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Proving the Defense

I passed Officer R.J. Gonzales of the CHP at the Bolsa Chica exit of the 405 Freeway. He was getting his citation book back from another motorist.

He walked back to his car, got in it, merged into traffic, and caught up to me at Westminster (approximately 1.5 miles). He paced me for about 1/2 mile to Edwards where he pulled me over and cited me for 70+ mph, exceeding the (then) 55 mph maximum (CVC 22349(a)). According both Officer Gonzales' testimony at trial, and mine, I did not change my speed from the time he first saw me until he initiated the traffic stop.

If you do the math, it is obvious that I was doing the 54 to 55 mph I was observing on my speedometer, and nowhere near the 70+ mph he wrote me for.

During cross examination I asked Officer Gonzales how far it was from the point where I passed him to the point where he caught up to me; this was to lay the foundation for the mathematical proof of my innocence. He said, "I was not stopped at any time prior to stopping your vehicle."

I told the judge, "That's perjury, your Honor, and I want to see his citation book now."

When the officer convinced the judge that he could not get his citation book, the judge took the officer's word and found me guilty.

The following morning (the trial was on Wednesday evening), I filed a complaint with the CHP. On Monday evening the Sargeant assigned to the complaint informed me that the officer's citation book and the CHP radio log both showed that Officer Gonzales had given erroneous testimony in court. When I asked how he knew what the officer had said in court, he replied, "I listened to the tape."

Once I knew that I had the evidence I needed (the radio log, the citation book and the tape), I filed an appeal.

You cannot submit new evidence during an appeal. However if you claim that the people withheld substantial material evidence, and/or that the officer gave false testimony under oath, you have to submit evidence in support of those claims. This evidence is not new evidence in the original matter, but rather evidence of wrongful action by the people and their witness during the trial, and thus must be admitted.

Not only did I win the appeal, but rumor has it that R.J. Gonzales is no longer on the CHP.

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