Friday, August 13, 2010

Location, Location, Location...

On our citations, and all citations in California for that matter, there is a box labeled "Location of Violation". This is, as it says, the location where the violation was observed.

For instance, if I see you run a red light at 14th and Main, I fill in that box with "14th / Main".

Pretty straight forward I think. Apparently this causes a great deal of confusion with some defendants as evidenced by the happenings in traffic court this morning.

The officer (not me this time) went up to testify. He gave the usual schpiel about the traffic lights not functioning and flashing four-way red at 14th and Main. He watched as a green Mercedes approached the flashing red lights, slowed to about twenty MPH then accelerated through the intersection without stopping.

When it came time for the defendant to testify, she brought out several pictures and a diagram. All for 19th and Main.

She went through her testimony, insisting she stopped for the flashing red light before turning onto 19th Street from Main, and that the officer was mistaken in his observation of the alleged violation.

When asked for rebuttal, the officer reiterated that the violation occurred at 14TH AND MAIN, not 19TH AND MAIN.

The defendant just could not wrap her head around the fact that the violation occurred at 14th and Main. She insisted the officer saw her stop for the flashing light at 19TH AND MAIN, and then immediately stopped her on 19th.

She simply could not understand that the violation occurred about five blocks prior to where the officer made the enforcement stop. She even went so far as to ARGUE that the violation was NOT at 14th Street as the officer had testified, but at 19th Street where she insisted there was no violation committed.

This is not the first time I've seen a defendant come to court prepared to argue the wrong location, or even the wrong vehicle code section. I'm sure it won't be the last either.

A word of advice to those who are on the receiving end of a citation. Before you come to court, be sure to read the whole citation. Read the violation section. Read the LOCATION OF VIOLATION! Then go and read the vehicle code section involved.

If you can bother yourself to read this stuff, you might just understand that the violation occurred somewhere other than the exact location where you were stopped.

It will make you look like less of an idiot in court...


Jackie said...

LOL!! Wow that's bad!! Arguging the wrong location in court *headdesk* fastest way to a ticket!!!


Sister Copinherhair said...

I assume they were told during the whole "Do you know why I pulled you over?" discussion that they failed to stop at a red light back at the corner of 14th and Main? If so, then there really are some stupid people out there.

Johnny Virgil said...

they probably thought they were home free too, since they generally KNOW when they run the redlight or whatever. Bummer for them.

Scott Pantall said...

Driving home from work one morning, I received a municipal speeding ticket from an officer with a neighboring organization. As a dispatcher, I know where the borders to our cities are. He tagged me with his laser right at the border of our cities. I know I slowed when I saw him.

I was tempted to fight the ticket by saying I was speeding in my city, but was going slower than the ticket said while I was in his city. I just ended up paying the ticket though. I should've fought it. I'm still curious if I would've won.

Candi Apple said...

Crap like that is why all I've ever said in traffic court is, "Can I get a payment plan?" Never argue!!!!!

PDlandshark said...

Hey where you at? Vacation with the family?

Officer "Smith" said...


Just because you were in a different city when he got your speed doesn't mean you would have won. As long as he's still in the same state, he's good to go.