Case Conclusion Date: October 5, 2012
Practice Area: DUI / DWI
Description: Palos Verdes Estates Police made a traffic stop of our client for allegedly exceeding the posted speed limit along Palos Verdes Drive West. Our office then subpoenaed the traffic surveys for the block of the road at issue to verify that the existing traffic surveys were current according to Vehicle Code § 40802. It turned out that a traffic survey of the block at issue had never been done at all. Palos Verdes Estates apparently had posted the speed limit by extrapolating or extending the traffic survey to cover the stretch of road at issue for our client. We first “locked” the police officer into testifying at the DMV hearing that the only reason he pulled over our client was his observation of our client’s speed being higher than the posted speed limit. We then filed our Motion To Suppress, arguing that under Penal Code § 1538.5 that the judge had the power to, and should use that power, to exclude all evidence gathered by police after the traffic stop. California law holds that a traffic stop is illegal when based upon a mistaken belief that there is a violation. It does not matter how reasonable the officer’s belief is. In the case of our client, we argued, he was not violating the posted speed limit because the posted speed limit was illegal. It was not backed up by any traffic survey of the road at issue. We argued that the traffic survey from another section of Palos Verdes Drive West could not be extended to apply to our section of road because for the area where the survey was conducted, it was single lane in each direction, with no center divider, with home driveways along the roadside and with a very narrow shoulder. In contrast, the area where our client was observed allegedly speeding was two lanes in each direction, with a center divider, with no houses along he road and with full, wide bikelanes. We used GoogleEarth photographs to The judge in Torrance agreed and granted our motion. Our client, age 41 and with a few convictions on his criminal record, was very happy with the judge’s ruling. If the case had not been dismissed, it would have been his second DUI within the last ten years, so he was looking at punishment which included, at a minimum, 96 hours of jail time and an eighteen month alcohol awareness program, as well as at least $1,850 in fines. He had also refused to submit to a breath test and was extremely loud at the PVE jail. If you or a family member has been arrested or charged with DUI, call our office today. The DMV Hearing can have significant consequences for your ability to keep driving and thus, may affect your ability to work. An experienced attorney can make a big difference. Call us. One of our criminal attorneys will speak with you immediately and will fight vigorously for you. Call us today at (310) 782-2500 for your free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. When payment is an issue, we have very competitive flat fee rates to represent you or your family member. In special circumstances, we will also consider payment plans where payments are spread out over time. We also accept all major credit cards. Call us today to let us do the worrying for you.