How soon do I need to have a trial on a speeding ticket? Is there a statute of limitations in CA? I had my trial more than 6 months passed the date of citation. Can I get out of the ticket due to the length being longer than 6 months?
With due respect to Tim Dees, and I really mean that, the speedy trial aspect can be extended beyond what he stated.I had a ticket that I fought, years ago, in which this finally figured.When I got the ticket, I filed a Discovery Motion with the CHP (issuing agency) requesting information on the RADAR unit used, the officer’s training, the officer’s track record, etc. I had this motion served on the department, but later learned that it is more proper to serve the District Attorney’s Office (it makes little difference, in reality, about getting an answer - in fact, it can take longer to get a reply, which will help you as a defendant).I found-out separately that this officer was a rising star in the department, who had earned awards for his good service. He had a great article about him published in the local paper, during this time, and I almost felt bad about fighting him on the ticket, but it was not something that would damage his career. I commend him for that, and fighting a traffic ticket is never personal, or at least, should not be like that.Anyway, we appeared in court, in front of a back-up judge. I presented my Discovery Motion and stated that I had not received the items requested, and I moved for a dismissal of the charge.As the judge was temporary, he refused to rule on the motion, and he instructed the officer to prthe information requested, in time for the next court date. While this was a procedural violation on the part of the judge, what am I going to do about that?So, we come back to court a few weeks later, and we have another temporary judge. By this time, the CHP had provided all of the information requested, but I only received it two days before the court date, rather than the 15 days, required by law.Again, I complained, and I asked for a dismissal. This temporary judge said, “I see all of this information that you requested, so I can’t just dismiss your case.” I asked, “Can we set a hearing to discuss my motion?” He agreed, and set a hearing date about 3–4 weeks later.However, in setting the hearing date, he was not resetting the case for trial, so I wasn’t asked, or required, to waive time. By the hearing date, a full 90+ days had transpired from the time I last faced the officer in court to discuss the ticket.Once I got to the hearing date, in front of the proper judge, I moved for dismissal of my case, again, due to the non-compliance with my original Discovery Motion. While an argument could be made that I had received everything that I requested, the proper timelines were not being followed, and court is all about following rules. Since this was actually an ex-parte motion, the officer was not present.My motion was refused, I think in-part, due to the timeline issues, but the judge (knowing me from other appearances) asked me if “I have any other motions.” He was baiting me.I knew that he was prompting me, and for the life of me, I could not come-up with “speedy trial.” Eventually, I just said, “Time!”He dismissed my case. At this point, a full nine months had passed since my apprehension for speeding, and the clock didn’t reset, so I was able to raise the “speedy trial” defense, and prevail.He told me that the clerk had informed him of the time issue, when giving him the folder for the case, but he needed me to make the right motion.I was absolutely guilty of the charge…EDIT:I went through this entire explanation, and then I realized that I have not answered your question.Unless you have waived-time for prosecution, then six months will allow you to have a “speedy trial” defense. However, if you were granted an extension that you requested, you likely had to “waive time” for prosecution.If it has been six months, because you failed to appear, you have much bigger issues, and this won’t absolve you of the citation. If you have been extended, due to actions by the bench (as in my case), you might be able to raise “speedy trial” as a defense, but this is rare. I got lucky. You might not.Most people will recommend that you extend the time as far as possible, as this could lead to the officer being an ineffective witness against you, due to memory lapse, but you had better have been a model citizen when you were pulled-over. If you made any complaints, I can promise you that the officer wrote a book about you, on the back of your ticket, which information will certainly be a part of his testimony.Generally, you have about 45 days between your citation being issued and your trial date. In California, you have 30 days to file a Discovery Motion, but the prosecution must give you an answer 15 days prior to trial. If you do the math, you can see that this is a near improbability. Some judges won’t help you, and they will require you to grant more time to the prosecution, if they have given a best effort to comply.If you refuse to waive time, they can rule against your motion for dismissal, and you will have to fight in court. If you allow time, then you still have to fight in court. You could appeal the judge’s ruling, but you will likely lose.