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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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    Okay, but I did obey the law.
    And I'm not trying to be hostile, I just said that Defensive Driving isn't what I want to do. And it's still $115 for court fees, plus the cost of the defensive driving course. So I'm looking at ~$180 for defensive driving, or $187 if just paid the ticket.

    And I'm aware of the statistics of winning a case, but a lot of guilty people also fought their ticket knowing that they were speeding. And I've fought a worse ticket before and won. I do my research before going into a courtroom.
     
  2. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks, Mightymoose. You've been very helpful.

    And I was going east, but she was driving the opposite direction of me (going west) when she used her radar gun on me. So I guess she just put west, even though east would be more accurate (I think).

    The speed limit is pretty indisputable, but I'm concerned that they're going to say, "Oh. Well then you were going 56 in a 55."

    That would suck lol

    I had my cruise control set to 55, but I don't think I could prove I was going 55. Though radar guns are usually off by 1-2 mph.
     
  3. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm not sure how to request that documentation. I guess I'll just call the city and ask tomorrow.

    Also, I found the block on Google Maps, and I was wondering how you pulled up the speed limit. I can't find out how to look at the speed limit on my computer.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you go into street view you can move up and down the block to view the signs.

    Since it is s state highway you'll likely need to find the appropriate state agency regarding the speed limits. Call around and you will find what you are looking for. You have plenty of time.

    It might not work, but you could also try a polite letter to the Chief in Henderson and clearly explain his officer's mistake and the inconvenience it causes for you. Since it is a pretty obvious error the Chief can likely make that citation disappear for you and spare the officer an embarrassment in court.

    If you don't receive some kind of official notice that you no longer need to appear then you had better show up on time or get a continuance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You might find this useful:

    Statewide Planning Map

    In the menu choose speed limits then zoom in to the appropriate area of Henderson. You'll see something like this attached image.

    If you click on the section of road where you were cited you can see the whole stretch is 55 mph. If you were eastbound you had not reached the 45 zone. If you can get something in print that defines the speed limit through that area it will be more useful than your photos.

    You might start with the DOT office in Tyler as they should have jurisdiction for Henderson.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In Texas, the state determines speeds on state highways, interstates.

    SH 64 has one business route in Henderson, inventoried by TxDOT as Business SH 64-E. The route was designated in 1991, which, along with Bus. US 79, replaced segments of Loop 153 and Loop 154.

    Texas State Highway 323 - Wikipedia

    The two business routes are briefly concurrent through downtown Henderson.

    Municipalities can impose lower speed limits.

    There is no one size fits all.

    Here's an example:

    Municode Library

    https://www.tml.org/legal_pdf/SpeedLimits.pdf

    The City of Henderson doesn't seem to have its ordinances available online.

    The City Secreatry might be able to further advise:

    Henderson, TX - Official Website - City Secretary: Stephanie Kimbrell
     
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  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    At least in this case the posted speed limit signs match DOT. It's clearly a 55 zone. Should be an easy win in court, just a hassle to have to go so far out of the way to deal with it.
     
  8. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Very doubtful, even if the two cameras exist.
     
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  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Yes, requesting cameras is unnecessary, as is your own video.

    You simply need to provide evidence that the speed limit at the location you were cited was 55 rather than 45.
    You can do that by obtaining documentation from DOT or other controlling authority and with photographs of the nearest posted signs and their locations.
     
  10. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Do you guys think it's unwise to talk to the prosecutor about my case? I have my prosecutor's number, and I was thinking about telling them what happened to see if they could dismiss the case. I've had a ticket dismissed by a prosecutor before (in another city), but I wouldn't be surprised if a small-town prosecutor isn't as friendly.

    I'm basically trying to come up with a game plan to avoid court all together.

    So my plan for avoiding court and trying to get my ticket dismissed is:
    1. Write a letter to the Chief of Police
    2. Write a letter to the District Attorney
    3. Contact the prosecutor and explain the situation in hopes that they'll dismiss it as a waste of their time
    4. Go to court if none of the above work

    I think the worst-case scenario is that I would spend $50 in gas to drive to court, then get fined for allegedly going 1 mph over the speed limit (56 in a 55).

    I hope they wouldn't be so petty as to try and fine me for a 1 mile difference (allegedly).

    The officer originally said she pulled me over for going "55 in a 45"; I told her that I didn't see a speed limit of 45, and then she immediately responded, "Actually, I have you going 56." I felt like that was kind of petty of her.

    If my ticket said 55 in a 45, then it'd be stress-free for me, but I'm so stressed that they're going to try to fine me for going 56 in a 55 since they can't fine me for going 11 mph over the limit. Maybe I'm being paranoid.

    Thank you all for the detailed advice. I'm reading everything and taking notes for my game plan.
     
  11. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I passed through the same town on my way back to Austin and took another (more thorough) video. I didn't take pictures though. Do I need pictures? I felt like a video was more adequate than photos.
     
  12. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You don't really need either. Documentation of the speed limit at the location you were cited is all that is required.

    This will be a dead issue once you show the true speed limit. The one mph won't be an issue. The officer wouldn't even have stopped you for 1 over.
     
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  13. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Great news everyone! This morning, I got a voicemail from the officer who called to personally admit that she made a mistake and realized that the speed limit was 55 mph.

    I think she went back and checked because I told the court clerk that the speed limit was 55 mph, and the clerk took notes on what I told her; the clerk probably told the police officer.

    I was then transferred to the Chief of Police who also told me it was the officer's mistake and that he is personally taking care of everything and already requested dismissal.

    He said I won't have to do anything as of now, but he said he would keep me updated.

    So, I've had a good start to my day! I feel so relieved that I won't have to put my case together and drive out there.
     
  14. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Great news! Stay on top of this. Until you have documention that you are no longer required to appear in court you should plan to be there. You definitely don't want all this to turn in to a failure to appear because someone didn't follow through.
     
  15. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'll continue to check on things with the clerk. I was going to send in my plea of "not guilty" today, should I still mail it?
     
  16. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I'd ask the Chief to send you written confirmation of his willingness (by letter or email) to endeavor to have your citation dismissed.

    I'm sure he'll be happy to cooperate.
     
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  17. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I wouldn't send it unless you are up against a deadline. If you are in touch with the clerk they can advise what works best for them in this case.
     
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  18. austin007

    austin007 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Actually, there's nothing else for me to do.

    The Chief called again to let me know that he took care of the citation and it's already been dismissed.

    I also called the Court Clerk and they confirmed that the ticket was dismissed and there's nothing required of me from my end.

    Sooooo, it looks like I'm in the clear! I have two voicemails saved in case there's an error on someone's part, but I don't think I need to do anything; it all seems settled.

    Thank you all for your advice and your detective work. :D
     
  19. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    I would ask for some type of documentation to be sent.
     
  20. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    Since the court ultimately dismissed the ticket, any record of said dismissal should come from them.
     

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