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  1. #1

    Default Appeal speeding ticket decision. is it worth it? (state - PA)

    Hello,

    Today i went to trial for a speeding ticket in Pennsylvania (53 mph in a 25 mph zone). I lost. However, i found that the judge made some mistakes when accepting the cop's prove of certificate of the device used (a tracker). These are the mistakes i think were done:

    1- The calibration certificate was a copy. When i said that an original should be presented, the judge asked the cop if it was an original copy, he said yes, and the judge said it was OK for him...

    2- The cop didnt bring any certificate that indicates that the speed timing device is approve by the bureau. When i asked for it as indicated in 41 Pa B. 7042, the judge argued that is not required by law and that HE certifies that the device is approved...

    In PA this fine involve 5 points in your license. I don't know if i should appeal in superior court or leave as is. Also, if i appeal, would i have to hire an attorney?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Appeal speeding ticket decision. is it worth it? (state - PA)

    The calibration certificate should mention the make and model of the speed timing device, which would verify whether or not it is permissible for use in Pennsylvania. While I guess it is possible that the officer could be using a device that is not approved for use in Pennsylvania, it's unlikely. Unlike radar and LIDAR guns in other states that might cost thousands of dollars, an officer in Pennsylvania only needs a $40 stopwatch in order to determine the speed of vehicles. Because the devices are so inexpensive, police departments usually do buy the correct devices and have them calibrated appropriately. Of course this can change on a case-by-case basis, but I guess I'm just saying that there's a very high chance that the device is approved for use in Pennsylvania.

    What did you request in the case? A 3111A, 5 over, 10 over, total dismissal...? Because the speed was so large (28 over - note that 30 over in Pennsylvania requires additional court intervention and could be deemed careless driving) it is quite unlikely that you would win if you went to court asking for total dismissal.

    Most judges are willing to drop the citation down, however... in a case like this, I usually see judges drop the penalty down to 10 over, which is around $131.00 and 2 points assigned to your license. Granted, any point value assigned is bad...but there's a big difference between 2 points and 5 points, both for your insurance and for your drivers license. The difference between 2 points and 5 points for your insurance would probably be in the high hundreds per year. The difference between these point values on your license depends on your license status right now - if you have other points on it right now, 5 points added could result in a license suspension or other court intervention. The 2 point value would give you a lot more room for error.

    In my very unofficial opinion, I would say that if you decide to appeal, you should hire an attorney. 28 over is a big offense and hiring an attorney for a few hundred bucks could end up saving you money in the end if you get some of the points appealed. However, if the points are not removed, I guess that is additional money that you will be out. It's a gamble, but it's really up to you to decide which you think is best.

    Every MDJ is different and each one runs their court in a different way, so long as they follow the court rules. Some judges are harsher when it comes to certain cases, and some are more lenient. When it comes to the county court system, things may be a little bit more formal and you may be able to prove your case better. However, you will want to make sure you have a really good case (and not just request some documents) as, at the appeal level, they will be expecting that you have all of your evidence and proof in place.

    Best of luck to you.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Appeal speeding ticket decision. is it worth it? (state - PA)

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have no doubt that the device is an authorized device. However, is it not required that they prove by the appropriate documentation that that's the case?

    So, if i appeal, will there be a completely new trial? i read that you appeal if you think that the laws weren't followed correctly in the first trial regardless of if you are guilty or not. Is that correct?

    Before we talked to the judge, the cop told me that he could reduce the point but that dont expect that he would reduce it too much because it was more than double over the limit. When i tried to tell him that i wasnt going as fast, he said to talk to the judge right away.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Appeal speeding ticket decision. is it worth it? (state - PA)

    I assumed you pleaded not guilty with your case. Based on your info, I would not go for a re-trial. You will still most likely loss the case on top of your time, money and effort. I don't know if you knew that you can go to traffic school after you plead guilty. That depends on the judge though but you will have a better chance of taking off those points by going to traffic school.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightHawk View Post
    I assumed you pleaded not guilty with your case. Based on your info, I would not go for a re-trial. You will still most likely loss the case on top of your time, money and effort. I don't know if you knew that you can go to traffic school after you plead guilty. That depends on the judge though but you will have a better chance of taking off those points by going to traffic school.
    I find it better to beg for mercy than try to prove to the judge why the Cop is wrong i'm his citation.

 

 

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