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30 Questions

I have used these questions to successfully defend myself against Basic Speed Law charges (including 67 in a 45 on radar -- and yes, the 45 was justified by the survey).

This will require you to print out the sections of the Vehicle Code and have them for the officer to read. I have included them at the appropriate points here so all you need to do is copy and paste.

Having said all of that, here are the questions:

  1. How far back was I when your radar first picked me up?
  2. How far ahead of me was the closest car in front of me?
  3. Was I in danger of hitting the closest car in front of me?
  4. Was I in danger of hitting any other car?
  5. As I recall, there were no pedestrians; is that correct?
    (Alternatively: As I recall, there were no pedestrians in the roadway; is that correct?)
  6. Did it look at any time like my car was out of control and about to leave the road
  7. ?
  8. What was the weather?
  9. Was there anything inherently unsafe about the weather at the speed I was going?
  10. What was the visibility?
  11. Was there anything inherently unsafe about the visibility at the speed I was going?
  12. What was the surface of the road?
  13. Was there anything inherently unsafe about the surface of the road at the speed I was going?
  14. What was the width of the road?
  15. Was there anything inherently unsafe about the width of the road at the speed I was going?
  16. You cited me with violation of Vehicle Code Section 22350, correct?
  17. Could you please read 22350 for the court?
  18. 22350. No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.
  19. That section says nothing about a posted limit does it, Officer?
  20. Could you please read this part of Section 22351(b) for the court?
  21. 22351.(b) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway in excess of the prima facie speed limits in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is prima facie unlawful...
  22. That sounds like I am guilty, but could you please read the rest of it -- the underlined part?
  23. 22351.(b) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway in excess of the prima facie speed limits in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is prima facie unlawful unless the defendant establishes by competent evidence that the speed in excess of said limits did not constitute a violation of the basic speed law at the time, place and under the conditions then existing.
  24. Does your testimony qualify as competent evidence?
  25. Did you not testify that that there was nothing inherently unsafe about the weather at the speed I was going?
  26. Did you not testify that that there was nothing inherently unsafe about the visibility at the speed I was going?
  27. Did you not testify that that there was nothing inherently unsafe about the surface of the road at the speed I was going?
  28. Did you not testify that that there was nothing inherently unsafe about the width of the road at the speed I was going?
  29. Did you not testify that I was not in danger of hitting another car?
    (I guess that takes care of the traffic condition.)
  30. Did you not testify that I was not in danger of hitting a pedestrian?
  31. Did you not testify that was in control of my vehicle and not in danger of leaving the road?
  32. So what property could I possibly have endangered?
  33. I ask you once again, does your testimony qualify as competent evidence?
  34. Given your competent testimony as evidence of my speed as it relates to the conditions at the time and place of this alleged violation (not the average conditions covered in the survey, but the exact conditions you testified to – i.e., the conditions specified in 22351(b)), where is your case, Officer?

If you make it through question 14 without the officer bringing up anything negative, you have pretty much won your case. Once you get past question 20 the officer may try to change his or her testimony, in which case you challenge the officer's memory of the case and his or her competency as a witness for the prosecution.

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