Texas law enforcement, your opinions please... well anyone else too.

This is a discussion on Texas law enforcement, your opinions please... well anyone else too. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I am accused of going 84 miles per hour in a 65 zone. I don't believe I was going that fast for a second but ...

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Thread: Texas law enforcement, your opinions please... well anyone else too.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Texas law enforcement, your opinions please... well anyone else too.

    I am accused of going 84 miles per hour in a 65 zone. I don't believe I was going that fast for a second but I'm staring down a ticket anyway.

    However I feel I can argue there is reason to doubt the charges against me for three reasons:

    1. My spedometer is currently being replaced right now, as soon as I could have my vehicle serviced after the incident. I was not aware of the malfunction until the day after the ticket was issued. I cannot be faulted when I had no reason to doubt my vehicle's spedometer.

    2. I have recently learned that the radar guns the police are forced to use are terribly inaccurate. It is a man made computerized device and one subject to failure and inaccuracy. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what radar guns the Texas Highway Patrol uses so I could contact the manufacturer and get the tolerances of the device in writing to prove that the officer was using faulty equipment issued to him by the state.

    3. I can prove that I was on the last 20 miles of a trip I take several times a month over a distance exceeding 225 miles. This trip takes me through multiple counties and municipalities and easily a dozen agencies. I have made this trip many many times without committing a crime. IF I were speeding, why would I be speed at the very end of a long trip in a civilized area heavily patrolled by law enforcement? I can prove I lived in the area for at least 10 years and am familiar with it and its traffic laws.

    Furthermore I have not been accused of speeding in 24 years, why would I start now? I can prove I'm a pretty good and lawful driver as I have no citations on my record.

    Why should a driver with a faulty spedometer who was stopped due to an inaccurate reading with a clean record be charged with speeding? I feel like if I could explain that to a jury or even the officer who wrote the citation when he was out of uniform, they'd agree it wasn't my fault even if I was speeding. All 3 of these reasons alone are strong enough to merit not guilty.

    However I need concrete proof the radar guns are fallible and don't always work right... I was wondering if anyone could help me with that. I refuse to pay another $100 a month insurance and live my life as a convicted criminal for this. I also refuse to pay $105 for the privilege of MAYBE getting to take defensive driving, which would probably cost another $200 or more. A CHL course costs $150 typically and that's just one day, I hate to imagine what defensive driving costs.

    Mostly it's a matter of integrity. I do not recklessly endanger the public.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array elkhunter's Avatar
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    I was not aware of the malfunction until the day after the ticket was issued. I cannot be faulted when I had no reason to doubt my vehicle's spedometer.
    IMHO, and experience, if you present compelling evidence of a faulty instrument, you can have the charge reduced to operating a vehicle with faulty equipment. That will be much better than the speeding charge. I knew a guy who kept a set of larger tires in his garage, so that when he got a (one of many) speeding ticket, he would just slap on the big tires, get his speedometer checked, take the paperwork into the judge and get the charge reduced.

    Now, speaking of faulty equipment, the radar is another issue. I know that defense has been used since the invention of radar. A good lawyer might help.

    Good luck!
    It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)

    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.

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    Whatever Euc - this is gonna be hassle I am sure you don't need!!

    Here in PA AFAIK we have some leeway as I expect you do. For example on I 99 which I use quite a bit it is 65 but, on average folks travel at 70-75 - and seemingly this is pretty much accepted. I think ''7 over'' is the allowed discrepancy.

    84 is of course well over what might be seen as ''OK'' but if you did in fact have a faulty ''clock'' then I guess that is a good line to pursue, if proveable. I wish you luck anyways.
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    Pick 1 reason why you should not get a ticket and go with it. Citing multiple reasons only makes you look like you are trying to make excuses. i would have the speedo checked, repaired and bring the repair bill, including explaination of repairs to court with you. Just my 2 cents.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well the problem is, I did live there for 10 years, and I know the prosecutor I'd be going against. I've got to overplan this because he won't be cutting my any slack.

    He was actually my debate and mock trial coach in high school. He will fire both barrels at me.

    And a malfunction of a vehicle is not a crime. My vehicle has its inspection sticker, the state says it's good enough to drive.

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    Lead Moderator
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    procecutor? You sure about going before him? Not sure on you state , but here you would just appear before the judge, unless the crime was a misdeomenor or felony.
    Also to add, radar may be fairly close to accurate , especially if the have documented tuning the radar gun and depending on what type of radar.
    Good luck, anyway.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I don't know I've never been charged with a crime before. I'm honestly hot about the whole thing... I am a licensed teacher and a CHL holder and they accuse me of a crime. I'd assume since the court clerk explained to me on the phone I have the right to trial by jury I'd have to argue my case.

    You'd think I'd have the right to an attorney too but apparently not... I can hire an attorney but that'd cost more than a guilty verdict would.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    if the Speed-o is out of whack take the repair invoice with you
    as rocky said here we just go infront of the judge to fight traffic tickets

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    If no attourney , then probably no trial by jury. 20 mph off sounds too much , even for an old radar detector. was a vehicle near ya speeding?

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Traffic was sparse. I did pass a big truck a moment before I got caught but that wouldn't matter.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Ride4TheBrand's Avatar
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    There will be a prosecutor to represent the state's interests. You can defend yourself, but you have to know trial procedure for your own benefit.

    I'd go with the malfunctioning speedometer. You can only argue facts, and not the "why would a law abiding citizen.." etc. However, you will be able to address the jury with opening and closing remarks, and THAT is where you appeal to them to consider your status.

    Research procedure on the internet for "pro se" legal work (representing yourself). There is tons of free information.

    good luck
    "We must remember that one man is much
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    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    I don't know about texas, but in some states, the police are required to have their radar equipment calibrated at a regular interval. Almost nobody does it though.
    Supeona (sp?) the calibration records. Don't request them because they will just wait until after your court date to provide you with them. If the radar wasn't calibrated recently, that is good. If they fail to produce the records, then that is also good.

    You will probably wan't to talk to a lawyer about this, and it will cost you some money, but as you said it is a matter of principle.

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    A few comments...

    I was not aware of the malfunction until the day after the ticket was issued. I cannot be faulted when I had no reason to doubt my vehicle's spedometer.
    Wrong. The fact that it was off is still your responsibilty. When you get it fixed, bring the bill that shows it was fixed with you. It might help, it might not.

    And a malfunction of a vehicle is not a crime. My vehicle has its inspection sticker, the state says it's good enough to drive.
    It's a code violation. The inspection sticker only shows that the vehicle was good to go at the time of inspection.

    I have recently learned that the radar guns the police are forced to use are terribly inaccurate.
    Not so. They are all calibrated. Some laser guns are accurate to a tenth of a mile. As long as the calibration sticker is in date, that argument wont wash.

    I have made this trip many many times without committing a crime. IF I were speeding, why would I be speed at the very end of a long trip in a civilized area heavily patrolled by law enforcement?
    Totally irrevalent. The only thing that matters is that you got caught at that time. He got you with radar at that time. Nothing else matters.

    Furthermore I have not been accused of speeding in 24 years, why would I start now? I can prove I'm a pretty good and lawful driver as I have no citations on my record.
    A good driving record sure cant hurt but it may not help.

    Why should a driver with a faulty spedometer who was stopped due to an inaccurate reading with a clean record be charged with speeding? I feel like if I could explain that to a jury or even the officer who wrote the citation when he was out of uniform, they'd agree it wasn't my fault even if I was speeding. All 3 of these reasons alone are strong enough to merit not guilty.
    He could be charged with speeding because he was speeding. The cop dosent know or care that yout speedo was off. To him its just another excuse.
    The fact that he was not in uniform is irrevalent is most places as the cop is never technicaly "off duty". The have 24/7 status.

    In the eyes of the law, there is no excuse for speeding. Youve been driving long enough that should reasonably know that you are driving nearly 20 miles over the limit.

    However I need concrete proof the radar guns are fallible and don't always work right...
    Euc...how many times do you think that ones has been argued ? You're not going to get much help on that one at all.

    I refuse to pay another $100 a month insurance and live my life as a convicted criminal for this. I also refuse to pay $105 for the privilege of MAYBE getting to take defensive driving, which would probably cost another $200 or more. .
    Unfortunatley, that wont be up to you. It'l lbe up to the judge.

    And...its a traffic ticket. Its a civil infraction. You wont be classed as a "convicted criminal". FWIW, just about every driver in the country has got a speeding ticket at one time or another. Its not a big deal.

    Mostly it's a matter of integrity. I do not recklessly endanger the public.[/
    I believe you, but you did that time. A better statement would be "I do not knowingly endanger the public.

    Euc..I hope that you realize that I am in no way judging you, but I am trying to give you a different perspective from someone that writes tickets on occasion. A cop only knows what he sees. In this case, he wrote you for doing what his radar showed him and he would have been remiss in his duties if he didnt write you. I dont know of any cop that would let nearly 20 over slide, escpecially in a residential area.

    It is entirely possible that he "shot you" when you were passing a truck and it may have been a mile away. Its also possible that he was in a spot that you couldnt see due to the truck being in the right place at the right time.

    In my opinoin,(FWIW) the best thing to do would be to plead "Guilty with explanation" and tell them that you were unaware that you had a faulty speedometer and offer them the repair ticket.Your clean driving record will scotch you. Depending on the mood of the judge, he may dismiss it, reduce the fine or tag you for the full amount.
    In my experience, any thing else will just sound like more excuses thats he's heard a million times.

    In any case...good luck and let us know how it goes...

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well I called an attorney... friend of the family, he won't work for free, hehe, but here's the deal he told me not to think of it as a criminal accusation but rather a wrong place at the wrong time tax.

    He pointed out to me even if I do fight it and win, I'm going to pay court fees in some amount.

    He also pointed out they're not going to schedule something like this around my schedule, and that I'm spending $35 in gas every time I go down there. He also asked me if I'd rather spend that time helping my mother (he's her attorney too) or in court.

    He did advise that if I did fight it, the costs and hassle would probably be less if I agreed to a bench trial, but then he also advised me that young men no matter how well spoken do not do well in front of this judge.

    I won't repeat everything he said but if I fight it all the way, I'm going to be out just as much cash and a lot of time I should be spending doing worthwhile things right now. He's been helping us out since my father died so he's pretty well on top of our affairs...

    So basically he puts it to me like this: miss at least one day probably two from work from my students who need me to be there right now with standardized testing coming up, pay court costs, and likely get found guilty anyway and waste a lot of time I could be using to move furniture trim bushes and paint to do research that's probably not going to get me anywhere.

    Sigh... this guy ain't no ambulance chaser, he's a pretty good ol' boy. Dad thought a lot of him and Dad hated attorneys.

    "Now if you want to do something smart, send your information to the court in a registered letter postmarked by the day on your ticket, pay the $105 and take the course for maybe $100 and it will go off your record. I guarantee you they'll let you do it with your record and if they don't, call me. You're out less time in the long run, it will be wiped from your record so it's the same effect as being found not guilty, and they are going to get money out of you one way or the other. Or you can get mad about it, go to court, get found guilty anyway, and have your insurance go up while your mother needs you to help her."

    I'm paraphrasing here... he was much nicer and more professional than that.

    He's right. But I still don't like it! OJ Simpson can murder two people and get off scot free and the criminal justice system has nothing better to do than pick on me.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Cant find anything wrong with what you said either Hotguns last ticket i got i just paid it and that was that..

    20 over is 20 over

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