Winning Lottery Ticket, or Dead End?
April 27, 2012 4:19 PM   Subscribe

I got a ticket for supposedly making a "California Rolling Stop" through a Stop Sign. I paid the ticket, thus pleading Guilty. But I believed I had stopped properly, so I ordered the Police Squad Video from the Records Information Unit. It shows me making a proper and complete stop.

So now I am more perturbed than ever. The police officer in question was asking me all manner of trick questions (Did you see the Stop sign? Did you not see the Stop Sign? Were you looking at your cell phone while driving?) but all along I believed that I had stopped properly at the stop sign, and the video now proves it. What can I do now? === === I am also upset that in order to see the video, I had to plead Guilty to the citation ---- this seems like twisted and backwards Catch-22 logic.
posted by shipbreaker to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am an attorney. I have dealt with many tickets and am dealing with tickets right now, I am in California. As always, this is not legal advice.

I don't know what State you are in, but in California you definitely have the right to get the video before you pay the ticket. Often, if you don't have an attorney representing you, the courts here will make the bail amount of the ticket the same as the ticket. (So that if you skip out on court, the tickets paid.) But that's not the same as entering a guilty plea. If you have an attorney the court will generally release you on your own recognizance (OR) on the assumption that if you're spending the money to hire an attorney you aren't going to suddenly skip out.

As to what you can do now, I don't know. You may be able to withdrawal your guilty plea, and I believe in California you would have a decent chance of being allowed to, depending on how long ago the ticket was paid.
posted by bswinburn at 4:27 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

The trick questions are called Verbal Judo, and are designed to cause you to give up your own rights and admit guilt and/or supply evidence.
posted by rhizome at 4:32 PM on April 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

You need to talk to an attorney in the relevant jurisdiction, ASAP. You may be able to submit a motion to withdraw your guilty plea, but there is probably a time period for doing so, and it may be short.

In order to see the video, you had to first plead guilty? That sounds bogus. I doubt very much that the law really says that. Sounds like somebody misled you (shocking, I know).
posted by Corvid at 4:40 PM on April 27, 2012

What can I do now?

Sadly, I think that the best option here may be to be more wary next time.

From what you've said, if you expended some time and money you might (depending on procedure rules) have a chance of righting the wrong that appears to have been done to you. But given that money you'd risk and that time you'd never get back, you have to ask if it's worth it to you. If it is, you need to talk to a lawyer. If it isn't, you should probably ignore the (wholly moral and laudable) voice crying for justice and remember not to get taken like that again.
posted by howfar at 7:03 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it possible to lodge a complaint of (proven) incompetence about the officer?
posted by -harlequin- at 10:12 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

That's actually a very good point. You may be better off making a complaint rather than attempting to get your money back. While it may or may not achieve anything, it's likely to be much less of a financial risk while still providing some measure of justice. Worth looking into, at least.
posted by howfar at 12:27 PM on April 30, 2012

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