Judge: Constitution “not relevant” – 1/3
What does a speeding ticket look like?
Mr. Ticket recommends that you be familiar with the appearance and information contained in a Summons/Notice to Appear/Traffic Infraction citation. The information – or lack of information – noted on the ticket can be critical in how to beat a ticket by establishing your defense and possible dismissal of the charges.
There are a number of proactive steps you can take to assist your defense that you can specify on the citation in fighting speeding ticket violations. For example, requesting a hearing at the County Seat courthouse in writing next to your signature can be effective.
What does a speeding ticket look like? This is a complex question because multiple types of tickets can be issued for a speeding violation. They range from a written warning to a long and complex form containing information regarding the offense. When a Traffic Control Officer writes a ticket for a speeding violation, it is actually a Summons to Appear [before a judge in court]. The best method of how to fight a ticket is a personal decision, however, simply submitting the established fine is an automatic admission of guilt and incurs the maximum legal fees and costs.
Further, each jurisdiction has its own Summons to Appear forms. Municipal citations differ from County citations and neither is the same as a State Highway Patrol citation.
For example, the California Highway Patrol uses a multiple-part form; a citation known as a 215. It has been revised a number of times, the current one in common use being CHP Form 215 (Rev 09/05).
Regardless of the source, the content is generally the same. To keep the scope of this article a manageable length, the CHP 215 Summons To Appear will be used to describe the content. It is one of the more comprehensive and complex forms in current use. The issuing authority (California Highway Patrol) and type of citation (Notice to Appear) is listed in bold type at the top of the form. The remainder of the ticket is a series of check boxes and blank fields:
– Check boxes indicating “Misdemeanor” “Non-Traffic” or “Traffic”
– A mechanically imprinted serial number to establish uniqueness and tracking
– A field for the date, typically in mm/dd/yy format
– A field for the time, hh:mm format, with a check box for AM or PM
– Multiple choice field: Day of the Week “S M T W T F S”. One will be circled
– Check boxes: CHP 215s and Accident for a non-routine violation
– A field for the driver’s name (first, middle, last) and check box for Owner’s responsibility
– A field for street address, City, State and ZIP code.
– A field for Operator’s Driver’s License identification number and State of Issue
– Check boxes for Commercial Vehicle (Yes and No)
– A field for Age, typically an “A” for “Adult” and Birth Date (mm/dd/yy)
– Several fields for physical description: Sex; Hair; Eyes; Height; Weight; Race/Ethnicity
– A field for License Plate or VIN number, Issuing State, and expiry date
– A field for Vehicle description: Year, Make, Body, Color, Type (Code)
– Check boxes for Commercial or Hazardous Material
– A field for Evidence of Financial Responsibility: CHP / DOT / PUC / ICC
– A field for ownership: Typically First, MI, Last. Check box for Same as Driver
– A field for address data of owner. Left blank if Check box for Same as Driver checked.
Labels for following fields:
– Correctable Violation: Check boxes for Yes and No
– Fields for Code and Section; and, Description of violation
– A field for a brevity code indicating Infraction or Misdemeanor (M or I circled)
– A field for Speed Approximation; P.F. (Prima Facie) or Max Speed (Posted Limit)
– Several fields to indicate Vehicle Limit, Safe, and Special used in some circumstances
– A field to describe the location of the violation
– A fields for Citing Officer data: Beat, Area, Permanent Area, and Patrol Car ID
– Check box if Radar/Lidar equipped vehicle
– Fields for Officer Declaration and Identification: Name and ID
– Fields for Arresting Officer, if different than Citing Officer: Name and ID
– A field for the driver to indicate receipt, without admission of guilt
– Several fields and check boxes to indicate the location and time of court appearance
The Notice to Appear is a multiple-part carbon with White (original), Yellow (to the driver) and Pink (Officer’s copy) parts. The original white is submitted by the officer to be processed by the court. The forms physical size is approximately 4-1/2 inches wide by 8 inches long.
A Warning is generally far simpler, with just enough information to indicate the offense and driver details. These vary radically from state to state. It is not a Summons or Notice to Appear if there is no court data indicated. This generally requires no action on your part other than a signature and a promise to drive safely.
In the case of an actual Summons, Mr. Ticket recommends retaining legal counsel when appearing in court. With maximum ticket fines for speeding violations approaching $500 – and doubled for left-lane offenses or construction zone speeding – it is in your best financial interest to beat speeding ticket charges with a lawyer representing you.
How to beat a speeding ticket is not a trivial task. Get a professional Califorina traffic ticket attorney who knows the law and makes a living saving their clients money. In the long term, the initial legal expenses can be minor when considering increased premium rates – or outright cancellation – of insurance, points on your license which may result in driving privilege restrictions and other complications. Fighting speeding ticket violations is your right. Don’t squander it and – with any luck and some professional help – you can beat the ticket.
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SPEEDING TICKET? LEARN HOW TO BEAT IT
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