In Arizona, if the state can prove that you were speeding 20 mph over the posted speed limit or in excess of 85 mph, you can be charged with excessive (criminal) speeding — a crime subjecting you to possible jail time.
At the Law Office of Karl A. Mueller in Phoenix, our lawyer's mission is to help you fight this charge, protect your driving record and minimize any penalties. You can count on attorney Karl A. Mueller to put your best interests first.
We Understand The Defenses That May Be Available
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your charge, we may be able to use one or more of the following defenses:
Burden of proof — Because excessive speeding is a criminal charge, you are entitled to all the protections afforded anyone charged with a crime. The prosecutor must prove your excessive speeding charge with the same burden of proof that exists in a homicide case. An officer who is used to coming into court on a civil speeding ticket case and prevailing with a much lower burden of proof may be unprepared to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt as is necessary in a criminal case.
Challenging photo enforcement equipment — The state often attempts to use automated photo enforcement equipment to sustain an excessive speeding charge. This can be very problematic for the prosecution because cities and police departments pay private photo enforcement agencies to carry out photo enforcement and prosecution in court. These private agencies are often not set up to deal with the discovery requirements afforded in a criminal case, and the prosecution is forced to dismiss. Also, the fact that these private entities are paid and operate for profit gives rise to bias and motive arguments.
Challenging police officer's questioning — Police officers also routinely ask questions and use the answers to those questions to support their case against you. Because it is a criminal case, the police officers must follow the laws that govern whether your answers are voluntary and proper under the law. Otherwise, the answers may not be admissible in court.
Errors in calculating speed — Other defenses include attacking the accuracy and credibility of the method used to calculate your speed. These include radar, laser, lidar, pace, vascar, visual estimate, aerial and photo enforcement. Because the case is criminal, these methods of speed measurement become subject to criminal discovery and the highest scrutiny afforded in the law.
Proving the identity of the driver — Identity is always an issue. In a criminal case, identity must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must be able to prove that the officer measured the correct vehicle. The prosecution must also prove that the vehicle that was measured is the same vehicle that the officer eventually stopped. An officer may lose sight of a vehicle for significant period of time before overtaking the vehicle and attempting to stop it. What an officer may take for granted in a routine civil traffic violation may not be enough to sustain a criminal conviction.
If You Don't Fight The Charge, You Could Face Stiff Penalties
Depending on the facts of your case and your driving history, being found guilty of an excessive (criminal) speeding charge can have many potential consequences ranging from jail time and heavy fines to potential license suspension, community service and more. Plus, a criminal conviction will taint your record and affect other aspects of life.
To find out more about challenging your criminal speeding ticket, contact our attorney today to schedule a free initial consultation.