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Got a Ticket 4 Hours from Home, but I'm Innocent and Have Proof

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by austin007, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    I got a ticket during my drive from Austin, TX (where I live) to Shreveport, LA.

    I'm innocent, but I don't want to drive four hours to fight a ticket I shouldn't have received. Is there a way the court could dismiss it without my presence? I assume a lawyer would cost me more than the gas money it takes to drive too. And I don't need a lawyer with my evidence.

    I was four hours into my drive when I got pulled over for allegedly going 56 in a 45. At first, the officer said I was going 55, then she said, "Actually, I have you going 56."

    Either way, she was wrong about the speed limit, which I tried to tell her but she said that it was 45.

    After she gave me my ticket, I went back to look at the signs and saw that I was right. All the speed limit signs are 55 mph, and it was the same speed limit for a while. She was actually driving in the opposite direction of me.

    Anyways, I went back and recorded a video of my route and showed where she pulled me over and showed all the speed limit signs.

    I did not break the law, I'm pretty sure I was going 55 (I had it on cruise control), but she bumped it to 56. I have video evidence, but I don't want to drive four hours to fight my ticket. I shouldn't have to drive and pay gas for a ticket I didn't deserve in the first place.

    Should I hire a lawyer to just get this dismissed for me and save myself the drive and a missed day of work? Should I just go and fight this myself? Is there anyway to get a ticket dismissed when you live too far to appear in court? And what should I ask for in "discovery?" The officer's dashcam video (which would only prove my innocence and confusion when she pulled me over)?

    This is causing me so much stress, even though I know I have an easy dismissal.

    This was in Henderson, TX by the way.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Online traffic school costs $25.00 and many Texas courts ALLOW nonresident violators to take the course from any APPROVED school.

    Call the court and ask if a LA licensed driver is allowed to take the class, if so, ask what is required to take the class, and if YOU (a LA licensed driver) can take an APPROVED online traffic school class!!!

    You take the class, pass the class, get a copy of your driving abstract, send the completion certificate and abstract to the court, and the citation is dismissed.

    Usually the class and abstract costs under $40.00.

    You normally have 90 days to complete the class.

    Another option is to ask the court clerk about "deferred adjudication".

    Some judges don't grant it, but plenty do.

    It costs more, so be sure to ask.

    You have to NOT get another citation during a 60 or 90 day probation period.

    You pay a fee, about $200 (be sure to ask), no tickets during the 60-90 day time period, ticket gets dismissed.

    A traffic school class also lowers your insurance rates with most major companies.

    Some take your word for it, as in mine (USAA), others want a certificate, and you get 10-20% off your rates.

    The school is really a WIN-WIN.
    ...
    Henderson, TX - Official Website - Municipal Court
    ...

    The municipal court is a criminal court having jurisdiction over Class C misdemeanors occurring within the city limits that include traffic citations, parking tickets, disorderly conduct violations, school and truancy violations, as well as state law and city ordinance violations.
    ...

    If you have questions and would like to speak to someone in municipal court, please call (903) 657-6551.

    Austin traffic court explains the basics in TEXAS:
    ...
    Options for Handling Cases | Municipal Court | AustinTexas.gov - The Official Website of the City of Austin
    ...

    ...

    ...
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    One of your court options should be to appear by written declaration. You can look in to that. Your video won't be necessary but you could obtain photos or still images from the video showing the signs and where they are located. Even more useful will be the local codes/ordinances that describe the locations of the reduced prima facie speed limits. Comparing the described 45 zone in the code with the location given in your citation should be all that is needed.

    Out of curiosity, what is the location on the citation? Does it give a cross street?
     
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  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Well that just sucks.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Our laws often bear a certain resemblance across state lines, but the kinship isn't that of brother or sister.

    Its probably 1st cousins in some cases, maybe 2nd cousins in others! LOL
     
  7. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not sure why you're telling me to take a DD course when I'm clearly not guilty.

    1. I wouldn't take it out of pride- I didn't do anything wrong.

    2. What if I take the DD course and got another ticket in the same year? Then I would be taking a DD course for a ticket I didn't deserve, and also taking away my DD eligibility for the next year in case I get another ticket.

    Just accepting the ticket isn't a option for me. I'd rather pay a flat fee and hire an attorney before I accept a bad ticket.
     
  8. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No. She wrote, "190064W" as the location. I'm not sure what that means. I don't know how to find out where that location is online.

    But yeah, I wish we have "written declaration" in Texas, but they like to make it difficult on us and have us appear in court. My guess is that they do this so that people are less likely to fight a ticket, especially in a town where most people are just passing through.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  9. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Prove it.

    To me it doesn't sound like you have much in the way of proof.
     
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  10. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    LOL.

    Well, the location is on the ticket, so they can simply look up the speed limit.
    The FACT is that the speed limit is 55 mph, not 45 mph.
    The FACT is that the officer wrote I was going 56 mph, though I claimed 55 mph.

    Here's a video of the route where she pulled me over.


    So yeah, I think I have enough proof. Whether I was going 55 or 56 mph is arguable, but they can't dispute the speed limit signs.
     
  11. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Who is "they"? I don't think a judge has the ability or desire to do that during a trial.

    Not sure what your point is.

    A video taken after the fact doesn't necessarily mean anything.


    I'm not saying you are guilty, just that proving anything isn't as easy as you may think.
     
  12. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Mile marker?
     
  13. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    It looks like the 1900 block of Hwy 64 West, in the vicinity of the high school. It should be very easy to prove what the speed limit is at that location.
     
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  14. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    "They" being the prosecutor. They often review the information and can dismiss cases or choose to pursue them. I've had a traffic violation dismissed by a prosector by simply showing them pictures of where I got my ticket.

    My point is that I would have a difficult time proving I was going 55 and not 56 mph, if they decided to charge me with going 1 mph over the speed limit.

    I have the video I took, and I would get a "discovery" form to ask for the officer's dash cam and body cam. Like I said, my video isn't the only one that would show the speed limit. The officer's dash cam and body cam would should everything.

    My video, plus the officer's videos would prove my case.

    I understand fighting tickets is difficult, which is why only 5% of people who get tickets choose to fight them; however, I'm not going to pay for a B.S. ticket. And just accepting the ticket just to avoid the headache and risk of being "guilty" shows how messed up the Texas system is.

    Seriously, Texas needs the option for Written Declaration. Fighting a ticket is such a hassle in Texas.

    Aaaaand, now I'm ranting. It's tempting to just take Defensive Driving (it's been years since my last ticket), but I would risk eligibility to take it if I got another ticket within a year. It's just a stupid situation.
     
  15. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh! Well those numbers make much more sense now lol
    How did you figure that out? Common sense, I guess? I kept googling the location and didn't come up with anything.

    But you're right, we did pass a school when she pulled me over.
     
  16. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Mightymoose figured it out:
    "It looks like the 1900 block of Hwy 64 West, in the vicinity of the high school. It should be very easy to prove what the speed limit is at that location."
     
  17. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I looked on Google Maps. If you are traveling west on 64 the 55 zone began at the 1400 block and continued to JCT 571 where it goes to 65.
    Traveling east the speed limit drops from 55 to 45 at the 1400 block.
    Since you were cited at the 1900 block you should be able to easily prove the speed limit was 55 in both directions at that location.
    The only sign that says otherwise is at the crosswalk where it says 35 when children present.
     
  18. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    In your video you are driving east, not west, but speed limit is the same both ways.
    The 1900 block is the area where the overhead traffic lights are, clearly in the 55 zone.
    Do yourself a favor and get some kind of documentation from the city or the department of transportation that indicates the speed limit at that location.
     
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  19. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I don't care whether you killed someone, raped babies, or robbed banks.
    What you do or did is none of my concern.
    I didn't tell you to do anything.
    I simply gave you options, which you are FREE to ignore.

    Now, I'll let you in on a dirty little secret.
    This secret has nothing to do with Texas.
    This secret is true all over the planet.
    Traffic courts are revenue schemes.
    The powerful ones passed laws for the powerless to obey.
    I'm a retired Texas District Court Judge, among other things.
    Fewer than 5% of people who appear in traffic courts prevail.
    That means that in excess of 96% of people that get cited can't beat the charge.
    Notice, I said "beat the charge".
    Yeah, we are told "innocent until proven guilty".
    The police do a damn fine job issuing traffic citations.
    That's not their fault, I'm sure most would rather be arresting felons.
    If you dislike the laws in Texas, or any other state, stay out of that jurisdiction and always OBEY all of their laws.

    Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn.
     
  20. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I bet a certain police officer has proof, solid proof.
     

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