I had a trial de novo today for a 22349(a), cited for 80 mph. At court when discussing the case, the officer gave his introductory statement and alleged that his radar clocked me at 90 mph but that he wrote me for 80 mph and even alleged that I said that I "usually go 80." We went back and forth with questions but I ultimately lost.

The judge then said that he finds me guilty for going 90 mph and that I owe another $150 but he'll offer me traffic school and suspend the extra amount pending I don't get another ticket within the year. The oficer never said anything about amending the ticket whatsoever. When I asked a question regarding what I was being found guilty of and stated that said ticket was for 80, the judge quickly stated "well I found you guilty of going 90 mph." Are judges allowed to do that?

I'm aware that officers are allowed to amend tickets even during the trial but is the judge allowed to independently create another/increase the charge?

The officer did nothing to prove that I was going 90 (aside from one statement), all of his defense was to prove that I was going 80 mph, which is what was cited for on the ticket. Is the judge allowed to act as prosecution?

  • In California if that answers your question – maylae Mar 21 '18 at 13:00
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    Probably not. But, you have a $150 problem with a $5,000 solution in terms of legal fees, time, effort to remedy it. Unless the points are going to cost you your license or livelihood, it may not be worth litigating. – ohwilleke Mar 21 '18 at 20:30
  • I would like to add that looking back, I had to sign some form prior to the trail and only me because I was the only one that day doing a trial de novo. The form appeared to be explaining some "rights." I've done 1 trial de novo in the past and don't remember having to sign anything beforehand. Has anyone else had to sign anything before the court starting? – maylae Mar 22 '18 at 17:38

I see two questions here.

Since it was a bench trial, the judge can find facts -- so he can find that you were going 90 (and if you were to appeal, that "one statement" would likely be considered adequate support.)

But I am troubled that you were charged with one thing, and convicted of another. That doesn't sound legal.

You might want to look into swearing out a complaint for Official Misconduct.

  • Any point in sending out a complaint for official misconduct and can I still do that? It’s been nearly a year. I’m sure any appealing or changing anything is out the window. – maylae Jan 14 at 7:41

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