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  1. #1

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    Trial by Declaration - Advice?

    Jurisdiction / State: California

    I have a small traffic ticket I am fighting, and I wanted to run the letter I will be sending for my "trial by mail" by you guys really quick, if any of you know about this sort of thing.

    Please let me know if you should happen to notice any other arguments I can use to make my case sound better. A lot of the information I bring up seems impertinent, but if any of you know how this rigamarole goes, I would appreciate your comments.

    I just want some friendly advice on the text of the letter. Please, do not waste your valuable time and trouble to respond if you take issue with the fact that I want to contest this ticket, or have no familiarity with traffic court.

    I got a $1100 traffic ticket and a half-hour long interrogation in the back of a police car for "wearing a seatbelt improperly", and I will contest it.

    What I have for my letter so far follows:

    "I live in San Jose, and I am going to school for computer science. I do not have much money, and drive a 1990 blue Plymouth Voyager.

    I contend that I am not guilty of the CVC 27315(d)(1) violation. Please find proof of correction for the other violation enclosed.

    I was stopped by an officer for putting my head and arm out the window while driving for a space of about 300 feet.
    This was in the middle of the night, with no traffic in sight before or behind. There is no law against this, as far as I know, and, though I had my seatbelt on, the officer wrote me up for a 27315 violation.

    The superior court sent me a ticket with $1,169 bail.
    The stop was only the beginning, though.
    When the officer approached, he did not seem to take kindly to my polite request to know why I had been stopped.
    He then asked me. I told him I did not know, and that I would prefer he make that determination.
    At that point, the officer, apparently, decided that I was being difficult, and ordered me out of the car.

    When I continued to reserve the right to not incriminate myself, the officer "detained" me in the back of the cruiser, continually prodding me for more information about my supposed misdeeds. I was grilled about everything from the presence of controlled substances in my car to whether I lived in it, and repeatedly asked to admit to his suspicions by means of leading questions.

    The door of my van was left open, hastily parked on the side of the road, while the officer threatened me with everything from a charge for reckless driving to taking me down to the station and towing the car.

    Though I took it all politely, what with him having the gun and all, I was not pleased with these tactics, especially given the spurious grounds for my detainment to begin with."

    Well, thanks for reading that!

    If you're not yet bored to tears, here are various other lines of argument I considered:

    I looked into this, no where does the law define what is considered
    "Properly restrained".

    Finally, here's the information about the ticket:
    Date: 05/22/11
    Time: 2205
    Day of Week: S
    InfractionsCorrectable Violation: Officer Checked "No")
    CVC 27315(d)(1) - No Seatbelt(Correctable Violation: Officer Checked "No") CVC 16028(a) - No InsuranceSpeed approx: 35
    Speed Limit: 35
    Direction of Travel: N
    Location :Bascom * Hamilton / SJ / SCC
    Comments: C, D, M
    Badge #: 1895
    Phone number to call indicated: 408 556 3000

    UPDATE:
    I do have insurance, by the way, through USAA, paid out to April 2013.
    I called up the county, and they said that they have extended the date to appear to September 2.
    Does anyone know what the "comments" "C, D, M" mean? It would not surprise me if they were some kind of sentencing code.

    Regardless, thanks a lot for reading!

  2. #2

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    I actually had two tickets, but did not mention the second because I thought I would lose for sure.

    However, I won both. If contesting tickets by California's trial by written declaration interests any of you, feel free to send me a private message, or email me at the following address, spelled backwards :

    ten.1lm@lerriuqsyracs



    To all of you out there fighting the ol' gotcha games, I wish you the best.

    Every person who contests one of these tickets helps the rest of us.

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