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Traffic ticket inquiry.....

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    Posted: 02 February 2012 at 7:10am
Well, it finally happened. In over a decade of driving, I got my first citation for speeding yesterday.

When I left work, I was behind, and I crossed paths with the local smokies and the county sheriff on my way out of town. I knew that as long as I was in town, either one of the two would have let me go (small town) and I said to myself "It'd be the trooper who shows no mercy."

A handful of hours later, in a 55 zone of highway I was behind a wide load trailer who was hanging over the left lane, where I was. When he gave me an opening, I dropped the hammer to get around him, and right at the peak I sailed past a trooper at 76 miles an hour.

When he came to the door, he was all business- "License and registration, I caught you at 76 in a 55." And he walked away before I could explain, which I don't have an issue with. He was right.

He came back and told me he'd cut me a break- 21mph over is a 6 point hit on the license. He dropped me down to "Failure to obey a traffic signal" - the equivalent of blowing s stop sign. He told me to take it to court and possibly get it pled to something like 'parking on pavement' which is 0 points and a fine.

I thanked him and went on my merry way.

Then it hit me.

How the hell do I plead that down? The DA and judge don't know that I didn't actually sail through a stop light or sign.

My last infraction was 'following too closely' which I got when I rear-ended some lady back in '10. It was pretty easy for the judge and DA to infer that there had been an accident by the charge, so there wasn't any question as to what actually happened. (still got it down to Parking on pavement!)

This case though, I got gigged for something totally different than what I was ticketed for. If the DA asks for specifics when I go to court....what do I say? Do I tell them that I was given a break? Do I like like a rug? Or do I plead guilty, take the 2 points and the colossal wallet raping fine and state surcharge?

I actually haven't got the faintest idea on this one.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 8:27am
Take the fine like a man. Pay up and move on.

KBK
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 8:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 9:29am
Originally posted by Kayback Kayback wrote:

Take the fine like a man. Pay up and move on.

KBK
 
Why in hell would I do that if there's a possibility to get it reduced? The officer even TOLD me to take it to court- I'm merely inquiring on the procedure.  
 
Besides, while I have no problem with consequences for actions, what I do have an issue with is NYS upping their surcharges for citations that carry points on licenses not too long ago. There have been some cases where the state charges have been just as high as the fines meted out by municipalities. The budgetary issues in this state have dictated that they shake down everyone for as much as they can as often as they can, so you're effectively paying twice for anything that's got points with it.
 
No, when the state trooper blatantly tells you that you can 'take it to court and get it reduced' I'll follow that route. I just need to know how.
 
Oh- and no, there'll be no lawyer here. The way it does work, is that you plead 'not guilty' to the ticket, and mail it in. They in turn tell you to appear in municipal court to meet with the District Attourney on traffic court night. Then everyone sits in a big room, they call you up by name and you stand before them and they review your license record and occasionally ask for specifics of the infraction. The majority of the time, things get reduced. When I went for my 'following too closely' ticket, I was nearly last, and the overwhelming majority of people in front of me were given a break for one reason or another. Though it depends on a lot. A friend of mine once went to court and was told the DA wasn't taking cases that night- leaving everyone high and dry.
 
I have been told this morning that the 'traffic signal' could mean the speed limit sign...but I'm not certain yet.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:11am
I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THE FOLLOWING IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE:

Hmm. I only have experience in California so I dont know if this method would work in for you out in your neck of the woods.

Fighting your ticket through the mail.

Step one. Ask for an extension. California allows you to postpone your "appear before the court date" two different times, one month each time, for a total of two months. I believe you can do this by calling the court (telephone prompt), on the internet, or in writing, read the back of the ticket.

During the second extension time period, request a trial by declaration. This is where you fight your ticket throught the mail. Search the web for free forms that you can print out and explain your side of the story. Plead not guilty. Do not self incriminate yourself, also do not perjure yourself. What you submit becomes your sworn testimony. If the law, states, no more than 55 on a state highway unless otherswise posted.... Dont say I was doing 76 to pass a truck.....However you can be vague, explain the curcumstances to your best recallection, at this point it has been three months. One month for first appear date, two more,from extensions. Example, I was driving NB on the highway at a safe for the conditions speed, (light traffic, high visability, flat, straight highway lane) had the oppertunity to safely pass a slow moving truck and completed the manuvuer, something like that. In court, you are innocent until proven quilty. Submit paperwork throught the mail. Officer has 30 days to submit his version and facts. Hopefully, it being three months later and your less than memorable behavior during the traffic stop the officer will be less than thrilled to fill out even more paperwork and decided not to submit. Officers are paid to sit in traffic court and answer queations with a judge, not paid to fill out more paperwork. If the officer doesnt respond within the 30 days, case dropped. Not Guilty verdict is reached. You win. If the officer does respond any you end up being guilty, it isnt game over.
You can appeal. This time you go to court.
During your appeal, you plead not guilty and request traffic school if found guilty. Present your case. If you lose and have not been to traffic school within the past three years, usually the can get traffic slow and no insurance points. Sometimes you can also plead down your charge in exchange for a reduced penalty but that decision is yours to make.

Again this applies to California law but perhaps your neck of the woods has some equivelant methods. Car forums are a teasure trove of information.

Good luck.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kayback Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:14am
Boo Hoo! Ebil gubbermint is wrong to make me pay fine AND lose points!

Jeez Luise you've already gotten it down from 76 in a 55 and from 6 points to 2 points and you are still moaning?

Like I said, man up and take it on the chin. Anything else and you are a whiner.

But it is your day. If you want to waste it in court go for it. I've got better things to do than go to municipal court. Here the fine isn't even for the infraction. All it is is an admission of guilt fine. A ticket here is just a summons to court. You can appear and dispute it, or do something fun with your day....

KBK
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:24am
Officers tell you to appear in court for the chance for a reduction because they dont want to fight you with more paperwork. Check to see if you have a trail by declaration option,

Imagine if every ticket issued resulted in filling out more paperwork, three months after the event, thats a lot of extra time and unpaid paperwork. Hence the, "Go fight it in court," encouragment.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:31am
Originally posted by Kayback Kayback wrote:

Boo Hoo! Ebil gubbermint is wrong to make me pay fine AND lose points!

Jeez Luise you've already gotten it down from 76 in a 55 and from 6 points to 2 points and you are still moaning?

Like I said, man up and take it on the chin. Anything else and you are a whiner.

But it is your day. If you want to waste it in court go for it. I've got better things to do than go to municipal court. Here the fine isn't even for the infraction. All it is is an admission of guilt fine. A ticket here is just a summons to court. You can appear and dispute it, or do something fun with your day....

KBK
 
Court doesn't meet until evening.
 
And no, I'm not 'still moaning' Reread please. I was given an opportunity to have it lowered even further than what it was, and all I'm trying to do is figure out the proper procedure. Are you telling me that you'd say "Nah, screw that, I'll pay max fines so people think I'm more manly!"
 
...because obviously, the measure of a man correlates directly to how much he's willing to pay in traffic fines. Hurp Durp.
 
I freely admit guilt to the infraction, but the system allows for these things to be reduced. Why the hell WOULDN'T I look into that option, especially when the officer issuing the citation specifically told me to do so?
 
"Gee, no thanks officer, why don't you go back to your car and write me out the one for the 6 point violation so I can take it like a man."
 
Confused
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:34am
RBL CPL: NY right, and what is the vc/infraction code you were cited with?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:38am
Originally posted by God God wrote:

Officers tell you to appear in court for the chance for a reduction because they dont want to fight you with more paperwork. Check to see if you have a trail by declaration option,

Imagine if every ticket issued resulted in filling out more paperwork, three months after the event, thats a lot of extra time and unpaid paperwork. Hence the, "Go fight it in court," encouragment.


 
Nah, that's not the manly way to do it.
 
The trial and guilty/not guilty procedure is pretty straight forward. I've been through that before as I mentioned. I'm merely curious about the wording of the case when presented, since the issued citation isn't in line with what happened....although the more I think about it, the end result of most cases is differend that what actually transpired anyway. Like I said I got "Parking on pavement" after rear ending the lady two years ago. Municipalities like to bargain it down for the most part because of the paperwork and record keeping anyway.
 
I dunno, I'll check with one of the LEO's I know later on I was just curious as to the input I'd get here.
 
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 10:40am
Originally posted by God God wrote:

RBL CPL: NY right, and what is the vc/infraction code you were cited with?


 
Failure to Obey a Traffic Signal.
2 Point violation.
Fine
State surcharge
 
What the trooper told me to do was take it to court and have it reduced to something like:
 
Parking on pavement
0 Points
Smaller fine
No Surcharge
 
 


Edited by Reb Cpl - 02 February 2012 at 10:40am


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldpbnoob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 12:57pm

They actually hand you a slip of paper with the amount of your ticket on it here in Ohio. My ticket for 80 in a 65 was $105. For me to fight it, I would have had to be in court at 9am on a weekday nearly an hour from my house. I paid the fine, took the points and moved on. Not sure what the amount of the ticket was, but TBH it would have to be substantially more than this to make me give a crap either way. Then agan, I am 43 and the couple of points on my license wont even create a blip on my insurance costs, so that isnt a concern either.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote deadeye007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 1:57pm
Is there an option for deferred adjudication or a defensive driving class?

You will be out of money, but infractions will be removed from your record.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by deadeye007 deadeye007 wrote:

Is there an option for deferred adjudication or a defensive driving class?

You will be out of money, but infractions will be removed from your record.
 
That's always an option. In fact, given that I need my license for my job it'll be what I do if I can't get a reduction in court.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2012 at 2:19pm
Reb, listen up because I've been there and done that with a Statey while in Po-Town back in my college days.

You should have an option on your ticket to plead "not guilty, no deposition" It is VERY important to not require the officer to write out a deposition as that will screw any chances for a plea-down. Send the citation in. You will be given a summons date. Show up to the summons at least a half-hour early. When the officer arrives, you can approach him about a plea deal. In my case, the officer stood there calling out names and took each person aside in turn and arranged the plea. Try to settle for something like "failure to yield at a flashing yellow light or some such other lower-point lower-fine ticket. You'll both agree on the plea, when you're called up, the officer will do all the talking. You simply need to make sure that they state you're pleading to the offense you agreed upon and affirm that to the judge. You'll get your fine and court costs, pay them, and be on your way.

Edit:
Just saw what the trooper told you. Follow above recommendation, just insert "parking on pavement" where the previous plea was in my suggestion.

Edited by tallen702 - 02 February 2012 at 2:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boss_DJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 1:12pm
I got nabbed back in college right outside of Dutchess County by a trooper. Gave me 75 in a 55 and told me to plead not guilty. I went in and without having to explain anything, they knocked it down to parking on the pavement and gave me a $150 fine. Still can't tell if the cop was trying to help me out or not. Bringing in money to the county seemed more of the court's priority without royally screwing anyone over.

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I saw this unfold on Facebook and, not going to lie, I loled quite a bit. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by Boss_DJ Boss_DJ wrote:

I got nabbed back in college right outside of Dutchess County by a trooper. Gave me 75 in a 55 and told me to plead not guilty. I went in and without having to explain anything, they knocked it down to parking on the pavement and gave me a $150 fine. Still can't tell if the cop was trying to help me out or not. Bringing in money to the county seemed more of the court's priority without royally screwing anyone over.


It's a racket. They don't care about you points, just the money. Po-Town is in Dutchess Co. so my experience was definitely similar. Given that you have four good sized schools in Dutchess, they don't even bother going after people who don't look like kids.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lightningbolt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 4:52pm
This seems like a good opportunity to use the word restitution
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reb Cpl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 February 2012 at 8:52pm
Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:

I saw this unfold on Facebook and, not going to lie, I loled quite a bit. 




I'm glad. that's sort of why I stuck it out there.



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