Excessive Speeding Tickets
Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney in Honolulu
Excessive Speeding in Hawaii
In Hawaii, it is against the law to drive faster than 80 mph or to exceed the speed limit by 30 mph or higher. Even for a first offense, penalties for conviction are severe, and include:
- Fine from $500 - $1,000
- Jail Time: at least two days, or instead thirty-six hours of community service
- A thirty-day license suspension
- Mandatory drivers improvement course
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, 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, Hawaii law enforcement officers 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 mph, 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. In fact, it’s for this very reason that choosing the right attorney to contest your excessive speeding ticket could very well be one of the most important decisions of your career.
Preparation for Excessive Speeding cases requires the Defendant to know three things:
- The basic elements and penalties you are facing
- How the police prove a Laser case
- How the police prove a Pace case
Before proceeding any further, we highly recommend contact our excessive speeding ticket defense attorney. Backed by more than 15 years of defense experience, Landsberg Law Office knows what it takes to fight and win cases of this nature.
Call today to learn more: (808) 468-7292. Your first consultation is free!
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
You also need to be aware of the potential penalties are you are facing at this time. 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.
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 to track driving speeds. Recently, the Honolulu Police Department terminated its 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:
- The “self-test” — the officer depresses the trigger and four “8s” appear . Functionally, this means the gun can turn on.
- The “display test” — is conducted by pressing the “test mode button” on the LTI UltraLyte. If a “TT” symbol and “four numerical 8s” appear on the display, then the “test mode button” and the lights on the display are working properly.
- The “scope alignment test” — the officer aims and holds the trigger of their 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.
- 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 the 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 are a lot of reasons why a police officer may be confused about what the LTI guidelines are. When was their last training? Who was their training officer? Are they 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 that 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 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. We are here to help ensure that right is fulfilled.
Pace is how an officer tests your speed when both you and the officer are in separate moving vehicles. The police officer must follow your car, matching distance and the speedometer as they follow you. For the test to work, not only do the ordinary parts of the officer’s car have to be working properly, but also the speedometer has to be working correctly. The officer must follow you for 2/10 of a mile and needs to keep you at a precise distance, which they can estimate by using the landmarks on the street, such as street signs; and, then, they have 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 towards getting to 2/10 of a mile.
In addition, the officer 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 that is done in cases of this magnitude. In the last five years alone, the number of speeding type Supreme Court and ICA court decisions has outnumbered all prior speeding decisions in the history of the state of Hawaii by an estimated 5 to 1.
We’ll Help You Fight Your Excessive Speeding Charges in Honolulu
Let’s try to figure out what we can do as an office to help you. To be in touch with an attorney who regularly handles excessive speed cases, please send information, including your name, phone number and the amount of mph that you have been accused 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 firm to help you solve your legal problems.
You can get started today by calling our office at (808) 468-7292 or completing an online consultation form on this website. Your first meeting with our attorney is free, so don’t wait to contact us to schedule an appointment.