A company sent me a letter about fighting my Scottsdale, AZ photo radar ticket. Help me find this company.
September 25, 2007 5:00 PM   Subscribe

A company sent me a letter about fighting my Scottsdale, AZ photo radar ticket. Help me find this company.

I recently got a photo radar ticket in the mail in Arizona. The ticket was for a freeway in Scottsdale, AZ. Around the same time, I received a letter from a company suggesting that what Scottsdale was doing was not legal, or not abiding by the letter of the law, or something to that effect, and offering to sell me some sort of $70-$80 packet to inform me of my rights, or whatever. I threw the letter away. I've since been fighting the ticket a bit since I believe it's bogus, and am now beginning to wonder what was in that packet. I haven't been able to find any info about the company on the net. I can only find some generic 'beat your speeding ticket' web pages. If anyone has one of these letters, or any information about this company, please let me know. Thanks.
posted by gummo to Law & Government (9 answers total)
they'll likely only tell you that, in order to be legally binding, a ticket must be served in person. This is true, and so you don't have to respond to mailed notices. However, if you ignore mailed notices, they'll send a process server, and those folks are difficult to avoid. You can even hide in your house and refuse to open the door, but if they see evidence that you're home, they can leave it at your door and that still counts as being served.

This is what I remember from a law class a few years ago, however there are conflicting reports from random people on the internets so ymmv.

Anyway, once you've been served, you must appear in court/pay the fine/whatever. It sounds like you've already missed your chance to avoid being served, so your options are rather limited. I can't imagine anything else this mystery company would tell you is worth the $80 paper it's written on.
posted by Chris4d at 5:34 PM on September 25, 2007

You could always go speed through the light again, but maybe that won't be necessary. For some unknown reason to me, I saved this piece of junk mail. I guess I saved it for you.

His name is Joe Geremia, Jr.
Angel Enterprises
Phone: 602-692-8121
Fax: 602-368-4598

Invites you to call or stop buy his place at 10401 N. Cave Creek Rd., Space #153.

Want me to scan this and send it to you? Throw your email address in this post or your profile.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 5:42 PM on September 25, 2007

Awesome. I love ask mefi. It never disappoints. Please scan and mail to gummo007 at yahoo dot com.

posted by gummo at 5:46 PM on September 25, 2007

Actually ended up uploading them to some webspace.


posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:03 PM on September 25, 2007

Got it. Thanks.
posted by gummo at 7:16 PM on September 25, 2007

You might be interested in this story and this post:

"I heard of this, it is basically a letter stating that if you send Joe $65 they will tell you how to get out of the ticket by ignoring it, then they try to sell you a reflector plate cover."
posted by iviken at 7:28 PM on September 25, 2007

When I was in grad school, I saw an ad for a book called something like "How to get out of traffic tickets" and ordered it. It had a lot of little details in it about little things you can do in a trial, and suggested that in all cases, you should in fact go to trial. I was careful to follow each piece of advice to the letter.

One thing was to request the officer's certification for using a radar detector. During the trial, it turned out that the officer's radar certification had expired. They're supposed to receive training every six months or two years or whatever, and his training had expired, making his use of a radar detector legally void.

The judge then asked the officer "do you know how to use a radar detector?" The officer said "yes." The judge then said that he would accept the officer's statement in lieu of the officer's certification. I couldn't believe it.

Another ridiculous thing that came up during that whole ordeal is that they use tuning forks to calibrate the radar detectors. Tuning forks vibrate at a constant frequency. The thing that changes is the amplitude, producing the volume. When you first strike the fork, it is very loud. The tines are going back and forth in a wider arc, and then slowly the arc becomes narrower and narrower until the fork stops vibrating. Of course the speed is very fast at first and becomes slower and slower. It's ridiculous to use a tuning fork to calibrate something that measures speed.

Oh! I just thought of the name of the book: Beat the Cops.

After the ridiculous kangaroo court trial, I researched the tuning fork issue more and found a high profile expert witness. I called him and asked for his help. He was a sweet old retired guy who told me to forget about it. If I use him as an expert witness, it's going to cost a lot of money and I'd just be screwing myself further.

The judicial system in America is a crock. The only time you really have a chance to win is if the court doesn't have any stake in it. But cops and traffic courts are bedfellows. They both have one goal: to make money for their municipality.
posted by strangeguitars at 7:51 PM on September 25, 2007

You're going to have to pay a fine. Period. In the end, all the municipalities want is income. The question, then, is what sort of fine are you going to pay?

For most traffic courts, your appearance date is merely the time when you enter a plea. Plead "guilty", and you go write a check. Plead "Not guilty" and, then, a court date will be set to hear the case.

A lot of what you read on the web comes down to delaying tactics and methods to increase the cost to the municipality. Basically, making getting the fine out of you as cost-inefficient as possible. The theory supposes that, if the municipality sees that trying you for the traffic fine is going to cost them more than the fine is worth, they will try to reach an arrangement with you.

Again, most of the time, you are going to pay a fine. For most people, it's not the traffic fine they want to avoid as much as it's the points and insurance hit they are going to take.

So, if you make it apparent that you are going to make things difficult (and costly) to prosecute your traffic fine, chances are good that you can plead to a lesser, non-traffic, count. Public nuisance, perhaps. It's still a fine. But no points are involved and no insurance hits. The municipality gets their money (which is all they want, in the end) and you keep a clean driving record.

At least, this is how a lawyer friend explained it to me and it all worked for me several years ago. IANAL / YMMV
posted by Thorzdad at 6:28 AM on September 26, 2007

I got an unfair speeding ticket while on vacation in Canada. I was caught by a patrol car using radar. The case was to go to court.

One thing about court is something called "disclosure." The prosecutor must disclose the case against you in order for you to prepare a defense.

Regarding RADAR, this is what we (my son the law student) sent to the Crown Attorney:

I am returning, signed, your Disclosure Receipt Form. It is part of this fax.
However I am hereby requesting items of additional disclosure

"On the ticket, the officer stated that a tuning fork test was not performed on the radar device (The box was left unchecked). I believe that this omission is fatal to the case. I would like to refer you to R. v. Vancrey, 147 C.C.C. (3d) 54. In this case, the Ontario Court of Appeal stated at paragraph 18:

[…]in each case, the Crown must still prove that the particular radar device used was operated accurately at the time. To do that the Crown must show:
§ The operator was qualified: he followed a course, he passed an exam, he has several months' experience;
§ The device was tested before and after the operation;
§ The device was accurate as verified by a test and that the tuning fork used was accurate.

If a tuning fork test was not performed, I believe that this case must be dismissed, and I would like for you to contact me so that we can make arrangements for this to happen without taking up too much of the Court’s time."

Thus, at least in Canada you must be allowed, as part of disclosure, to see these records.

But it was photo radar. Yes, and you must be allowed to see the test records of the radar device relevant to you.

HERE's the important point. It is often a procedure that the radar device must be checked for calibration just before and just after it caught you. Just before and after means within an hour. (This is true in Canada.)

So if you want to fight it, ask the prosecutor for the radar calibration information as part of disclosure.

My son was working with a Crown Prosecutor in Quebec, and the CP said that when they get a request for the radar disclosure they will first ask for a reduced sentence, and if the defendant refuses they will drop the case.

Your Mileage May Vary...this is just my situation.

My ticket was withdrawn (it would have been for $300 to $450). I also told the Crown Attorney that there were three errors on the ticket and the police report. (Spelling of town name, my race, and the speed limit on that part of the road.)

In my heart of heart, I think that the officer purposely messed up the three errors, because he realized that it was on my birthday.
posted by mbarryf at 6:31 AM on September 26, 2007 [3 favorites]

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