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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Can You Get Rid of Your Mother’s Speeding Ticket and Other Questions You Might Ask in Traffic Court


By Alexis Wilson Briggs, Pier 5 Law Offices

“Getting Rid of Your Mother’s Speeding Ticket,” a CLE offered by the Barrister’s Criminal Law and Investigations Section is now available online. Dan Dean, a civil litigator with 20 years experience currently serving as a traffic and small claims judge pro tem in San Francisco, and Jason Beahm, President and Founder of criminal defense firm Beahm Law, discussed strategies for handling matters in traffic court.

Dean provided insight into what traffic court judges may consider persuasive arguments to either dismiss or reduce citations, as well as strategies for when such arguments would be most effective. Beahm offered guidance for practitioners regarding identifying clients who are likely to most benefit from retained counsel, as well as litigation strategies. The panel discussed procedures within many California jurisdictions, including variations among and within counties. The panelists also evaluated methods to preserve issues for appeal and best practice for managing collateral consequences, such as DMV points on the client’s license.

Dean drew upon his experience as a judge pro tem to debunk common myths about handling speeding tickets as well as key factors he relies on for making rulings on red light tickets and trials by declaration. Likewise, Beahm cautioned against relying on law enforcement’s failure to appear, particularly where important discovery opportunities may be missed by employing that tactic. An engaged audience voiced many of the common questions drivers and lawyers have when defending against traffic citations, which helped to make the discussion a lively exchange, including anecdotal experiences.

Purchase the on-demand version of the presentation.

Alexis Briggs of Pier Five Law Offices is a member of BASF’s Criminal Justice Section’s Executive Committee. She has worked closely with private criminal defense attorneys, appellate attorneys litigating parole issues, and drug policy organizations as a contracting attorney in Philadelphia, Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

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