always can, but I guess it depends on the amount of hassle you have to go through to try and beat it, and how much ($) your time is worth. I think "the Man" often plays on the idea that you'll cop it sweet and pay the fine, rather than defend it. Good luck whatever you do.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:30 am 
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The only person I know that has gotten out of a speeding ticket was a US Senator. Maybe there is a way to do it, but I'd say 99 percent of the time they are going to believe the cop, unless you have some concrete proof otherwise.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:15 am 
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Most of my tickets I've deserved, and sometimes I've deserved them but the officer has "cut it back," or even a couple of times I'v just gotten a "warning"...only one ticket was bogus and I took it to court. Half the reason was to be a pain in the ass to the cop who gave it to me, so it wouldn't be easy for him...the other half was maybe I could get out of it, or some of it.

It was a statie(who are generally pretty good up here in CT), on Interstate 95. It was a "work together trap" with radar clocking cars, and 1/4 mile up were several chase cars. They had a line of cars stopped "mass production style."

I knew where the trap usually is so I was paying attention to my speed. As I came over the rise where the radar was, a van flew by me...really flying. He got away, and I got his ticket.

I signed up for court, if the cop wasn't sure if it was the van or me (lol), there was a chance he wouldn't show up, and I'd get off.

He showed up.

He took the stand first and the prosecuter started asking him about his training with radar, and the last time the equipment was calibrated, and so on.

I sorta looked at the judge as if I had something to say, and he stopped the prosecuter and said "yes?" I said "your honor, I am not questioning this officers training or equipment, I am sure it is the best available, (this stopped those kinds of questions that could only dimninish from my side).

The prosecuter had no more questions, so it was my turn to question the officer...

"How fast was the van going," I asked.

"What van?" was his reply.

"The green and cream color Dodge from New Jersey that flew by me as we entered the speed trap," I replied, "How fast was it going?"

"I didn't see any van," he replied.

Because his radar car had it's back bumper to oncoming traffic and his radar read out was on his dashboard, he couldn't look at both the oncoming scene and the readout at the same time...so I pionted this out to the judge... I asked the officer if he could see the oncoming traffic and the readout at the same time, and he answered, "No." I then I commented while he was looking at the readout, he couldn't see the traffic it was clocking.

I asked him how long it took to turn around in his seat and get a good reading, I forgot what he answered but it was just a few seconds...so then I said..

"Well, you couldn't see the van while you were looking at the readout, and you couldn't see MY car when you were looking at the readout," I said, "do you think it's possible you made a mistake?"

The kicker question, the one that's very difficult for him to answer...he didn't answer...so I said...

"I'm not contending your training nor your equipment, I'm sure it's the finest, but we're only human...do you think it's possible that you could have made a mistake?

He said "Yes."

I said "that's all I have."

The judge said to me that he liked how I presented my side and that there was doubt but he couldn't 'just let me go'...so he cut the ticket price in half, and that was it.

I had to take a vacation day, so it ended up "costing" me more than if I had just paid the ticket, but my point was across, and the officer had to do a pain in the butt court apparance...so maybe he'll be more careful in the future. I KNOW in the officer's mind there was doubt because the fact is, I wasn't speeding, and he knows he didn't see me speeding.

The rest of my experiences have been pretty good...in fact I've made out.

Lol, I had a friend once who used to like to steal cars in his youth, he was pretty successful in that he was under suspicion a lot, but he never got caught...then one day someone stole 35 chain saws from a store and he got blamed(he didn't do it). He got 3 to 5 and did 18 months. He told me he didn't mind so much doing time for what he didn't do cuz he had gotten away with so much stuff that he did do, so it all "evened out."

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:53 am 
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Uncle Bernie wrote:
Sorry about your bummer trip, feets. It sounds like a shonky rap if you ask me.......20mph over the speed limit in those circumstances is a bit rich. Can the cop prove that the reading he showed you was actually for your vehicle, and not for the vehicle in front of you? Can he prove that the radar equipment is accurate? I don't think they always can, but I guess it depends on the amount of hassle you have to go through to try and beat it, and how much ($) your time is worth. I think "the Man" often plays on the idea that you'll cop it sweet and pay the fine, rather than defend it. Good luck whatever you do.


The last (and only) time I had a speeding ticket, it cost me hundreds of dollars and several trips to a "probation officer" to keep it off my permanent record. It was a huge pain in the ass. I think it's worth my while to fight this. And to think of all the assholes who wantonly drive like maniacs 30 mph over the speed limit, weaving in and out of lanes while on various drugs, while I try to get my daughter from point A to B. Pisses me off.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:40 am 
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File a motion for discovery. You want the latest calibration of the gun, the latest paperwork stating the officer is up to date to be operating the gun and see about the position of the gun when he clocked you, was it stationary? was he holding it? How did he clock YOU, but not the car in front? 9 times out of 10 the paperwork on the gun calibration or the cop being up to date are lapse. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:29 am 
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Serves ya right, Feets, you scofflaw. More than likely, he clocked you a few days earlier, but you were going too fast for him to catch, so he waited until he saw you again, to get ya!.

Anyway, you want to talk injustice? When I got a speeding ticket a couple a months ago (passing by London, Ont.) I also got a secondary charge for old insurance papers. (I never use them, so I had forgotten to exchange them with the new ones, at home on the bedroom desk, where I wouldn't forget them....).
I don't mind the speeding ticket. I don't like it none, but I understand it.
But charging someone $60 for being absent minded? That's low.
Which reminds me....my plate expires tomorrow. I have the new sticker in the car, but haven't put it onto the plate, yet.
Hope I remember to put it on before going anywhere. :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:17 am 
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What is the 0-60 mph classification for your vehicle?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:28 am 
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Oh, you were the guy driving through town with the flame details on the side of your hot rod!!!

(Sorry, we watched the California Kid with Martin Sheen yesterday, which is rather a coincidence)

The cops where I live are pretty lax, the last time I got a ticket, I didn't even get nailed for no seat belt. It was totally dumb, it was a Sunday with no traffic on a route that is watched well and I was in a hurry to get to church service I did not really want to get to.

In Cleveland Ohio, I got nailed pretty good in a speed trap on a four lane major road with a high speed limit that had a school on a side road. Seat belts and everything, about 200 dollars worth.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:46 am 
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I feel for you feets. I also had problems with your local police dept. some years back. Here's what happened just because I had NY plates.
I decided to drive down to Miami Beach to visit my folks at their summer place for a few days. I left on a Friday afternoon from midtown to beat the rush hour traffic.
It usually takes me 20 hours non-stop to make the trip (I drive like an old lady).
So here I was driving along the beautiful east coast with a cooler full of Mountain Dew, carton of Marlboros, Yodels, CD collection and all was right in the world.
I had made it as far as South Carolina without a ticket but in the back of my head I was already thinking about the "speed traps" that await me in
Georgia.
As I made it almost out of the state (I could see "The State Of Florida Welcomes You" sign in the distance) I was pulled over by a Georgia State Trooper.
"Do you know how fast you were goin' boy?" asked the Trooper who looked liked one the Griner brothers straight out of Deliverence.
"Yeah like 50 officer" I replied.
"Well the speed limit here is 35" he said.
I produced my license, registration and insurance which was all up to date when he requested.
"You boys from NYC love to speed don't cha?" he said.
"This is an Interstate for Christ Sakes! What the hell are you talking about officer?" I snapped back.
"Well you just passed a work zone and the speed limit is 35."
(There was no work zone btw) I got pulled over only because I had NY plates. They just love us Yankees.
You got any drugs in the car?" he asked.
"No, there at home with the guns." I told him.
Well he didn't like that very much so he called for back up and the "Dog"
I was detained for 35 minutes. Nothing was found and I was issued a $110.00 fine for reckless driving (according to Georgia Law 15 miles over the speed limit is considered "reckless driving")
So I now fly whenever I go down South.............. :wink:

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Last edited by Galoot Co-Log-Nuh on Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:51 am 
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We live in The Netherlands. When my father drove through Turnhout, in Belgium, he was flashed driving 71 km/h where 70 was allowed. Less than 1MPH too fast.
This happened in January 07.

In June, we got the ticket for it, which cost 60 Euros, roughly 70$. For some reason it's still very hard to pay fines abroad using the bank, so my father had to go to the police station in person. This took a while, it being a large distance and my father not being keen on driving far just to pay a ticket.

At one point the Eindhoven police came at our door. They'd attempted to visit us before, but we weren't in. My father explained, and as the policemen thought it was a bit silly to charge him for 1 km/h too fast and sending the police after him for said offence, they just went away with our word that we'd pay soon.

Dad did pay soon, albeit a day or two after the expiration date.

And then, November 2008, Dad got a note. He WAS TO APPEAR IN COURT in Belgium.
Turned out the Belgian police had lost my father's payment.
Dad went to and from the police station, asking what had happened. He showed the receipt that was given to him. It was of no avail. He had to show up.

February 08, court time. I went with him. We had to wait quite some time. Dad was sentenced to paying the increased fine + the court costs - the amount he paid already, totalling 17 euros.

He was sent the bill in June, for 24 Euros.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:56 am 
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I recently got a ticket for going 56 kmph in a 50kph zone. 60 euros and 1pt of my licence...It pissed me off, but i always remember what happened a long time ago....

When i was 19 or so, i went to visit my folks across town. My mother asked me to go down to the store and get some milk or something. Back then, I had a Mustang (1970 Boss 302) for “wheels”. Coming back from the store, which was just a km down a straight road, i sort of opened up the carbs. As i came up over a small rise in the road, a city cop was coming the other way with his radar gun on the dash. Well i immediatly hit the brakes and slowed to a stop and waited for the cop to turn around and park behind me. He asked me to step into his car and take a look at the readout...135 kph...in a 50kph zone! So i’m basically looking at my license going to the wastebasket. The cop starts telling me that he’s going to ask for a dangerous driving conviction and mega bucks worth of fines....But he likes my car. After five minutes of verbal abuse and saying how i’m a menace, the radio crackles forth with an all points bulletin that a tanker truck full of gasoline had rolled on the main road just two km from where we were. The cop looked up from the radio, said “It’s your lucky day son, but don’t ever let me catch you again!” told me to get out and took off.
When i got back to my folks place i got a chewed out by my mother because i took too long!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:15 am 
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Thanks to all for your stories. Nice to know I'm not alone. It just seemed completely motivated by the need to rack up some holiday weekend revenue for the police dept.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:22 am 
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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
What is the 0-60 mph classification for your vehicle?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:13 am 
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Well today I went in for my court date, all ready to contest my ticket. However, since I pleaded "not guilty", they rescheduled my court hearing for October 23, which is the next day the officer who gave me the ticket will be in court. At least I was in and out of there in an hour and didn't have to miss much work.

But now I have 2 more months to stew about this...

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:17 am 
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feetlightup wrote:
Well today I went in for my court date, all ready to contest my ticket. However, since I pleaded "not guilty", they rescheduled my court hearing for October 23, which is the next day the officer who gave me the ticket will be in court. At least I was in and out of there in an hour and didn't have to miss much work.

But now I have 2 more months to stew about this...

If you're lucky, he'll be off the force by then. In that event, your case will be dismissed in your favor.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:57 am 
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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
feetlightup wrote:
Well today I went in for my court date, all ready to contest my ticket. However, since I pleaded "not guilty", they rescheduled my court hearing for October 23, which is the next day the officer who gave me the ticket will be in court. At least I was in and out of there in an hour and didn't have to miss much work.

But now I have 2 more months to stew about this...

If you're lucky, he'll be off the force by then. In that event, your case will be dismissed in your favor.


Or, if he were to have an untimely.... accident of some sort.....

(bwaa haaaha aahahaaaa)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Here's my quick story; i was pulled over for going 50 in 35, the speed signs were not consistent , going out of town. Plead not guilty, went to court, argued my point, the judge said, you know you are correct. WOW, He dropped the ticket to the minimum, 25 bucks, great, then charged me 80 bucks court cost.!!! The ticket was going to be $50. :o

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:18 pm 
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The law is a funny thing...

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:21 pm 
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jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
What is the 0-60 mph classification for your vehicle?


How do I find this out? Is it online anywhere?

I went by that same street this morning, going about as fast as I normally do, and I swear I couldn't have been going more than 40. It would have taken extra effort to go faster than that, much less with a car full of luggage and toys and my wife and toddler in the car.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:31 pm 
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feetlightup wrote:
jimmie d killed the forum wrote:
What is the 0-60 mph classification for your vehicle?


How do I find this out? Is it online anywhere?

I went by that same street this morning, going about as fast as I normally do, and I swear I couldn't have been going more than 40. It would have taken extra effort to go faster than that, much less with a car full of luggage and toys and my wife and toddler in the car.


It's not too early to plan to take hostages if it doesn't go your way. I've heard judges always reverse themselves when such things happen.


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