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Never got a ticket before

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ambrelite

Member
What is the name of your state? AL

In 16 years of driving, I've never gotten a ticket before.
I have a clean record. And now some cop gave me a ticket
for running a stop sign. He was standing around at the corner
talking at the time, it was at night and dark.
I was completely out of his sight, when suddenly he comes speeding
up on me, accusing me of not stopping at the sign.
Should I get a lawyer and fight this or just pay the ticket?
Or can I write "No Contest" on the ticket and pay it
or do I have to go to court to No Contest it?
 


HomeGuru

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
What is the name of your state? AL

In 16 years of driving, I've never gotten a ticket before.

**A: hey, most drivers of 16 years have never got a ticket before.
******************
I have a clean record. And now some cop gave me a ticket
for running a stop sign. He was standing around at the corner
talking at the time, it was at night and dark.

**A: how do you know he was talking at the time? If you claim he didn't see you, then how could you see him? And just because it was night and dark does not automatically terminate his vision.
************
I was completely out of his sight, when suddenly he comes speeding
up on me, accusing me of not stopping at the sign.

**A: yup, he never saw you since you were completely out of his sight. Then at that moment you passed the stop sign, he has a divine revelation that someone ran the stop sign. He then speeds towards you knowing that you violated the law through divine intervention. Next time, preface your post with "Once upon a time...."

*************
Should I get a lawyer and fight this or just pay the ticket?

**A: you should get a lawyer and fight it. But be prepared for the lawyer to laugh or ask you what are you smoking, when you tell him the story.

*****************

Or can I write "No Contest" on the ticket and pay it
or do I have to go to court to No Contest it?

**A: you failed to get us the most important fact. Did you run the stop sign?
 
Last edited:

seniorjudge

Senior Member
Q: Or can I write "No Contest" on the ticket and pay it or do I have to go to court to No Contest it?

A: Ask the clerk of the court your questions. You present absolutely no defense in your post, so it is better if you just plead guilty or no contest or may be even get a diversion (see below):



Standard answer

Here are some hints on appearing in court:

Dress professionally in clean clothes.

Do not wear message shirts.

Don't chew gum, smoke, or eat.

Bathe and wash your hair.

Go to court beforehand some day before you actually have to go to watch how things go.

Speak politely and deferentially. If you argue or dispute something, do it professionally and without emotion.

Ask the court clerk who you talk to about a diversion (meaning you want to plead to a different, lesser charge), if applicable in your situation. Ask about traffic school and the ticket not go on your record, if applicable.


Here are five stories that criminal court judges hear the most (and I suggest you do not use them or variations of them):

1. I’ve been saved! (This is not religion specific; folks from all kinds of religious backgrounds use this one.)

2. My girlfriend/mother/sister/daughter is pregnant/sick/dying/dead/crippled and needs my help.

3. I’ve got a job in [name a state five hundred miles away].

4. This is the first time I ever did this.

5. You’ve got the wrong guy. (A variation of this one is the phantom defendant story: “It wasn’t me driving, it was a hitchhiker I picked up. He wrecked the car, drug me behind the wheel then took off.”)

https://forum.freeadvice.com/showthread.php?p=854687#post854687

Public defender’s advice

http://newyork.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/70300494.html


Other people may give you other advice; stand by.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
What is the name of your state? AL

In 16 years of driving, I've never gotten a ticket before.
I have a clean record. And now some cop gave me a ticket
for running a stop sign. He was standing around at the corner
talking at the time, it was at night and dark.
I was completely out of his sight, when suddenly he comes speeding
up on me, accusing me of not stopping at the sign.
Should I get a lawyer and fight this or just pay the ticket?
Or can I write "No Contest" on the ticket and pay it
or do I have to go to court to No Contest it?
How do you KNOW he couldn't see you? Did you ask him?

Apparently he did see you ... or thought he saw you run the stop sign. Is there another reason he would have just singled you out to accuse you of running the stop sign?

- Carl
 

ambrelite

Member
Information on my ticket is incorrect. According to my copy of the ticket
the race he listed is wrong, the time is wrong, there are no witnesses,
I can barely read the court date, I don't know if its October 3 or October 13.
I don't know how much of a defense this is, but he apparantly cannot
write a ticket correctly.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
Information on my ticket is incorrect. According to my copy of the ticket the race he listed is wrong,
Not a big deal ... might be if you are obviously white and he listed you as black. Otherwise, it's a matter of perception. This is not usually relevent.


the time is wrong,
By how much? A few minutes one way or the other is not going to be critical. Hours might be.


there are no witnesses,
There are two witnesses - you and the officer.


I can barely read the court date, I don't know if its October 3 or October 13.
It might be a good idea to call and find out. The court can probably tell you which date is the date they hold traffic arraignments.


I don't know how much of a defense this is, but he apparantly cannot
write a ticket correctly.
Not a defense at all, really. None of the above things shows that you did or did not commit the violation in question.

Did you run the stop sign? Or, did you come to a complete stop AT (not after) the limit line before proceeding?

- Carl
 

ambrelite

Member
seniorjudge,

What about "I've just been diagnosed with cancer
and paying this fine will prevent me from being able
to pay for my cancer treatments".

Or "I only have 6 months to a year to live".

Do judges hear that much?
It wouldn't matter anyway right.

and No I did not run the stop sign.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
seniorjudge,

What about "I've just been diagnosed with cancer
and paying this fine will prevent me from being able
to pay for my cancer treatments".

Or "I only have 6 months to a year to live".

Do judges hear that much?
It wouldn't matter anyway right.

and No I did not run the stop sign.
Interestingly enough, I suspect judges DO hear that stuff. We have two chronic DUI drivers around here that make the claim all the time. Unfortunately (fortunately??) for one, she is now in remission and has to face the consequences of her offenses. The other one is still continuing the cases ... presumably until they pass or get too ill to drink and drive. Fortunately he doesn't have a car anymore.

If you did not run the sign, then you and the officer will go in to court and present your arguments to the court. You can challenge his position relative to the stop sign and the limit line, and maybe you can cast some doubt that he had a good view of the limit line. Or, maybe he won't show in court.

That's about all you can do at this point.

- Carl
 

wirry1422

Member
Here's a word for your 16 years without a ticket: Luck. I'm willing to bet that your driving is far from perfect, but you have just been lucky enough not to get caught. If you're driving was so good, you wouldn't have blown through a stop sign, now would you. Take the ticket as a lesson and save yourself the additional time and expense of contesting it, just pay the fine. One ticket on an otherwise clean record won't do too much to your insurance rates and you're not at any risk of loosing your licnese so just plead guilty and pay the fine and let that be the end of it. And don't make a habit out of breezing through stop signs.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
and No I did not run the stop sign.
Of course, the question is: Did you come to a COMPLETE STOP at the limit line?

Too many people think that simple stopping near the stop sign (either way in front or just beyond it) is sufficient.

I once observed a woman stop IN the intersection with her rear bumper on the limit line, and the front of her car in the eastbound lane of traffic ... fortunately for her, there was no traffic. Yep. She came to a complete stop. And she looked left, right, then left again before proceeding. When we got to court she boldly told the judge, "Well, I stopped! And I wasn't completely over the line!" ... judge hit her for the stop sign violation and the other violations I hit her for (5 small children not in car seats and doubled up in seatbelts).

- Carl
 

seniorjudge

Senior Member
ambrelite said:
seniorjudge,

What about "I've just been diagnosed with cancer
and paying this fine will prevent me from being able
to pay for my cancer treatments".

Or "I only have 6 months to a year to live".

Do judges hear that much?
It wouldn't matter anyway right.

and No I did not run the stop sign.
All this is irrelevant and yes, judges hear it a lot. People must think being sick makes it okay to break the law. I can't see the logic myself.
 

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