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Sorry, Man, I got the same shit reckless driving doing 138mph in 70 mph zone, it was $1200 fine I said F*#k it jail time 3 days :( anyway good luck.
 

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Don't Worry

First thing, relax, you can get out of this jam, somewhat. At least from what I know. But I'm in the sewer business now, so take what I say as almost worthless.


1. This can probably be pleaded down to an infraction. This is not the same as a DUI or drunk driving, where such are more difficult to plead [e.g, DUI down to dry reckless, etc.].

2. The key is to get a lawyer in the city WHERE THE COURT IS LOCATED. You want one who knows the traffic court system, judges and the D.A. Get the right one, who says he or she can talk to the DA, preferably a lawyer that the D.A. knows and respects. When I was a D.A. there were lawyers whom we knew and respected and they could always sweet talk us into pleading down cases. Just how it works, don't blame me.

3. Get the right lawyer who can tell the D.A. that a) you are a good guy; b) you know you are and were WRONG; c) you have a clean record (minor traffic, even speeding tickets, is a clean record); d) that you will attend traffic safety school; and e) that you have learned your lesson.

4. Do NOT have the attorney try to talk down your acts like they were not a big deal. For all I know, in that county your acts are serious.

I can tell you that as a D.A. that handled sex abuse cases and traffic on the side, your reckless is so insignificant, that if it came in front of me, I'd lower it to an infraction, AS LONG AS I LIKED OR RESPECTED YOUR ATTORNEY and I SAW YOU ON YOUR KNEES BEGGING FORGIVENESS. If you were in Court [unlikely if it gets pleaded down], I'd have to look at you and like you, meaning you did not look like a dirt bag.

5. Be careful looking for an attorney. Some are great at taking money, but don't know the system.

6. Any attorney who tells you he cannot get this reduced down to an infraction is either incompetent or being dishonest.

7. If for some reason the above is not possible [e.g., the County wants to start cracking down on violators, starting with you], then you have to look at going to trial and defending. Based on your limited facts I am not too sure your driving rose to the level of reckless. Stupid? Yes. Foolish? Yes. But not reckless.

You can e-mail me later, but for now, relax, it's not that big a deal.

Oh, generally the bigger the County and court, the more likely you can get out of this, because they have bigger fish to fry. If it is a small jurisdiction, that's OK, because it's more likely you can get an attorney who knows the D.A. who handles tickets.

I was ticketed for doing 110 in medium traffic. I was given a ticket for 95+. That disqualified me for traffic school. I signed up for school regardless, went to school, and the ticket was never on my record. So see, anything can happen. In my case, no one checked to see if my ticket excluded me from attending school.

There may be circumstances making this more dire than I am aware, but I don't think so. Be prepared, however, to pay the lawyer and a fine. But that is better than a fine and misdemeanor and increased insurance rates.

Oh, if you have court on the speeding ticket, try to get a continuance for that one so that you can deal with and get rid of the reckless charge well before dealing with the speeding ticket.
 

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Update

In regards to our e-mails and all, I am posting this as it may help other members. But STOP making public comments from here on.

__________________________________________________

scottrwilliams said:
Thank you Thank you Thank you I feel much better already the most important piece of advise was to get an attorney from Barstow. I've been searching for them in Orange County wasnt really thinking I guess, that and I've never done this before. So should I be there (in barstow) any time my lawyer is? I'll make time if necessary, or prudent.
With an appearance in April, you have a little time to deal with this. Let's talk on Monday. For now, DO NOT HIRE A LAWYER YET. Let me look into it in terms of what is out there. And you do the same. DO NOT CONTACT ANY LAWYER UNTIL WE TALK. And NO, you do not need to be in Barstow with the lawyer each time he deals with this. In fact, you may never have to appear one of the benefits of having a lawyer. Celebrities do this all the time, have lawyers do all the appearances, even in some drunk driving cases].

Just answer the following for me, but do NOT post your answers, just e-mail me:

1. Were you cooperative and respectful with the officer? In other words, hopefully you did NOT "flunk the attitude test."

2. Did the officer call for backup? If so, how many officers or units responded? How long did the entire stop take?

3. Did the officer eventually "lighten up" in terms of how he was treating you? If so, how? Were you apologetic?

4. Write down EVERYTHING that happened, including your riding up to when you were stopped. Put it in a Word or other word processing file and mark it ATTORNEY/CLIENT privilege. That will be for me and your attorney [although I am an attorney, you cannot afford me and I do not appear in Southern California, in the boonies, on insignificant cases. I'd have to charge you about $15,000 to handle it. But I am acting as an attorney, so mark your "story" privileged and confidential].

5. Write down EVERYTHING the officer said, from when he stopped you to when he let you drive off.

Include a timeline. Write down EVERYTHING you said. Describe his every move that you can remember [I need to get a feel for the officer, e.g., was he a rookie? Did he act like one? Does he seem the type whom will want to pay attention to what happens in your case? If so, we need to focus on his needs and have the D.A. massage his ego when considering reduction of the charge].

Write down EVERYTHING you think the officer's written report says [although that will be available at some point in the "discovery" process]. The report is what the officer will use to refresh his recollection about the incident. So what it says is important. By the way, requesting a copy of the report is noted in the file and the D. A. will see a note in the file that such request was made. Advantages to the D.A. seeing you may fight the case.

[Generally, everyone wants you to plead guilty, pay the fine and go away. No one wants you to take up two hours or longer for a trial on this. So that is your leverage. "Gimme a deal, or I'm taking up half a day with a jury trial." I can almost guarantee that no one on the law's side will want to take this to trial, just because of the time required to do so].

6. SHUT UP from here on. No more statements in here or to anyone.

7. May need to ask Scott or a moderator to DELETE your post [if your post incriminates you. Possibly, let me read it again, as it may help you, but generally any public statement you make may be used against you. If we choose to fight the charge, a public statement admitting guilt kinda impedes an effective defense, should the D.A. see your post in here, which I note is unlikely, but you never know].

8. Where is the closest city and court in relation to where you were stopped? Where does the ticket say as to where you have to appear?

9. As to a lawyer, find out which town we need to look in. E.g., are all the lawyers hanging out in Bakersfield, Barstow or some other city? I don't know anything about that geographic region.

10. Again, don't call anyone until we talk. I'll give you my phone number Monday and you can call then. Be prepared to talk frankly about age, bio, record, employment, etc. [your "profile" will determine how likely the D.A. is willing to give you a break].

By the way, if the D.A. is in a bigger city, he or she will most likely be a junior level attorney or new D.A., whom are usually the ones who get traffic cases. So approach has to be with this in mind. A lot of this stuff is done on the phone or out in the hallway, even with the junior guys. Even to a junior D.A. this is an insignificant case [depends though, I have to find out everything you did. From a judge's and D.A.'s view, you may be perceived as a real asshole bike rider. If so, the more you are going to have to fall on the sword.

11. No need to meet with lawyers yet. While we do not want to wait until the last minute, this is not complex, so we have a little time. Start getting your money together for the lawyer [fines can typically be paid over time, so that can wait, maybe].

12. Quit driving like an asshole. Cops don't like motorcyclists whom in their eyes overreach. You have been given a wakeup call, so use it. Plus, Judges and cops do not like riders making their own rules of the road. The more rules you bend, the more pissed off cops and judges will get.

If I were you, I'd do the speed limit and cut out for now all those little things we do on bikes, such as splitting lanes, going 10 MPH over the limit, rolling stops, lots of lane changes, etc.

No charge for all this, but don't tell anyone.

This will be my last post in the thread, but I will post it since other members may find this helpful.

OK, I'm tired of dealing with this for now, unless you want to PayPal me $15k :D

I'll e-mail you my phone number over the weekend and you can call next week.

Until then, don't worry. Not a big deal. Besides, as I always advise, "Worry does not solve problems, so why waste your time worrying. Start worrying about a problem on a Friday, come Monday the problem is still there and all that worrying did not solve thing. So quit with the stress and worry."

And if you ride this weekend, BEHAVE.
 

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Great Advice!!! I took the same approach you recommended other than my attorney had me plead not guillty till it reached the district level and the D.A. at that level was like ,is this a joke or what, that it reached district without being reduced.Plus the trooper was really tired of showing up so the last one he did not.That lesson cost me $700 attorney fees and $300 court cost but the good thing is it was reduced to speeding.Alot cheaper than my insurance was going to be.Good Luck,Neal
 

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RotoRooterGuy,

Thanks for posting the information. I find your posting very insightful.

As for someone that does not deal with the law, it's nice to hear your experiences and suggestions!
 

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If this goes to court, I would rightly use the argument that you *HAVE TO* lane split.... Educate them on Vtwin motorcycles, HD and ducatis... Educate them that Vtwin motorcycles will get hot and overheat. Educate them that you cannot stay idle on the bike for very long without potentionally causing engine damage.... Tell them you had to move outside of the cones to continue movement until you found when the traffic opened up... Educate them that infact you are safer if bikes are not stuck in the middle of traffic. If you have taken the MSF course, educate them that motorcycles are *INSTRUCTED* to be going slighly faster than traffic, and under the circumstances this was the best alternative...

Good Luck.
 

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sblea.....no offense....by educating a judge in the manner you described seems like a direct route to a guilty verdict with a max penalty....officers of the court don't take to well to know it all's who have professorial type knowledge on subject as they pertain to the law unless they are an expert in the field to give expert testimony on a subject under direct questioning by officers of the court.....that is...IMHO anyway!
 

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sblea said:
If this goes to court, I would rightly use the argument that you *HAVE TO* lane split.... Educate them on Vtwin motorcycles, HD and ducatis... Educate them that Vtwin motorcycles will get hot and overheat. Educate them that you cannot stay idle on the bike for very long without potentionally causing engine damage.... Tell them you had to move outside of the cones to continue movement until you found when the traffic opened up... Educate them that infact you are safer if bikes are not stuck in the middle of traffic. If you have taken the MSF course, educate them that motorcycles are *INSTRUCTED* to be going slighly faster than traffic, and under the circumstances this was the best alternative...
My counter-arguement would be that you don't have to lane split at 50 mph. There is lane splitting and there is hauling a$$ in a construction zone.

As for the speeding ticket. If you know the guy is there all the time then why speed in that zone?

Not trying to be rough on you but am trying to be a realist. If you have a clean record I am sure you will be fine. A lot of traffic flows through Barstow and none of it is local so they like to go after the folks going to and from Vegas.
 

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Damn Scott- I am sorry to hear about this...

In any case, if you have a good track record on your driving in the past, the odds are you will not have to suffer anywhere near what they tell you are the 'standard' fines and penalties of what you are being charged for... those are for people who can easily pay them (somewhat like the MSRP 'sucker' price) and for repeat offenders.

Go to http://www.ticketassassin.com and get to work on defending yourself against these charges. All the information you need is there, just make sure you donate nicely to the site, and don't be a miser on that, so that you can get the attention you need. At the very least, you can buy some time. Also, don't use the $1500 attorney just yet. There is another alternative ... call-up the office of Mitchell Mehdy in San Diego (http://www.mrdui.com/mrticket.htm) and ask the if they can recommend an alternative for you at the jurisdiction where you got ticketed. Pay the $99 if you need to, if only to get the right advise on which direction to solve your problem.

There are also some low-fee motorcycle attorney's that might be helpful ... they will be more acclimated to defending against a lane-splitting charge like that ... they will often go on and explain that the motorcycle will overheat etc etc ... that can help your case.

In the end this will probably cost you anywhere from a few hunded bucks up to about $1k, so be prepared to spend that amount at the least. The key is to relax, get busy on your homework, a clean past driving record, and being able to convey to the court the mechanics of operating a motorcycle in heavy traffic, especially in the middle of the desert!

Good luck.
 

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Scott-

I've been into some jams and had to use lawyers. Roto advice is excellent. Also look for a lawyer that used to work in the DA's office and is still on good terms.

Let the lawyer know exactly what you want and what you are willing to settle for. Have your lawyer postpone your court date. GO GET TWO OR THREE JOBS QUICK, Wal-mart, Burger King, Day labor, whatever it takes. Pay your lawyer.

DON'T SELL THE BIKE.

Roto - you're a good guy to help out.
 

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The good lawyer, experienced with the system, is what is needed here. If the lawyer slips just once in handling this [e.g., the wrong approach with the D.A. or says the wrong thing], then one can kiss any deal goodbye.


Do-it-yourself or lawyer mill operations are the kiss of death. Remember, this is still a misdemeanor which can land someone in jail for 1 year here in California. This is not the type case that can be handled as a "fight your own ticket" matter.

His greatest leverage is to get an attorney with a good reputation with the D.A.'s office. This will tell the D.A. that he will definitely take the matter to trial should a deal not be worked out [plead to an infraction with low fine, maybe $200].

The experienced lawyer will not have done his job if he or she contacts the D.A. right out of the chute and starts trying to justify his client's reasons for riding the way he did [that comes later, should a deal not be worked out].

Generally, the lawyer's job will be to negotiate a deal on the client's behalf. Negotiations on criminal matters are a delicate process.

Usually, the best approach is for the defendant [yes, that is what he is] to eat huge slices of humble pie, to get on his knees and beg forgiveness, pay respects, stroke all the egos that pack the court house [Judge, bailiff, clerk, D.A.] and try to make a great first impression.

Remember, it's their playground and a defendant is the outsider. When I was a D.A. everyone knew everyone in the court. Lots of us would date each other [e.g., one time I nailed a Judge's HOT court reporter. When in Court, in front of the jury, no one knew that the D.A. and court reporter had got it on the night before
<<<<< That was a true story, but an attempt to lighten up this thread.

Anyway, the quickest way to get nailed with jail, max fine and worse is to negotiate or storm into court being a know-it-all smart ass, spewing out excuses and justifications, demanding the deal "we all know you guys give," and generally pissing everyone off in the process.

Same goes for negotiations with the D.A. E.g., all of the D.A.s I worked with laughed at the attorneys who had "beat that ticket" mill operations. Most of the lawyers in those "clinics" were more consumed with technicalities and did not take into account the realities of the courtroom and traffic cases: the defendant is presumed guilty as hell, proof problems, and most important, dealing with fragile Judge, police and D.A. egos.

For example of ego, if a junior D.A. is handling the case [most likely], there is a danger that the junior D.A. will want to get as many cases to trial, so to have as much trial experience as possible. Pluse he or she may have a hot dog attitude, thinking "no deals, all cases will go to trial.

In that situation, an approach would have to "switch" to include discussion with the junior D.A. about how the case will be won and the D.A. will lose [to a D.A, win/loss ratio is everything. It is how they are judged or rated]. That may shake loose a deal since even the junior D.A. does not want to go out on a Friday night and tell some hot hen he lost just lost a case nor to walk down the hall and respond "I lost" to a senior D.A. asking "how did you do?"

The above is just one example. There are too many variables/scenarios to discuss here.

I can tell you that in my office there were defendants representing themselves, ones with average attorneys, some with SFB attorneys, and those who hired big guns whom knew how to approach me.

What he wants is the attorney who can "make a direct call" to the D.A., whom will take his call so the two can work out a deal on the phone. He needs an attorney who can adjust his approach according to how negotiations develop.

When I was a D.A., I would take the calls of the attorneys whom I respected. And on those whom I had never heard of, I would take their calls and listen to what they had to say, as long as they remained courteous, respectful and did not treat me like some sort of idiot state worker/bureaucrat.

Just how I see it.
 

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Roto- This is just for general knowledge, you stated

"What he wants is the attorney who can "make a direct call" to the D.A., who will take his call so the two can work out a deal on the phone. He needs an attorney who can adjust his approach according to how negotiations develop.

When I was a D.A., I would take the calls of the attorneys whom I respected. And on those whom I had never heard of, I would take their calls and listen to what they had to say, as long as they remained courteous, respectful and did not treat me like some sort of idiot state worker/bureaucrat."


How can a competent lawyer be found that knows the DA, court, judges, etc and has a good reputation. I mean one could ask any lawyer that question and the lawyer could lie through his/her teeth just to get the case. Telling the client "oh yeah im good golfing buddies with the judge, etc...", when in fact the he doesnt even know the judge. Just curious how to go about finding a competent lawyer that can truly help your case.
 

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Synergy said:
Roto- This is just for general knowledge, you stated

"What he wants is the attorney who can "make a direct call" to the D.A., who will take his call so the two can work out a deal on the phone. He needs an attorney who can adjust his approach according to how negotiations develop.

When I was a D.A., I would take the calls of the attorneys whom I respected. And on those whom I had never heard of, I would take their calls and listen to what they had to say, as long as they remained courteous, respectful and did not treat me like some sort of idiot state worker/bureaucrat."

How can a competent lawyer be found that knows the DA, court, judges, etc and has a good reputation. I mean one could ask any lawyer that question and the lawyer could lie through his/her teeth just to get the case. Telling the client "oh yeah im good golfing buddies with the judge, etc...", when in fact the he doesnt even know the judge. Just curious how to go about finding a competent lawyer that can truly help your case.
Where this Duc-MS member benefits is that I am willing to help him find the right lawyer. He is lucky, because you are right, it is a hassle to find a good attorney.

That is why I said in my post for him to hold off on searching for or retaining a lawyer, because it is very difficult to find one. IMHO 80 percent of California lawyers perform at a "C" level or below. In other words, most lawyers are barely competent and many, many lawyers do a lousy job for the client, but since "lousy" is considered acceptable, after a case concludes, everyone goes their separate ways, none the wiser to the screw job the client suffered.

On my old website [before I started to get out of the law], I said:

Having observed lawyers and all aspects of the justice system, in my opinion about 80% of the practicing lawyers out there do "C" average work or below.

These lawyers have done or are doing a lousy job for the client, meaning that for one reason or another the client and justice system got gypped. Of course the ultimate injustice is that the system prevents victims of lawyer incompetence, laziness, greed or lack of ethics from ever finding out that they have been "had."
Finding a lawyer who does above-average work and who is dedicated to the law, fairness, a just result, and the client's interests is pretty damn difficult.


Same goes for honesty. IMHO many, many lawyers are dishonest and many cave in to the $. They are willing to screw over clients and compromise their morals and ethics just for a check.

IMHO it is very difficult for lay people to find a good lawyer. Referrals, Yellow Pages and Websites as sources all have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, you almost seem to need a good lawyer to go out and find a good lawyer to handle a case. Sad but true.
 

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Bobaganoosh
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Roto- Thanks for making that clarification. Hopefully, I wont be needing one anytime soon.

Scott- Im saying this as a friend, slow your ass down and follow every traffic law. You dont want to add more fuel to the fire if you get another ticket. Save your exhibition of speed for the track! Oh yeah dont sell the bike, cause once I get mine back together here in the next 2 weeks. I will give you a lesson on riding. J/K, dont worry too much over it!
 

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Hey ScottR,

Is that a gun you're pointing in your public profile? Don't want the the DA to find that out if it is. :)
 

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grendels_arm said:
Hey ScottR,

Is that a gun you're pointing in your public profile? Don't want the the DA to find that out if it is. :)
Good eye. There are always skeletons in everyone's closets :eek:
 
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