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Not stopping at a stop sign - trial by declaration defense

Glendale, CA |


I got a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign during a right turn

there was very little traffic and I performed basically a "rolling stop", but it was nothing blatant. if anything, I was driving just as good or bad as the average driver and my "rolling" stop was what any driver who has been driving for about a year would do.

I know it is technically a violation, but it just seems wrong to be ticketed for driving like most people do.

anyway, I requested a trail by declaration and I would like some advice on what kind of defense I can use and what the proper format for filling these out is. this is my first ticket ever and I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about my rights and legal options

thank you in advance for helping me out

____________________________________________________________ Thanks mr. kaman and gasner for your responses mr gasner, can you make a distinction between an affirmative defense and an evidentiary objection? perhaps give an example of the two? I think that I will be able to write a sufficiently thought out tbd if you can help me clarify those two points. once again, thanks for you responses, they have helped me a great deal.

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Attorney answers 3


You will most often lose a trial by declaration because it is too easy for the judge to rubber stamp what the cop said. It is better to schedule a trial, represent yourself and if the cop shows up cross-examine him. That puts the whole thing in the judge's face.


A TBD can be a good option for a variety of reasons. First, if you lose, you have a right to a de novo court trial - so you don't lose anything by doing the TBD. Second, I find that the police do not always submit thier delcaration or their delcaration is deficient - so you win. In my declaration I usually do not bother with affirmative defenses, but rarther just make evidentiary objections. Also, if you lose and choose to have a court trial - you can write the officer and ask for a copy of the declaration he wote for the TBD and get a preview of what he is going to say at trial. Lastly, since the TBD is all done by mail - you so not even have to go to the courthouse. All upside in my view.


It appears you have nothing to lose as long as your declaration is factually correct and truthful. It can be used against you at trial if the judge rules against you. "I did it because everybody else does it" is rarely an effective defense.
But, you may win by default if the officer does not submit a timely declaration and serve you with a copy.
After all is done, you may be eligible for traffic school.
Good Luck.

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