Traffic Court Observation Paper

Topics: Moving violation, Periodization, SI base unit Pages: 3 (808 words) Published: February 20, 2006
I decided to attend a night traffic court session at the Ventura Courthouse. The cases ranged from seat belt violations to reckless driving. Most of the defendants appeared before the court to request more time to pay the fines associated with the tickets. I was surprised to see that very few of the people in the courthouse were pleading not guilty. Only one person showed up to defend a case with legal help from an attorney of some sort.

The first person to claim not guilty was charged with speeding. I tried to get as many of the details of the case as possible. The facts of the case were as follows: While driving on Bogus Avenue, the defendant was stopped by an Officer and was charged with violating CVC 22350. The charge was driving 40mph in a 25mph zone based on laser evidence. The defendant stated he believed he was driving approximately 35 mph at the time of the stop.

The defendant quoted the Basic Speed Law, CVC 22350, "No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."

Further, the defendant stated he believed that the posted speed of 25 mph on Bogus is artificially low, reflecting an out-of-date traffic survey and constituted an illegal Speed Trap pursuant to CVC 40802 which defines what an illegal speed trap is. It also states that if the traffic survey on Bogus was more than five years old, the officer's use of laser to determine speed would be illegal.

When using laser evidence, the prosecution is required to prove that the use of laser is not an illegal speed trap. If the prosecution did not provide proof (a certified copy of the speed survey) to establish as part of its case, that Bogus is not an illegal Speed Trap, the evidence would be inadmissible. The defendant also requested a fine reduction and a Court assignment...
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