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I've received several speeding tickets over the years, none of which I have tried to contest, but I think I draw the line at this one from yesterday. Do I have a chance at making a legitimate defense?
My grounds are: The stater's original speed, and possibly entrapment. This is quite simple:
The State Trooper was traveling north on the I5. So naturally, he is setting the pace while everyone tags along behind. He is going well over the speed limit passing people up. (Not on call, no lights on). Everyone does this, not daring to pass a police, people always follow behind.
So when he decides to speed up to 80, I go ahead and speed up too, to keep my original following distance. Then he slams his brakes, gets behind me and pulls me over pissed off at how fast I was going.
Its ridiculous in the first place to give a ticket for that. Like I said, people follow all the time and not just in California. But by definition, entrapment involves a law enforcement officer coercing behavior that otherwise would not have happened. I was happy to follow a nice flow of traffic. Upon speeding up, he tricked me into doing so as well.
Can I call this entrapment?
Other details: Supposedly this section was a 65mph zone. (He was not inclined to slow down for). He wrote me up for 80. I stayed calm and respectful, never making a comment. Simply listened and took the ticket with a smile.
I'm not sure about California because I practice in Virginia. However, I do not think you have much of a defense. See the following: Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges. It prohibits a conviction when the defendant can show that he had no original intent to commit a crime, and did so only because law enforcement agents persuaded or coerced him. Law enforcement can provide opportunities for suspected criminals to commit crimes (through undercover operations or stings, for example) and then charge the offender, but police cannot “manufacture crime.”
In your situation the fact that he was speeding would in my opinion be akin to the "opportunity' to break the law. He did not waive you on to follow him or sit next to you and gun his engine as if to say "lets race" he simply drove fast. The fact that you took the opportunity to do so was your decision. You did not have to follow his lead.
You can always go to court and try and fight the ticket. If the officer does not show up often times the judge will dismiss the case. In most locals you can speak to the state attorney prior to court and work out a deal that reduces the charge which will save you points and therefore possible insurance increases.
I guess you know you should never do what you did. They can go as fast as they want within reason to assess traffic. At least, don't be the one right behind him.
I think your only hope would be have a lawyer try to move the court date and hope the officer can't make the hearing. Your costs may exceed what the fine is. Not sure how your insurance costs may be affected to impact your decision.
In SC it is normal for the Judge to offer anyone in the room wishing to have the Points cut in half if you pay the fine before the hearing. That only applies to reasonable speeding tickets like yours. Really cuts down on court room time.
Well anytime it's you against a cop pretty much you lose... however he was speeding as well and they are required to obey speed limits just like you and me unless in pursuit or heading to a call and even then they have rules to follow. Now that doesn't take away from the fact that you were speeding and breaking the law by driving 15 mph over the posted speed limit and I'm not very confident that the "he was doing it so I can too" defense is going to do you much good. As far as entrapment I personally don't think thats gonna fly either He didn't force you or coerce you into speeding you did that all on your own other people around you didn't follow suit so I think a judge would assume that given the opportunity you would be speeding anyway of course fighting a speeding ticket that you got in a Vette doesn't help much either. I think your going to have to chalk it up to THIS SUCKS! and end up paying the fine unfortunately. You may be able to file a complaint against him that he was breaking the posted speed limit without reason but I doubt thats going very far either and probably just end up upsetting you more in the process.
Side note...One time I had a sheriff deputy stop bumper to bumper traffic to let me out. He waves at me to pull out in front of him which I do and I wave back thinking wow that was nice then to SOB lights me up LOL... wants to check my papers and writes me a ticket cause my window tint measured 18.5% and legal must be I think 15%. I was sitting there minding my own business waiting for my chance to pull out and really 3.5% over and your going out of your way to stop and ticket me WTH???? I was totally pissed but had to do the same and file it in the THIS SUCKS box.
Side note* there are many ticket attorneys that all they do is fight tickets just like yours and for a fee they can get the ticket reduced to a non moving violation and no points. You end up paying a few bucks more than you would have by paying the ticket but you get out of the points. might be an option to consider.
Last edited by Pirateslife4me; 03-19-2014 at 11:36 AM.
Both my '00 & '04 Vettes have too deep tint. My dad got ticketed in both at various times for same thing, almost coming to blows once because the copper was trying to make him roll UP his windows so he could check them. Long dramatic story short - he got out of that one but they got him eventually with a ticket.
If you believe you can not win this case and are willing to pay the fine you could go to the department he works for and file a formal complaint. If you do you can rest asured that he will show up to court and you will more than likley have to pay but at least you can get his attention and let him know how you feel.
I am and have been a cop for the past 23 years and have never done anyone like that. If I am not on a call and am above the limit I have never pulled anyone for following me at the same speed.
Please keep in mind that most cops are good but you run into some *******s every once and a while.
Is it legal for police to speed without lights and sirens?
Is it legal for police to speed without lights and sirens? Yes this is legal. Often times Troopers, Officers, and Deputies are dispatched to calls that do not meet the Code 3 (Lights and Sirens) requirements, but require a timely response. I have had numerous calls whereas if I obeyed all rules and regulations of the road, persons would have gotten hurt or suspects would have gotten away. It is a fine line and I am sure some abuse this priveledge.
As for the pulling someone over for speeding behind a Trooper that is a pretty stupid move on that person. Who knows if the Trooper was just cruising, en route to a call that may have been cancelled, or whatever? But, their jobs are to enforce vehicle code violations and in order to catch a speeder sometimes you have to speed. Simply put, if you see a Trooper, drive the speed limit. Even when I am off duty, I still panic at the sight of Troopers and slow down.
Face it. Speeding behind a speeding cop is not the smartest thing to do, is it?
Please keep in mind that most cops are good but you run into some *******s every once and a while.
I've been let go or written warnings instead of tickets far more times than I've had run into the A**hole. Ive even had one once that let me go with a seatbelt warning that clocked me at 94 in a 70 on my way home from a miserable weekend road trip up north with my ex. He asked me if I knew why he stopped me I said Yep i was way over the speed limit. He says you know how fast you were going? I said Nope not exactly my wife has been yelling and sceaming at me the whle way so far and honestly i was just trying to get back home ASAP and I saw your lights come on I looked down and I saw I was at like 92mph and I hit the brakes pretty hard so I was probably going faster than that. He says i clocked you at 94 why don't you step out and take a walk with me to my car. I think oh S**t here we go... But I got out and followed him to his car. He stops at the hood of his car and starts tapping my license and looking down at it obviously thinking then looks at me and says "got the wife yelling at ya the whole way ya huh?" I said yes sir and I was just trying to zone out and get my azz back home and get away from her. He says "yeah it didn't look to pleasant in there, man... been there before" LOL. he hints that I might not have been wearing my seat belt (which I was) I said ummm yeah I don't think I was. He says very good well here is a warning for the seat belt can you promise to get home safe and under keep it on the ground? I said YES SIR!!!! he says have safe rest of your trip and best of luck to ya with the wife and let me go. Ex wifey soooo wanted to see me fry and was not exactly happy with the outcome but didn't say a word the rest of the trip
Last edited by Pirateslife4me; 03-19-2014 at 12:41 PM.
A Montana senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he pushed it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left. "Amazing, " he thought as he flew down I-90, pushing the pedal even more.
Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a Montana State Trooper, blue lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, "What am I doing? I'm too old for this! "and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.
Pulling in behind him, the trooper got out of his vehicle and walked up to the Corvette. He looked at his watch, then said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a new reason for speeding--a reason I've never before heard -- I'll let you go."
The old gentleman then said: "Three years ago, my wife ran off with a Montana State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.
You were speeding. I don't give a damn "if everyone else was, too". Pay the fine, slow down or suck it up.
I fail to see the issue.
<edit> I drive at or slightly above the speed limit, especially on I5. Where I "speed" is when the speed limit it 45mph, the orange corner sign says 25mph and I maintain or exceed the 45mph I entered the corner at (based on road conditions, familiarity with the corner, other traffic). But that's why I bought a Corvette. If I wanted to go fast in a straight line, there are a number of cars that are better at it than mine.