Saturday, August 13, 2011

How to Challenge Identity For a Traffic Ticket

A person may contest a charge by claiming under penalty of perjury not to be the person to whom the notice to appear was issued when identification was made by thumbprint or fingerprint. The person must submit a thumbprint or fingerprint for comparison with the thumbprint or fingerprint on the notice. The traffic court may refer the print submitted together with the print on the notice to the prosecuting attorney for comparison. If there is no fingerprint on the ticket or a comparison of the prints is inconclusive, the court must refer the notice back to the issuing agency for further investigation, unless it determines that a referral is not in the interest of justice. Vehicle Code §§40303(c), 40305(b), 40500(e), 40504(c). According to one Kern County Speeding Ticket Attorney, this process will result in the continuance of the case and tolling of the speedy trial period for 45 days. Veh C §§40303(c)(2), 40305(b)(2), 40500(e)(2), 40504(c)(2). The court may make a finding of factual innocence under Penal Code §530.6 if the Judge determines there is insufficient evidence that the person cited is the person charged or if the prosecuting attorney or agency does not respond within 45 days. Except in the latter case, the court may determine that a finding of factual innocence is not in the interest of justice.  This process is available for most speeding tickets but not for DUI or misdemeanor charges.