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California Vehicle Code § 22349 B VC – Speeding On Two-lane Undivided Highways

CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE § 22349 B VC – SPEEDING ON TWO-LANE UNDIVIDED HIGHWAYS

Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerNavigating the complexities of traffic laws can be challenging, especially when it comes to specific regulations like California’s Vehicle Code § 22349(b) VC. This law addresses speeding on two-lane undivided highways, a common yet potentially hazardous driving scenario. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the legal definition, elements of the crime, penalties, common defenses, and conclude with insights from Cyrus Tabibnia of Tabibnia Law Firm, a seasoned legal expert with over 18 years of experience in criminal cases, including traffic violations.

Legal Definition Of California Vehicle Code § 22349 b VC

According to the California Vehicle Code § 22349(b) VC, the speed limit on two-lane, undivided highways in California is set at 55 mph, unless there is a different speed limit posted by the Department of Transportation. A two-lane, undivided highway refers to a road that has only one through lane in each direction, with passing lanes not being counted as through lanes.

It’s important to note that this default speed limit of 55 mph on two-lane, undivided highways is slower than the default speed limit on other highways in California. Under California Vehicle Code § 22349(a) VC, the speed limit on other highways is set at 65 mph, unless a different speed limit is posted. Speed limits on California highways may vary, ranging from as low as 55 mph to as high as 75 mph. Additionally, speed limits usually reduce on exit ramps.

Exceeding the 55 mph speed limit on two-lane, undivided highways is typically considered an infraction, which can result in a civil fine and a point on the driver’s DMV record. However, it’s worth noting that there may be certain defenses to challenge speeding charges. Some common defenses include demonstrating that there was an emergency situation that justified the speeding, questioning the accuracy of the police’s radar equipment, or arguing that the defendant was in an area with a higher speed limit than the default limit.

22349b VC: (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:

(1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.

(2) Passing lanes may not be considered when determining the number of through lanes.

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/

Elements of the Crime

To secure a conviction under VC § 22349(b), the prosecution must establish certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Operation of a Vehicle: The defendant was driving a vehicle, which encompasses any motorized form of transportation.
  • Location: The offense occurred on a two-lane, undivided highway. These are roads with only one lane for each direction of traffic and no physical barrier or median separating them.
  • Exceeding the Speed Limit: The vehicle was traveling over 55 miles per hour, the legal speed limit for such roads in California.
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Example:

John Doe was driving his sedan on Route 55, a well-known two-lane undivided highway in rural California. The road is notorious for its scenic views but also for its strict enforcement of the 55 mph speed limit due to several past accidents. Despite being aware of the speed limit, John, feeling confident in his driving abilities and under pressure to reach an important meeting, accelerated to 70 mph.

A California Highway Patrol officer, using a LIDAR speed measurement device, clocked John’s speed at 70 mph. John was subsequently pulled over and issued a citation for violating Vehicle Code § 22349(b) VC.

Penalties

Violating VC § 22349(b) is classified as an infraction in California, but the consequences should not be underestimated:

  • Fines: The base fine for speeding varies, but additional fees and assessments can significantly increase the total amount owed. The exact fine also depends on how much the speed limit was exceeded.
  • DMV Points: A conviction adds points to the driver’s record. Accumulating points can lead to increased insurance costs and, in severe cases, license suspension.
  • Traffic School: In some instances, attending traffic school can be an option to avoid point accumulation.

Defenses

A skilled defense attorney can employ various strategies to contest a VC § 22349(b) charge:

  • Accuracy of Speed Measurement: This involves questioning the reliability of the method used to gauge the vehicle’s speed, whether it be radar, LIDAR, or pacing. Calibration and proper operation of these devices are critical for an accurate measurement.
  • Driver Misidentification: In cases where the driver was not stopped immediately (e.g., camera-based enforcement), there might be a case for mistaken identity.
  • Emergency Situations: The necessity defense can be used if speeding was essential to prevent a significant and immediate danger.
  • Inadequate Signage: Arguing that the speed limit signs were not properly posted or were obscured, making it unreasonable to expect compliance.
  • Technical and Procedural Errors: This includes challenging the traffic stop’s legality, the officer’s conduct, or the accuracy of the citation.
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Detailed Analysis of Speed Measurement Defense

One of the most common and effective defenses against a speeding ticket is challenging the accuracy of the speed measurement. This defense can be complex and technical, involving aspects such as:

  • Calibration Records: Ensuring that the device used to measure speed was calibrated according to the manufacturer’s specifications and within the legally required time frame.
  • Operator Training: The officer operating the speed measurement device must be properly trained. Inadequate training can lead to errors in speed detection.
  • Environmental Factors: Conditions like weather, traffic, and road layout can affect the accuracy of speed measurement devices. Demonstrating that such factors were present can cast doubt on the reliability of the speed reading.

Immigration consequences:

Vehicle Code § 22349(b) VC, which addresses speeding on two-lane undivided highways, is typically classified as an infraction in California. Infractions are the least serious type of offense, usually resulting in a fine and potentially points on a driver’s license, but no jail time.

For most non-U.S. citizens, a simple speeding ticket under VC § 22349(b) is unlikely to have severe immigration consequences. Infractions do not typically fall under the category of offenses that would lead to deportation or affect one’s immigration status. However, there are specific scenarios where even minor offenses can have more significant implications.

  • A pattern of repeated violations or a history of numerous infractions can potentially raise questions about moral character during immigration proceedings, such as naturalization applications.
  • If the speeding violation is associated with more serious offenses, such as DUI (Driving Under the Influence), reckless driving, or if it resulted in serious injury or death, the immigration consequences can be more severe. These associated offenses can sometimes be classified as misdemeanor crimes or felonies, which are more likely to impact immigration status.
  • While a single speeding infraction like one under VC § 22349(b) is unlikely to affect status adjustments or admissibility, it’s always prudent to disclose such incidents in immigration applications when asked about criminal history. Honesty in these applications is crucial.
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It’s important to consider the broader context of your driving and criminal record, as well as any aggravating factors associated with the offense. Consulting with legal professionals who specialize in immigration matters can provide clarity and guidance tailored to your specific situation. If you do not have or know of an immigration lawyer, the Tabibnia Law Firm can refer you to one.

Related Crimes

  • Speed Contest on Highway (California Vehicle Code § 23109(a) VC)
  • Reckless Driving (California Vehicle Code § 23103 VC)
  • Exhibition of Speed (California Vehicle Code § 23109(c) VC)
  • Speeding in Excess of Maximum Posted Limit (California Vehicle Code § 22349(a) VC)
  • Excessive Speeding Over 100 mph (California Vehicle Code § 22348(b) VC)
  • Hit and Run (California Vehicle Code § 20002 VC)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter (California Penal Code § 192(c)(1) PC)

Speak With Criminal Defense Lawyer From Tabibnia Law Firm

Facing a speeding ticket under Vehicle Code § 22349(b) VC can be more than just a minor inconvenience. It can have significant implications for your driving record and financial situation. This is where the expertise of Cyrus Tabibnia from Tabibnia Law Firm becomes invaluable. With over 18 years of experience in handling a wide range of criminal cases, including intricate traffic violations, Cyrus Tabibnia offers a depth of knowledge and a nuanced understanding of California traffic laws.

If you’re dealing with a speeding ticket on a two-lane undivided highway, don’t underestimate the complexity of your situation. Contact Cyrus Tabibnia for a thorough evaluation of your case and expert guidance on the best course of action. With a strong track record in traffic law, Cyrus Tabibnia can provide the robust defense you need to protect your rights and driving privileges. Don’t wait – take action now and contact Tabibnia Law Firm for a consultation today. Call: 866-713-2159

Legal References:

Codes.findlaw.com | California Vehicle code (CVC) Section 22349 | Cal. Veh. Code § 22349 | dot.ca.gov

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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