I got a traffic ticket, any ideas on how to beat it?
March 30, 2010 1:55 pm at 1:55 pm #357200
Yea I would just clearly state that you know the laws when it comes to emergency vehicles on the side of the road and you did what the law stated should be done in that situation to the best of your ablity.March 30, 2010 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #357201
While this may not apply as there really isn’t a speed involved as your situation is a judgment call for the officer, there’s a little loophole in the law that allows an officer to cite you for speed/speeding even if he didn’t have a radar gun as long as he/she has had the appropriate “visual estimation of speed and distance” training and testing.
I’ve always found it funny that the courts spent a lot of time on very specific language around how often a speed measuring device is tuned, when the last time it was serviced, the specific conditions when the device was used, etc. yet they’ve left in a loophole that allows an officer to just use their eyes in the end.
Good luck!March 30, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #357202
Ya, why did you stop? That is just nuts. I remember maybe 6 years ago or so i was pulling out of frambes onto high, and at the udf there who 2 bike cops who were signaling for me to pull over. i just took off, and they gave chase for a second, but to no avail.March 31, 2010 3:24 am at 3:24 am #357203
Redlegs1990 wrote >>
I am an attorney who appears in that court a lot. While the burden of proof is on the officer, when it comes down to what the officer believes is safe, and what you believe was safe, the court will almost always defer to the officers judgment.
The prosecutor will not bend on this. This particular prosecutor is the former head of the State Trooper Academy, and he is not prone to making deals. You will have an opportunity to speak with him prior to 8:30 that day, and much of what he is willing to do will be based on the opinion of the officer. If the officer felt you were being unsafe enough to pull you over, it is not likely he will have softened his heart enough to let you off the hook.
If your court time is 8:30 on a Tuesday, be prepared to sit in the courtroom for up to two hours. If you want a trial you will be called last, in order to get everyone else off the docket.
This is good inside info. Sounds like I’m screwed, and the facts are going to be irrelevant. That sucks bigtime, but I guess I’d rather set the expectations low if I have no chance to begin with…do you recommend any particular course of action? Does my girlfriend’s eyewitness testimony matter/help? I want to know if I can do anything at all to help my case. It’s pretty incredible to me that I could have followed the law exactly and be railroaded like what you are describing.March 31, 2010 3:42 am at 3:42 am #357204
@lifeliberty, re: the open space to my left: it is entirely possible that the space was technically “open” when I passed the trooper, but when I say traffic was back and to my left and gaining, I don’t mean by 10 car lengths, I mean by 1.5 (or less). The traffic was close enough that while I may not have immediately hit someone when I crossed the dotted line, it would have qualified as cutting someone off pretty aggressively, and forcing them to slam brakes. The applicable portion of the law itself reads:
“…if the driver is traveling on a highway of that type but it is not possible to change lanes or if to do so would be unsafe…”
I believe it was obvious that changing lanes would be unsafe given the proximity of said traffic. I’m sorry to hear about your friends, and I am very happy with the law. I know officers and other public safety officials have enough to worry about without a car traveling at high speeds only a couple yards away looming as a constant threat. I agree entirely with the law, in letter and spirit. I just don’t think it was applied properly in my case, as I acted entirely reasonably, and in good faith to follow the law and protect the trooper.
@LBOWACC: It isn’t in my nature to defy cops (who are acting in good faith, within the law, and under normal circumstances, etc.), and it isn’t worth the 5% chance of getting caught anyway. I hadn’t done anything wrong, so I had nothing to fear. Guess I might be wrong on that one.
@Patch: This happened just into Madison County, near Mt. Sterling I believe. I’ll be at Madison County Municipal Court in London.March 31, 2010 4:04 am at 4:04 am #357205
You made the right choice to stop. The amount of things they could have thrown at you, if you had ignored the order to stop, boggles the mind.March 31, 2010 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #357206
I don’t think you are entirely screwed. think you have a really good explanation of why you did what you did.
I was just saying that that is the view of the cop. You can explain yourself to the judge.
basically when you get a ticket, you go to court and plead guilty, no contest, not guilty.
If no contest, then you get to explain your situation and the judge can reduce the fines for you, but you will still get the associated points.
if you plead not guilty, then you get another court date and it goes to trial and you deal with the prosecutor.
I always plead no contest because i have always commited the violation on the ticket, but there have been extenuating circumstances in which case i come out just paying court costs.
dont just pay the ticket, go to court and tak to the judge. If you are unsure I think you can ask for an extension or something. You can always plead not guilty to buy more time and talk with a lawyer, and then go back to court and plead no contest if you want.(I think this is the way it works, I’m not a lawyer, I’ve just been to court multiple times for traffic tickets)
And I agree with above, always stop. cops are trained to get your liscence and call up ahead for assistance. You don’t want a warrent out for your arrest for failure to stop or alluding the police.March 31, 2010 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #357207
OH, and in my experience it really helps if you have the cash on hand(with you) to pay any fines then and there. Lots of people that go to court do not. the judges have always asked if I had the money to pay today and I presumed my saying yes resulted in a reduced fine, last time it was reduced to $5.April 1, 2010 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm #357208
My roommate brought up an interesting point…
So the trooper pulled me over by hand signal, and he had to do it well in advance of me even arriving at him (Otherwise, it’s a hand-signal at a car that is even or past you, thus impossible to see). Doesn’t this mean he pulled me over for an offense I couldn’t logically have committed yet? Food for thought.April 2, 2010 6:17 am at 6:17 am #357209
StowCbusCleveland wrote >>
My roommate brought up an interesting point…
So the trooper pulled me over by hand signal, and he had to do it well in advance of me even arriving at him (Otherwise, it’s a hand-signal at a car that is even or past you, thus impossible to see). Doesn’t this mean he pulled me over for an offense I couldn’t logically have committed yet? Food for thought.
Unless he could tell that you didn’t have time to avoid committing the violation (by changing lanes or safely slowing down), but he still had time to make a hand gesture?
I’d predict, judge 1, roommate 0, minus fifty judge sympathy pointsApril 2, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am #357210
When in doubt, get a lawyer.April 2, 2010 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #357211
lifeliberty wrote >>
OH, and in my experience it really helps if you have the cash on hand(with you) to pay any fines then and there. Lots of people that go to court do not. the judges have always asked if I had the money to pay today and I presumed my saying yes resulted in a reduced fine, last time it was reduced to $5.
Yep, bring money, or call ahead and see if they take credit cards (most do).
Again, at the end of the day the judge’s that I have been in front of care more about you paying the Court Cost than about the prosecutor getting a conviction.
I do rememeber the prosecutor’s assistant that I spoke to specifically asking if I could pay the court costs today. I told him yes, and they dropped all charges as long as I could pay the court cost.
And the officer was there, so they could have had me if they wanted to.
They just don’t want to waste the Judge’s time if the court can get their money.April 7, 2010 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #357212
Went to arraignment today…went with “not guilty”, obviously.
Spoke with the prosecutor, and he basically said “I’m the lawyer for the trooper, there’s nothing lesser to drop this to, and even if there were I wouldn’t because I take what he says as truth and we don’t drop stuff here.”
I mentioned that I had read up on the law in question and felt I had made a good faith effort to satisfy the “safe speed” requirement when I saw I would be unable to get over into the other lane, and that I really was trying to do my best to keep him safe without causing an accident. He said “You have your right to your day in court, but if you don’t get over, there’s almost no chance of getting off.” I mentioned that I was willing to pay court costs today, and he said “That’s what they might do in the big city where you’re from, but not here. See you in court.”
Yikes. One of the most tense and awkward conversations I’ve ever had. I felt like if he had shut me down one more time, an announcer would appear out of nowhere to declare “FINISH HIM!”April 7, 2010 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm #357213
What court did you go to ?April 7, 2010 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #357214
he is trying to intimidate you so he can crush you. my advice if you want to fight this: get a lawyer.
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