Post #5 What next? Trial by Declaration?
Nancy, puzzled by why the officer issued a Traffic Ticket for Unsafe Starting (VC22106),then changed it to Unsafe Turning Movement (VC22107) discussed the Traffic Ticket
Over morning cups of coffee at home
With friends and relatives on the phone.
With reference clerks at the library.
With passing acquaintances on the street.
With lawyers or receptionists on the phone.
With a driving school instructor
She sought information from
A book on safe driving.
VC22106 and VC22107 computer printouts from the library
Reading “How To Fight A Ticket and Win In Ca” by Attorney David Brown
Observing Traffic Ticket Court
A book covering the vehicle codes.
The DMV handbook for drivers
A friend who was familiar with traffic courts.
Nancy remained puzzled
A friend’s suggestion, the instructions in small print on the back of the Traffic Ticket stating that a driver could file a Trial by Declaration prompted this driver to prepare a statement on why the Traffic Ticket should be dismissed. The fact that a court appearance would be avoided and that a new trial could be requested if the commissioner ruled against dismissal appealed to Nancy.
Certainly she hoped the information the officer hadn’t provided in the Notice of Correction would be in the officer’s reply to her request for dismissal. Surely the officer would explain why he had issued the Traffic Ticket for VC22106 and changed it to VC22107 the next day.
No matter how many times she looked at the Traffic Ticket, Nancy couldn’t make out if the officer meant the street before, or the street after she had turned right as the street where he cited her for violation of VC22106
Nancy reasoned that because the Traffic Ticket violation had been changed to VC22107(Unsafe Turning Movement ) and the Court Docket read VC22107 (Unsafe Turn or Lane Change) that the officer had issued the Traffic Ticket because he thought that she had moved to the right too soon to make a right hand turn. He just wrote in the wrong intersection.
Starting Parked Vehicles or Backing
22106. No person shall start a vehicle stopped, standing, or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.
Turning Movements and Required Signals
22107. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.
Amended Ch. 1996, Stats. 1959. Effective September 18, 1959.
Going with this assumption Nancy prepared a statement on why the Traffic Ticket should be dismissed.
Edited for clarity, the content remains the same.
After starting with the date of the Traffic Ticket, car description and license plate number.Nancy continued:
I signaled at least 100 feet from where I made a right hand turn expecting the driver behind me to comply with a three car length distance from his car to mine, the speed limit being 30 mph.
The driver behind me was so close that tapping my brakes or falling back would have added to an already unsafe situation. I pulled as far to the right as possible to let the driver behind me pass to the left as there was ample room to do so. All that happened was that I moved to the right hand side of the lane sooner than I normally would.
There is a red zone for a third of the block in which I moved well out of the way of thru traffic. In fact two cars passed me on the left without a problem as I was making my turn. I continued down the street I had turned on and about two blocks later as soon as the officer flashed his lights I pulled into a parking place.
After checking my Driver’s license and Insurance the officer issued me a ticket for VC22106 which I signed. The officer was adamant that I get out of my car to walk to his car so he could draw a diagram.
I disagree with his citation issued for the following reasons
DMV Handbook recommends pulling over as an option when being tailgated.
As I was in nobody’s way when I moved over, what I did was safe.
Traffic was heavy. If the officer glanced away for a few seconds his perception of what happened would be compromised.
Because the officer’s car was parked facing south and was out of my line of sight as I was making my turn, the officer was not in a position to see what happened at the intersection where I turned right.
Finally the violation was changed the next day from VC22106 to VC22107.
With her statement prepared all Nancy needed to do next was to pick up two forms from the court .TR200 had instructions for the driver and TR205 which needed to be filed with the court served the dual purpose of requesting a trial by declaration and submitting a statement. Because the book she referred to had a blank TR205 form she could copy,instructions and a sample, she also had the option of skipping a visit to the court for forms and going to the library to make a copy of the one she had in the book.
What happened then?
The driver filed the Trial by Declaration after a re-write
The driver decided to file for Discovery instead
What would you advise the driver to do
File the Trial by Declaration
Request Discovery. Then File.
Obtain Discovery. Go to court?
Posted on May 15th, 2007 by paula
Filed under: Uncategorized