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  1. #1
    rjk2k7 is offline Junior Member
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    Pa section 75- 3309 sec 1: Disregard traffic lane (single) HELP!

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pa

    OK guys here is my problem I currently got into a minor accident that I did not cause kinda. While going around the turn my car hit a patch of black ice causing it to skid into the other lane, and hitting the on coming car. No injuries occurred, both vehicles were damaged, but both movable. When the police came and asked how fast I was going I told them I was unsure maybe 55, 60,65 mph, the speed limit in the zone is 45. My summery offense is section 3309 which is as follows:

    "(1) Driving within single lane. A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety."

    My question is should I even wast my time and try to fight the ticket, or just pay the fine and move on? Even tho I told the cop my estimated speed at the same time I told them I was very unsure how fast I was going. I also stated I did not think I was speeding at the time or felt I had full negligence in causing the accident. In this situation would a defense be reasonable to say that the road conditions caused my accident, and no fully myself? Also could I bring up lack of maintenance by the state road department. Thanks for the help
  2. #2
    thedoctorisin is offline Member
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    As a general rule, the police will give a ticket to one of the parties in an accident, so that the insurance companies have an indication of who was at fault in the accident. You were at fault, so you got the ticket. It sounds to me as though the police officer was trying to be nice to you since you were honest enough to admit your speed, so he charged you with something less severe than speeding.
  3. #3
    rjk2k7 is offline Junior Member
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    Gotcha I know exactly where you are coming from, and yes I am very greatful they did not hit me with speeding, reckless driving, careless driving etc, etc, I will just bite the bullet pay the citation, and thanks for the advice before I wasted my time!
  4. #4
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjk2k7 View Post
    Gotcha I know exactly where you are coming from, and yes I am very greatful they did not hit me with speeding, reckless driving, careless driving etc, etc, I will just bite the bullet pay the citation, and thanks for the advice before I wasted my time!
    Ask the prosecutor if he will plea bargain with you for a non-moving violation.

    It will cost you more, but may help your insurance premiums not to rise.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  5. #5
    rjk2k7 is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE]Ask the prosecutor if he will plea bargain with you for a non-moving violation.

    It will cost you more, but may help your insurance premiums not to rise./QUOTE]

    So your are saying I should fight the ticket and go for the plea? I feel that my chances of getting a plea are slim to none on this, but it could be worth a try, also I am a criminal justice major do you think this citation will come back to haunt me, and or slim down my chances from getting a job at a later date?
  6. #6
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: So your are saying I should fight the ticket and go for the plea?

    A: I never said anything remotely resembling that. If you are a CJ major, then you know that there must be a plea in every criminal case. What I suggested is clearly set forth in my suggestion in my previous post.


    Q: also I am a criminal justice major do you think this citation will come back to haunt me, and or slim down my chances from getting a job at a later date?

    A: It's not a "crime of moral turpitude" (Google) so I doubt that anyone will care much when it shows up on your application.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  7. #7
    rjk2k7 is offline Junior Member
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    Yes I understand where you are coming from, but I do not know how your state works but here in PA, the only possible way for me to obtain a plea, would for me to plead not guilty to the ticket, and at the arraignment ask the judge or prosecutor for the plea. And regarding a plea bargain in every case? I do not find that so, a plea bargain is not in every case, if the DA does not want to give a plea there is no law that says he must, and also what if the defendant pleads not guilty and does not want the plea bargain in that case there would be no plea bargain.
  8. #8
    msgeoti is offline Junior Member
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    Plea

    What the person meant by saying that every case has a plea they don't mean a plea bargain...a plea is guilty/not guilty/no contest...

    A plea bargain is something completely different.
  9. #9
    msgeoti is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Oh and by the way...

    Also, you really got off easy. Just pay the fine and move on. They could of easily slapped you with a bunch of other fines. Your defense of the weather being to blame, they would just come back with failure to maintain control, as well as (don't remember the exact code) failure to maintain a safe speed for the road conditions.

    Bottom line, you were driving too fast for those road conditions, hit ice and lost control. Just be glad they didn't try and hit you up for more. Trust me, I know. I live in Western PA and I know how it gets here in the winter, you gotta drive slow when it's near freezing. We're known for black ice.
  10. #10
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjk2k7 View Post
    . . . here in PA, the only possible way for me to obtain a plea, would for me to plead not guilty to the ticket, and at the arraignment ask the judge or prosecutor for the plea. . .
    Isn't your arraignment your first opportunity to enter a plea? So how can you plead not guilty and then appear for your arraignment?

    My guess is that you'd like to be a CJ major, but have not declared it as such!
  11. #11
    Maestro64 is offline Member
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    First there are no DA or prosecutors in PA for traffic offenses.

    It is you, the police officer and the magistrate. The only time a plea is offered is on the date of the hearing. The only person who will offer a plead or no point ticket is the police officer and the fact he gave a road side discount I highly doubt he would take another step down.

    Next, it seems to be standard operating procedures today that a ticket is issued at most all accidents. I have no fact on this but it appears that this is done to ensure your insurance goes up even if you choose not to file a claim with your insurance company which many people are doing these days for minor accidents.

    Case and point, a friend hit a deer a few months back and as required he call the police to notify them of a dead deer in the road. An officer showed up and ask what happen and simple put the deer jumped out in front of the car. Well the officer issued him a ticket for driving too fast of conditions, and he justified it by saying there was deer crossing sign a mile back and since he was warn of this possibility he should have slowed to the point that he could have stopped safely.

    Here is an accident which was no fault of his own, and the insurance company recognizes it as such but now that he has points on his record his insurance will most likely go up anyway even though this guy choose not to file a claim since it was rental and he paid the deductible himself.

    You could try fighting the ticket, but the fact you hit someone on the other side of the road says you left your lane of travel, hard to dispute that fact. These are tickets are just an insure to your injury.
  12. #12
    FlyingRon is online now Senior Member
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    Having a chargeable accident is going to raise your premiums regardless of what you do with the ticket. People think that the only thing that the insurance companies look at to determine your premiums is DMV points. In most states, they don't look at them at all.
  13. #13
    Alex23 is offline Member
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    Please look out for defenseless Bambi!
  14. #14
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex23 View Post
    Please look out for defenseless Bambi!
    It wasn't Bambi who got creamed...

    I know that because I watched Bambi prance around the TV just the other day...

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