What You Should Do (and What Not to Do) When you Receive a Speeding Ticket in California

Back in 2001, the BBC launched a television show entitled What Not to Wear. (An American version of the show ran on basic cable in the States from 2003-13.) The premises of both shows were roughly the same:  two “fashion experts” helped one person fix the alleged sartorial flaws in her wardrobe. The theoretical benefit was that, by watching, viewers learned…what not to wear. Sometimes, court cases and news stories can serve a similar benefit when it comes to legal matters. By seeing or reading about the egregious errors others make, you can theoretically learn from their mistakes and know, in advance, what not to do when it comes to certain legal problems. As a basic tip for almost any vehicle-related encounter with law enforcement, one of the first things you should do is contact an experienced California traffic ticket lawyer.

A doctor’s encounter with law enforcement reported by KRCR in Redding provides one very clear “what not to do” scenario. In April 2013, the doctor was stopped by a CHP officer for doing 95 mph on Highway 99. Sometimes, drivers may hope to escape the encounter with a warning, and they may give the officer an “explanation” of their speeding in order to appear more sympathetic and hopefully increase their chances of avoiding a ticket.

What not to do in this situation is lie to the officer. The doctor on Highway 99, however, did exactly that. He told the officer he was en route to a medical emergency. The officer simply called the clinic to which the doctor claimed he was headed. The clinic stated that there was no emergency, and the doctor received his speeding ticket, according to the KRCR report.

If you find yourself in a situation like this doctor’s situation, this would definitely be a good time to contact a lawyer if you haven’t already. What you should absolutely not do is engage in further deceit in your legal case regarding the speeding violation. Unfortunately for this doctor, he was again in the “what not to do” category. He sent a phony letter to the Butte County District Attorney’s office, allegedly supporting his claim that he really was on his way to an emergency when he was pulled over, according to KRCR. That allegedly bogus letter was eventually admitted into evidence in the doctor’s trial.

The prosecutor in the case was able to prove that the letter was fake. For speeding, the doctor received a $500 fine. However, that wasn’t all. For knowingly submitting false information in a trial, the doctor was hit with much more serious criminal charges and criminal penalties. The sentence included 30 days in the Butte County Jail and another 60 days of ankle monitoring. The court also ordered the doctor to undergo psychological counseling. On top of all that, the doctor, as a licensed professional, also had to deal with an investigation by the state Medical Board due to his dishonest conduct.

What the doctor should have done was very simple. At the conclusion of his interaction with the CHP officer, he should have taken his ticket and contacted legal counsel. He didn’t, and his plan only made his problems exponentially worse. If you receive a traffic ticket, don’t engage in conduct that falls into the “what not to do” category. Instead, reach out to the knowledgeable San Francisco traffic ticket lawyers at Uthman Law Office. Our team has been effectively helping our traffic ticket clients for many years. Attorney David Uthman has over 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney and almost a decade of experience as a police officer. Call us today at (415) 556-9200 to schedule your FREE initial consultation to get the help you need.

More blog posts:

How a Lack of ‘Free and Voluntary’ Consent Can Help You Get Your Blood Test Results Thrown Out of Your California DUI Case, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Feb. 27, 2018

New Traffic School for Bicyclists Opens in California, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Feb. 23, 2018

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