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Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-24-2010, 7:23 AM Reply   
A couple Sundays ago, a few friends and I were riding through Berryessa, in Napa County.
I come around a corner and see an S-10 pickup driving slow with two officers on enduro bikes side by side in front of the truck. The truck pulls to the right of the road. I hesitate but pass while looking at the officers. So now I'm behind the two when one turns back and gives me the wave to pass. I do and he immediately flips on lights to pull me over.
They wrote me up for passing in a double yellow. I asked why he waived me on and he said no matter what, you can't pass over the yellow, even if being waived forward. After 15 minutes of going over all the legal issues on my bike and stories of guys being killed on that road, they let me go.
So now I have a court appearance in Napa on March 15th. Should I request a Trial by Declaration through the mail or show up in court and hope for the best? I already have to reschedule due to work issues but not sure which option to go with.
It was an Off-Road Enforcement Officer who wrote the ticket.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-24-2010, 7:46 AM Reply   
Wow that is pretty lame. writing a ticket for doing what he was telling you to do?
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-24-2010, 8:05 AM Reply   
Show up in court. Chances are he won't and it will be dropped, or if he does you still have a great arguement. Scheduling time off work is still better than having it on your record. My friend and I (at different times) both had to go to court in Redding for some BS tickets and the officers never showed.

I was towing my boat home going north on I-5 in the center lane when an 18 wheeler swerved into my lane at the last minute so he could pass another truck. I in turn swerved into the far left lane and continued to pass him and got a ticketed for towing in the left lane......I guess I was supposed to rear end the truck rather than swerve into an unoccupied lane.
Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-24-2010, 8:08 AM Reply   
Lame for sure.
Thanks Brian. I read where officers are paid for court appearance but not if contested through the mail. That's why I'm not sure which option to take. Maybe rescheduling will throw them off a bit. Who knows but there has to be a way out of this!
Old     (bobbym)      Join Date: Dec 2005       02-24-2010, 8:17 AM Reply   
contest by mail first. If you lose that you can request a trial in person. Doubles your chances of winning.

Check out wwww.ticketassassin com or other online resources.
Old     (bstroop)      Join Date: Apr 2005       02-24-2010, 8:18 AM Reply   
I have no idea about how contesting through the mail works but good luck either way. You can look at it this way as well. Worst case would be he shows up in court and you lose, but the ticket will probably be reduced. Don't pay them without a fight.
Old     (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       02-24-2010, 8:36 AM Reply   
I would most certainly show up to court with the defense that you were following the order of the traffic officer.

California is hurting and they're trying to solve the budget crisis by raping the people via citation now.
Old     (wtrgrl)      Join Date: Mar 2009       02-24-2010, 11:18 AM Reply   
My buddy just went to court the other day for a seat belt ticket and failure to appear on it. He said the judge started out by saying anyone who has a failure to appear will not get a reduction in fines no matter what. People still tried and they failed. He now has to pay $500 (his own fault for ignoring it). So whatever you do don't ignore it. California is hurting so there not cutting any slack
Old     (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       02-24-2010, 11:34 AM Reply   
Will it have an effect on your insurance? If not, pay the fine. If so, fight it to get it changed to a non-moving violation and pay the court costs. All states are hurting for revenue and if you go to court, they will hit you up with courts costs as opposed to a fine for the offense.
Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-24-2010, 11:43 AM Reply   
don't count on the cop not showing up. most cops are "forced" to go to court now...even on their day-off.

as for simply paying the fine, they tack on court costs as well. the best bet is to go to court, whether you plead guilty or not. more often than not, if you plead guilty, the judge will waive the court fees and maybe knock the fine down.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-24-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
It sure sounds like entrapment. I'd go to court and fight that one. If a cop tells me to pass, then I'm going to oblige them. If he pulls me over for following his orders, then that's just lame. Go to court and let us know how it goes.

One thing to remember is that the judges generally are normal people. They're really not on the side of cops. They're there to make a fair assesment of the situation. I had a judge take my side against a highway patrolman. It suprised the heck out of me, but he really set the patrolman straight.
Old     (fatsac)      Join Date: Jun 2004       02-24-2010, 12:07 PM Reply   
Passing on a double yellow will most definitely hit my insurance. I'm thinking trial by declaration (mail) is the best option.
Old     (jay_g)      Join Date: Apr 2006       02-24-2010, 12:10 PM Reply   
Send the question to my wife on Facebook
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       02-24-2010, 12:13 PM Reply   
Just an FYI, the officer not showing up isn't as real everywhere as people make it out to be. They can postpone it multiple times, and in some cases don't even care if the cop shows up or not. That is at least the way it is in Indiana. If the cop is popular enough, they'll either postpone it till he does show up, or in reality he doesn't have to show up. That is in reference to State Troopers, I know city cops HAVE to show up. So it really depends on state and department. Goodluck


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