Excessive Speeding Tickets Suck

As the cop pulls away you review the ticket to see what the fine is. You’re not so concerned until you realize you have a court date, not a simple fine. As you look at the ticket more closely for you realize that this ticket is for going over 80 mph or 30 miles over the posted speed limit. Can be that be right? You cannot write your own statement to contest it via mail, so it is time to talk to attorney. Because excessive speed cases affect otherwise law abiding people no one realizes how serious they are. Historically the purpose of the charge was to stop teens racing who would otherwise get their parents to pay their tickets. Unfortunately police are casting a broad net and giving out excessive speeding tickets very frequently. We all know how easy it is to speed while getting onto the H1 from Nimitz, or driving towards the North Shore where the speed limit drops from 45 to 35, or over on the Likelike leaving the Marine Corp base. It is too easy to drift above 80 mph while listening to a great song, or coming back from driving on the mainland. Just because you are not a person who looks like a speeder or acts like a speeder or has their car decked out like a street racer, doesn’t mean you automatically get the minimum penalty. That is why which attorney you choose may be the most important decision of your career. Preparation for Excessive Speeding cases require the Defendant to know three things:

  1. The basic elements and penalties you are facing.
  2. How the police prove a Pace case.
  3. How the police prove a Laser case.

Elements of Excessive Speeding

For the judge to find you guilty of excessive speeding, ALL or the following must be present:

  • No person
  • shall drive
  • a motor vehicle
  • at a speed above:
    • 30 mph over the speed limit; OR
    • 80 mph no matter the speed limit

Punishment chart

You also need to be aware of what the potential penalties are you are facing. Check the following flowchart to see what penalties you may be looking at. If there is any confusion, don’t be afraid to call us, that is why we are here, to help.

Chart of the four mandatory penalties for an excessive speeding case

Enter your contact information and where you were pulled over and we’ll contact you within 24 hours to talk about your Excessive Speeding case.

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Laser case

When we talk about Laser cases in Honolulu we’re talking about the LTI 20/20 Ultralyte. LTI, Laser Technology Inc., is the company that made and used to maintain the laser guns Honolulu police officers use. Recently the Honolulu Police Department terminated their contract with the LTI company, and switched to the Stalker Radar company. There are four tests that have to be performed on a Laser speed gun in order for the gun to be maintained properly. These also have to be performed at a manner at a standard equivalent with LTI training. Honolulu police may have a hard time testifying to their LTI training, since they no longer hire LTI to appear in court.

Setting the Foundation for a Laser Case

The four tests that need to be performed are:

  1. The “self-test” — the officer depresses the trigger and four “8’s” appear [8888], functionally it means the gun can turn on.
  2. The “display test” — is conducted by pressing the “test mode button” on the LTI UltraLyte. If a “TT” symbol and “four numerical 8’s” appear on the display, then the “test mode button” and the lights on the display are working properly.
  3. The “scope alignment test” — the officer aims and holds the trigger of his UltraLyte at a light pole while panning the pole horizontally and vertically. If the scope and laser are aligned, the UltraLyte makes a high-pitched clicking sound, which is the same sound the device makes while it is tracking a vehicle.
  4. And the “delta distance velocity test” (delta/distance test) or the “calibration test” (collectively “four tests”) — the officer uses two physical items (such as telephone poles or concrete pillars) with known distances. The laser is shined sequentially at those items, and number shown should match the difference in the distance between those two items.

Notice none of the Laser tests actually test speed. The issue is not how easy it is for the case to be established, but whether cops are maintaining it properly according to the correct LTI guidelines . There’s a lot of reasons why a police officer may be confused about what the LTI guidelines are. When was his last training? Who was his training officer? Is he a registered LTI training officer? What are that officer’s credentials to give that training? Was it a long time ago? Has the equipment been updated since that time? More importantly has the software in the equipment been updated since that time? The simple fact is these laser guns are just tools. How good is the person using the machine? Furthermore, the LTI laser guns actually just test distance over a period of time and then perform a math calculation. Using a basic equation, these Laser guns claim they can calculate your speed. Have you ever used an infrared tape measure? It’s the same principle. Police officers use the same laser and to determine distance in cases where people don’t move. For example, for a car accident on a certain stretch of road, a police officer can stand at one end where the tire marks start on the road, point the laser gun at the car, and the rebound of the laser will tell them how long the person was slamming on the brakes. It is always an issue whether the police officer understands how the Laser works, how they know the Laser gun works, and if it’s something like a magic box with a trigger and they just testify to the number that reads out. You have a right to have meaningful cross-examination of the actual process that is used to test your moving speed. 

Pace case

Pace is how an officer tests your speed when both you and the officer are in a moving vehicle. The police officer must follow your car, matching distance and his speedometer as he follows you. For the test to work not only do the ordinary parts of his car have to be working properly,  but also the the speedometer has to be working correctly. He must follow you for 2/10 of a mile, he needs to keep you at a precise distance which he is able to estimate by using the landmarks on the street, such street signs, but then he has to put you over. The process includes moving over to get behind you, then the officer must spend the additional time matching speed. None of this counts to get to 2/10 of a mile. In addition the cop has to have an updated speed check. To get a speed check the police officer’s car gets placed on a large machine. Next the machine measures how fast the car’s wheels are going at the same time the person in the car double checks that the speedometers work. This is the only way to properly calibrate the speedometer. After extensive litigation, police now must prove how the machine was calibrated. You think this would be easy, but it’s harder than it sounds. Does this happen, yes. But not every time. Currently most police cars can say their car was calibrated. Then the question arises was the machine used to calibrate the police car itself calibrated correctly. With the rise of excessive speed cases, litigation toward speeding type cases has skyrocketed. With increased penalties come increased supervision and increased consequences. With increased consequences come increased resistance and litigation. Increased litigation increases the amount of judicial review which is done in cases of this magnitude. The last five years alone the number of speeding type Supreme Court and ICA court decisions outnumbers all prior speeding decisions in the history of the state of Hawaii by an estimated 5 to 1. Let’s try to figure out we can do as an office to help you. To be in touch with attorney specializing excessive speed cases, please send information including your name and phone number and the amount they are accusing you of speeding, if you know.  Whether your case  was a pace, a laser or some other imagination of the police officer let us see if we are the right attorney to help you solve your legal problems

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