Category Archives: Firm News

Who gets the most speeding tickets?

Who do you think gets the most speeding tickets in a given year, if you’re trying to look at a specific group? Most people would probably say either “teen drivers” or “young men.” Both have a stereotypical reputation for driving quickly and breaking the rules — either on purpose or through a lack of experience.

However, this helps show why you need to be very careful with stereotypes. The reality is that young men are not the demographic with the most speeding tickets in your typical year.

That honor goes to adult drivers between 30 years old and 49 years old. If you want to break it down even further, those who earn more than $75,000 per year and who also fall into that age group are the most likely to get a ticket. The median income in the United States is about $52,000, so these are people who make considerably more than the average.

Why do they get more tickets? For one thing, many of them are busy professionals and parents of young children. They have busy schedules and a lot of deadlines. They often risk it and speed just because they can never seem to get everything done.

That relatively high income may play a role as well. A college student with $500 in a bank account just can’t afford a speeding ticket. A young professional with thousands in savings and a steady income can weather than financial hit much more easily, and they know it. The risk isn’t as great.

If you do get a speeding ticket, regardless of your age, make sure you understand all of the legal options that you have.

Police claim they stopped driver at 127 miles per hour

Most people break the speed limit. Maybe you go 60 mph when you’re in a 55-mph zone. Maybe you go 80 mph when you’re in a hurry on the interstate. Maybe you have accidentally sped through zones where you did not realize the limit had dropped. It happens.

However, some incidents stand out because they go beyond these relatively minor infractions. That’s what happened in a recent case where police claim that a driver on the I-580 was going 127 mph.

It appears from photos that the car, a Hyundai, got pulled over by an officer on a motorcycle. The speed gun shows 127 mph in the picture, with the car stopped on the side of the road. The police then posted about the stop on social media in order to show people that they take these things seriously.

At that speed, the driver was given a misdemeanor speeding ticket.

While you personally may never get a ticket at speeds like this, it is important to understand that citations and potential ramifications get more and more serious at higher speeds. While getting a ticket for going five mph over the limit may not feel like a big deal, getting a misdemeanor for going well over 100 mph puts you in a very tough spot.

In a situation like that, it is very important that you understand all of the legal options you have. Aside from the financial impact of the ticket, you need to think about the points on your license, the potential impact on your career and much more.

Court: Police can’t stop you for vulgar hand gestures

According to a recent court ruling, the Constitution protects your right to flip off a police officer, should you choose to do so. It’s essentially free speech, and they can’t detain you or issue you a ticket just because they do not appreciate it.

The reason this issue ended up in court is that a woman was allegedly speeding when a police officer pulled her over. Rather than giving her a speeding ticket, he gave her a non-moving violation.

While many people may have been pleased just to get a smaller ticket, the woman was still angry that he had stopped her at all. She flipped him off as she drove away, after the stop was done.

Outraged, the officer pulled her over again. He got rid of the non-moving violation and gave her the speeding ticket instead.

The key to this entire thing is that he had to stop her again. She argued that he had no right to do so because she had not broken the law at that point. The court agreed, saying that it was fine that he pulled her over once for speeding. However, he then violated her rights by stopping her again to change the ticket.

Experts say that, while this case is important, one potential underlying issue is that it shows how people often have to take drastic steps and go through a lengthy court process just to make sure that police do not violate their rights. A lot of people won’t do that. Consequently, things happen that never get reported.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, be sure you know about all of your legal rights.

What if you’re not sure a police officer is really an officer?

A man pulls up beside you on the highway and tells you to pull over, motioning out the window. You have no idea what happened, but you think maybe he needs help, so you pull over. Then he comes up to you, wearing normal street clothes. He tells you that he is a police officer, that you are under arrest and that you need to come with him.

Now what? Do you just go get in this stranger’s car and hope for the best? Or do you lock your door and drive away? If this is someone impersonating an officer in order to kidnap you, for instance, you may need to flee just to protect yourself. If it is a police officer, though, they could then claim you were evading the law.

The problem here is that you honestly may not know. You’re not trying to break the law. You just do not understand what’s happening, and you know that whatever choice you make could have a massive impact on the rest of your life.

Evading a police officer is a serious charge, but keep in mind that the officer needs to have:

  • Proper markings on their vehicle
  • Special vehicle lighting that makes it clear it is a police car
  • A siren on the car, in many cases
  • A police uniform that is easily identifiable

In other words, it needs to be obvious that you really are dealing with the police for you to get convicted of fleeing from an officer. If you didn’t know that’s what you were doing, you may be able to fight the charges. If you have any questions about your rights and options, our helpful website can answer them today.

Are you obligated to have insurance in California?

Car insurance sounds like something that should be your own personal choice, like life insurance. If you want to take the risk and drive without it, knowing you’ll have to cover the costs if you get into an accident, shouldn’t you be able to do that?

It is important to note that this is not how lawmakers see it at all. You have a legal obligation to carry insurance. It’s one of the main things that a police officer will ask you for after an accident or even if you get pulled over. You need to prove that you have valid coverage while showing that you have a license and that the car is properly registered in your name.

So, what if you decide to ignore this law and drive without insurance?

When you get caught, even for nothing more than a first offense, you’ll face stiff fines. They started between $100 and $200, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. You also need to pay a penalty assessment on top of that. For every $10 that you get fined, that assessment costs you another $26. Therefore, if you got a $100 fine, you’d also have to pay $260 in assessment fees, for a total of $360. You could end up paying as much as $720. If they want to, the court may also have the power to take your vehicle away and have it impounded.

As you can see, this is not something to take lightly. If you find yourself facing fines and fees, you need to know about all of the defense options you have.

Reasons people give for speeding

As soon as the police officer pulls you over for speeding, do you start thinking about what excuse you’re going to use? Do you start wondering if you can talk your way out of the ticket?

Most of us do, but it’s important to remember that the police have heard it all before. They get excuses with almost every single traffic stop. This is nothing new. Here are a few of the most common ones:

  • You actually thought it would be safer. For instance, maybe the car behind you was tailgating and you thought that speeding would help avoid a rear-end accident.
  • The flow of traffic was moving above the speed limit, and you were just following the example of the other cars. You thought that driving slowly would cause a traffic jam and may put people in more danger.
  • You are late for something important. It could be work, school, a doctor’s appointment, a court date or an interview, just to name a few examples.
  • You never saw a speed limit sign. Maybe you got pulled over doing 60 mph zone, but you thought it was a 55-mph zone.
  • You had a medical emergency of your own and needed to speed. Perhaps the most common example is a man saying that his pregnant wife is in labor, and he needs to get to the hospital.

Some of these excuses may work, but they may not. Rather than only focusing on how you can talk your way out of it, take the time to look into all of your legal options to fight the ticket.

Popular myths around traffic tickets

Most drivers have a strategy when it comes to traffic tickets. They hope to never need these strategies, but that they can use them to get out of most tickets.

Unfortunately, most of these are based on faulty information. Here are five persistent myths about traffic tickets:

1) Your ticket will be dropped if the officer doesn’t show in court

This has been the enduring opinion for decades. The thought is that you have the right to question any witnesses, and the officer who pulled you over is the main witness. Thus, if they do not show at court, your ticket is gone. Easy!

Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Many courts in California will simply reschedule your hearing at a time that is more convenient for the officer (and probably less convenient for you).

2) Passing is an excuse to speed

In order to safely pass someone, you may need to push past the speed limit. If you’re pulled over while passing, you may feel safe in saying that your speed was justified to pass.

This will not fly. Any speeding violation is against the law, and your admission of speeding to pass is simply a convenient admission of guilt.

3) Officers have ticket quotas

Some drivers change their behavior at the beginning or end of each month in order to avoid a police district’s ticketing quota. The thought is that law enforcement requires each officer to produce a certain number of traffic tickets to ensure they are doing their job.

Most districts do not use a quota system to judge policing. If officers do have a quota, it’s likely so small that they don’t need to overcompensate in the last few days of a month.

4) Traffic tickets remain in-state

Some drivers mistakenly believe their infractions cannot follow them across state lines. In fact, 45 states (including California) are part of the Driver’s License Compact and share traffic information. This means points you earn in our state will follow you to almost any other.

5) You can pay more to keep a ticket off your record

It seems like everyone has that one friend who swears they slipped an extra twenty into the envelope and a point was never added to their license. This is, of course, completely false.

Your points will be coming unless you talk to a skilled attorney as soon as possible. It’s worth your time to fight these tickets. As small as they seem, the points can add up to massive penalties. [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-3″] can help.

California ignition interlock device law now in effect

Amid the hubbub of the holidays and the celebration of the new year, the news of a law that took effect Jan. 1 that affects people convicted of drunk driving in California could have been overlooked.

But it’s important to know.

The new law requires those with drunk driving convictions to install an ignition interlock device in their cars.

Years in the making, the law was signed by former Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016 and finally has been enacted.

California did a trial of the ignition interlock device in four counties, including Los Angeles, beginning in 2010. The results were positive. A Department of Motor Vehicles study showed that first offenders who used the device were 74 percent less likely to drink and drive again.

“Expanding this already successful program statewide helps ensure those convicted of DUI do not become repeat offenders, and make our roads safer,” Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) said. “This is a win for communities up and down the Golden State.”

Under the new law, first offenders in California whose actions don’t cause injuries can choose whether they want a restricted license for a year or to use the device for six months. Both first offenders who cause an injury to someone else and second offenders must install an ignition interlock device for a year.

Drivers convicted of their third offense will be required to have the device installed for two years. For those with four or more offenses, it is mandatory for three years.

The law was celebrated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“Ignition interlock devices are a game-changer in the fight to stop the revolving door of repeat offenders,” a representative said. “Law enforcement officers across the state are already working hard to keep drunk drivers off the road. [The law] helps the system work smarter by ensuring DUI offenders can continue to work, drive their kids to school, drive to and from treatment — they just cannot drive impaired.”

Making California roadways safer is a positive of the law. Still, not all people arrested on suspicion of DUI are guilty of a violation and deserve to fight the charges before being required to install such a device.

Why can’t you use your phone in the car?

In California, it’s not just texting and driving that is illegal. You’re essentially not allowed to use your phone in any way. That means no calls, no pictures, no videos — nothing. If the police see you with your phone in your hand, you can face legal trouble.

Why is the law so strict? Other states have also banned texting and driving, but not even all of them have done that. Why did lawmakers in California take things so far?

There are a lot of reasons, but it all comes back to distraction. People get distracted by their phones in numerous different ways. Texting is perhaps the main one, but that does not mean it’s the only one.

For instance, one police officer gave this account of what he saw on the state’s highways: “Sometimes when we’re at scenes of accidents, I have people that pass by during, trying to film the incident and that is definitely unsafe to drive like that through an incident.”

People want to get those striking videos to share with friends on social media but that type of distraction can cause secondary accidents. It can put police officers and other emergency workers in danger. That’s why California made the law so strict. It also makes it easier for officers to give out tickets since they don’t have to prove someone was specifically texting at the time.

It is important for you to know how this law works, especially if you’re not from California, and you’re not used to this strict type of policing. Make sure you also know your rights if you get a ticket.

Did you know that there are 2 types of speed restriction laws?

Everyone knows that when you see a speed limit sign, you’re supposed to keep your car traveling below that speed level. However, this is not the only type of speed restriction law that you’re in danger of violating. In fact, you could get in trouble for a speeding violation even if you’re not driving above the posted speed limit.

First, we have the normal laws that everybody is familiar with. For example, the speed limit on the highway throughout the state might be 65 mph. In a residential area, it might be 25 mph. These signs will be visible along the side of the road, and motorists are expected to adhere to them.

Second, we have laws that require you to drive a reasonable speed given the circumstances around you. For example, if the speed limit is 65 mph on the highway, but it’s raining in a terrible storm, you could be speeding if you drive this fast because a 65 mph speed is dangerous given the circumstances — and you could find yourself cited with a ticket.

In the state of California, we also have what are called “presumed” speeding laws. In other words, similar to the second type of speeding law referenced above, you might be able to adjust your speed above the posted speed limit if the traffic and weather conditions permit. Therefore, if you’re driving 45 mph in a 40 mph area, you might be able to persuade a judge to agree that you were safely driving given the conditions.

Drivers don’t have to take a speeding ticket on the chin. If you were accused of speeding, you might be able to defend yourself against the allegations with a strategic and well-planned traffic ticket defense.