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Court Date on Thursday (6/14)
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  (#1)
TIMMEH!
 
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Court Date on Thursday (6/14) - June 11, 2007, 10:41 AM

Need some advice here:

I go to court on Thursday for an accident I was involved in. Just a minor fender bender, no injuries, and my insurance company paid for everything. I rear ended this girl going in to work in early May. I was following at a safe distance, she just slammed on her brakes real fast in the middle of an intersection. I slammed on mine as well, just didn't stop as quickly as she did. She insisted on calling the cops, so we did. I got 2 citations: 1 for, and I am quoting here, "Reckless Driving (Improper)" and "Expired Rejection Sticker." As the cop gave me the tickets, he said "I have to write the ticket that way, but it's not a reckless ticket, it's an improper driving ticket. I can't prove you were doing anything reckless and the girl didn't say you were."

So here's my question. What do I do in court? I already had the work done to my car on the rejection sticker prior to the accident, but I was out of town for 3 weeks and couldn't get it back to the shop. I've got the Honda paperwork on this as well as the fact that my car is now officially inspected (I also have the paperwork on this). The cop told me that one will be thrown out more than likely.

Now, to the improper driving charge. I was told I should plead "Not Guilty" and tell the judge exactly what happened. The other girl isn't going to show up (she doesn't even know when the court date is) and so there won't be anyone to contradict my story. Is this good advice? I'm hoping the improper driving charge gets thrown out as well. Anyone know the chances of this? I've had a FFX Cop tell me that if the judge knows the insurance company has taken care of anything, they'll toss the charges out usually.

Thanks people! Alright, let the advice commence:


Ninja636 says:
yes, dick is fun!
Ninja636 says:
OH WAIT....
Ninja636 says:
MAYBE I SHOULD REPHRASE THAT

LaoTzu: "I'll just let everyone know, Glade sprayed up the azz burns!"

(While Climbing, talking about his chalk bag)
Matt - "I like it around back where it hits me on the butt while I'm climbing. It's like 'Oooooh, what was that?'"
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June 11, 2007, 10:58 AM

For reckless driving you can goto jail!!! I would take either a good lawyer or someone that has been down this road and can give you good advice. Becareful you can get screwed without even knowing it. PM me the excate code writen on the ticket. You can go to the VA code and check it out also. You could also enter in a no contest plea. Also talk to the proscuter when you show up. Have a copy of you good driving recored with you. If for some reason they give you jail time for what ever reason appeal it immediately.


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June 11, 2007, 10:59 AM

That sucks. I would think that Spud would be able to give some insight on the FFX side...
I am not sure by her not showing up that it will be automatically thrown out....
I thought that by hitting a car from behind it was kind of like you were automatically guilty... BUT I AM NOT SURE. Can someone confirm this? Make sure you bring all records with you as well showing the dates of when everything was fixed and when you were out of town, hence the reason for the expired rejection sticker... that way it is proof on documentation...


Wow. Just..................wow.
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June 11, 2007, 11:09 AM

I would not recommend going to court without a lawyer. I went to court for a Noise Violation citation I received in February, thinking it would make me appear more responsible and hoping that the judge would throw it out. Instead, I received 6 months of probation and 25 hours of community service. For a noise violation. The Commonwealth Attorney is not there to be your friend, nor is he/she looking out for your interests. I'm not sure if traffic court flows the same way, but speaking from experience here I say going in to court without a lawyer is just a bad idea.

Good luck.
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June 11, 2007, 11:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodeskjeggen
I would not recommend going to court without a lawyer. I went to court for a Noise Violation citation I received in February, thinking it would make me appear more responsible and hoping that the judge would throw it out. Instead, I received 6 months of probation and 25 hours of community service. For a noise violation. The Commonwealth Attorney is not there to be your friend, nor is he/she looking out for your interests. I'm not sure if traffic court flows the same way, but speaking from experience here I say going in to court without a lawyer is just a bad idea.

Good luck.

Jeebus, that's insane. Exactly how loud a ruckuss were you making if you don't mind me asking? Were you having a party or were you testinga jet engine in your backyard?
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June 11, 2007, 11:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFIGixx600
Need some advice here:

I go to court on Thursday for an accident I was involved in. Just a minor fender bender, no injuries, and my insurance company paid for everything. I rear ended this girl going in to work in early May. I was following at a safe distance, she just slammed on her brakes real fast in the middle of an intersection. I slammed on mine as well, just didn't stop as quickly as she did. She insisted on calling the cops, so we did. I got 2 citations: 1 for, and I am quoting here, "Reckless Driving (Improper)" and "Expired Rejection Sticker." As the cop gave me the tickets, he said "I have to write the ticket that way, but it's not a reckless ticket, it's an improper driving ticket. I can't prove you were doing anything reckless and the girl didn't say you were."

So here's my question. What do I do in court? I already had the work done to my car on the rejection sticker prior to the accident, but I was out of town for 3 weeks and couldn't get it back to the shop. I've got the Honda paperwork on this as well as the fact that my car is now officially inspected (I also have the paperwork on this). The cop told me that one will be thrown out more than likely.

Now, to the improper driving charge. I was told I should plead "Not Guilty" and tell the judge exactly what happened. The other girl isn't going to show up (she doesn't even know when the court date is) and so there won't be anyone to contradict my story. Is this good advice? I'm hoping the improper driving charge gets thrown out as well. Anyone know the chances of this? I've had a FFX Cop tell me that if the judge knows the insurance company has taken care of anything, they'll toss the charges out usually.

Thanks people! Alright, let the advice commence:
same thing happened to me when I rear ended someone. I didnt get a lawyer. I talked to the prosecutor and explained what happened. The officer should be there too. Just explain what happened. No lawyer is needed. If they insist on the reckless then ask for a continuance. I did get 3 points, but because I had been a safe driver they negated the additional points i had. reckless is 6 points. improper driving is 3


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Originally Posted by vonstallin View Post
Stinky:
.........
Im so excited im about to pre-blast in my pants.....then....it hits me...
I smell her arm pits and i damn near threw up!!!!
..........

Last edited by hfam95; June 11, 2007 at 11:29 AM..
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June 11, 2007, 11:33 AM

I agree with fam, I've been to court for two recless tickets and unless the cop saw you being reckless or there is a whitness saying you were reckless there is nothing they can do. If you have an over all decent driving record, I would also not hire a lawer. That will be about $2K that I'm not sure you need to spend.

Just talk to the prosecutor and/or the cop and find out what they are really going to charge you with.

B
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TIMMEH!
 
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June 11, 2007, 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodge131
For reckless driving you can goto jail!!! I would take either a good lawyer or someone that has been down this road and can give you good advice. Becareful you can get screwed without even knowing it. PM me the excate code writen on the ticket. You can go to the VA code and check it out also. You could also enter in a no contest plea. Also talk to the proscuter when you show up. Have a copy of you good driving recored with you. If for some reason they give you jail time for what ever reason appeal it immediately.
Easy killer...They can't give me jail time for this. I think it's time to switch to decaf my friend.

From what the officer said - "I cannot prove you were driving recklessly, and from what you told me and she told me it doesn't sound like you were. I have to write the charge up as Reckless driving (improper) because that's the code." Then I asked "Well, do I have to go to court or is it a fine or what? This is the first time anything like this has happened to me." His response - "You have to go to court, but when you get up I'll tell the judge that it was improper driving, not reckless."

That to me says it's not going to be a reckless ticket/jail/death penalty.

My driving record is great, except a week later I got a speeding ticket (I know, superb timing) for 20 over (NOT reckless, just straight speeding). Other than that, the only thing you'll find on my record is a 17 over speeding in 1998 and a 12 over in 2001. Up until the accident, nothing in the previous 6 years.

I have all my supporting documents on the inspection sticker, so I think that'll get tossed. We'll see how it goes, if it looks like I'm getting a boot up the ass, I'll ask for a continuance. But I don't think I need to hire a lawyer. I'll also holla at spud and see what he's got to say. By the way, this was in Loudoun County, not Fairfax County. Sorry for the confusion.


Ninja636 says:
yes, dick is fun!
Ninja636 says:
OH WAIT....
Ninja636 says:
MAYBE I SHOULD REPHRASE THAT

LaoTzu: "I'll just let everyone know, Glade sprayed up the azz burns!"

(While Climbing, talking about his chalk bag)
Matt - "I like it around back where it hits me on the butt while I'm climbing. It's like 'Oooooh, what was that?'"
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TIMMEH!
 
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June 11, 2007, 12:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyK
That sucks. I would think that Spud would be able to give some insight on the FFX side...
I am not sure by her not showing up that it will be automatically thrown out....
I thought that by hitting a car from behind it was kind of like you were automatically guilty... BUT I AM NOT SURE. Can someone confirm this? Make sure you bring all records with you as well showing the dates of when everything was fixed and when you were out of town, hence the reason for the expired rejection sticker... that way it is proof on documentation...
I don't think it'll be thrown out because the girl shows up, I was just saying that the only people that could say I was driving recklessly would be myself, her, and another witness. I don't see her showing up and I don't see a random person on the road that morning showing up either, so it's my word against nobody's. When the officer asked us what happened, the girl wouldn't say anything, so I said "She slammed on her brakes in the middle of an intersection, and I slammed on mine. I just didn't stop in time and tried to swerve out of the way. But I didn't make it." He looked at her and said "Is that right?" She just nodded her head. But since I rear-ended her, I'm automatically at fault.


Ninja636 says:
yes, dick is fun!
Ninja636 says:
OH WAIT....
Ninja636 says:
MAYBE I SHOULD REPHRASE THAT

LaoTzu: "I'll just let everyone know, Glade sprayed up the azz burns!"

(While Climbing, talking about his chalk bag)
Matt - "I like it around back where it hits me on the butt while I'm climbing. It's like 'Oooooh, what was that?'"
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  (#10)
TIMMEH!
 
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June 11, 2007, 12:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfam95
same thing happened to me when I rear ended someone. I didnt get a lawyer. I talked to the prosecutor and explained what happened. The officer should be there too. Just explain what happened. No lawyer is needed. If they insist on the reckless then ask for a continuance. I did get 3 points, but because I had been a safe driver they negated the additional points i had. reckless is 6 points. improper driving is 3
HFam - How did you find the attorney? I've never been to court before (3 speeding tickets, all fines paid ahead of time) and so I'm new to this. Thanks.


Ninja636 says:
yes, dick is fun!
Ninja636 says:
OH WAIT....
Ninja636 says:
MAYBE I SHOULD REPHRASE THAT

LaoTzu: "I'll just let everyone know, Glade sprayed up the azz burns!"

(While Climbing, talking about his chalk bag)
Matt - "I like it around back where it hits me on the butt while I'm climbing. It's like 'Oooooh, what was that?'"
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Ride the Metal Monster
 
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June 11, 2007, 12:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBontheMV
Jeebus, that's insane. Exactly how loud a ruckuss were you making if you don't mind me asking? Were you having a party or were you testinga jet engine in your backyard?
Actually, Rolls-Royce asked me to test a modified AE 3007 Turbo-fan one evening...


...or it was my roommate's Birthday Party. I can't remember which.
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PewPew
 
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June 11, 2007, 12:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coluchi
I agree with fam, I've been to court for two recless tickets and unless the cop saw you being reckless or there is a whitness saying you were reckless there is nothing they can do. If you have an over all decent driving record, I would also not hire a lawer. That will be about $2K that I'm not sure you need to spend.

Just talk to the prosecutor and/or the cop and find out what they are really going to charge you with.

B
+1

Hell I went to court w/out a lawyer for my reckless driving (speeding) and I walked out with a $191 total fine ( including court fees ) and only 3 points.

You'll have the chance to talk to the officer and the DA before the judge begins hearing cases. At this time you can either plea guilty or not guilty to the charges the DA is going to prosecute you with. Unless you've been a pain in the ass for traffic court in the past with a bunch of priors you're not going to go to jail. Someone always screams up and down about "you can go to jail!" Ain't gunna happen unless you've had a good to many tickets within the past few years. Unfortunately for you the DA is not going to care to listen or want to listen to your side of the story. That's what the trial is for. So when you go talk to him he'll say " ( inseret name ) you're charged with ( insert charges ), do you plea guilty or not guilty?" you respond with your answer. If you plea guilty you'll more than likely be fined a good deal of money, loose your 3 points, and be remanded to a drivers safety class.

Course having a lawyer can also be a good safety net if you have the $$$$ to thrown down. But the fine will likely be less than the lawyer fees, the points arn't that big of a deal unless you have a bunch already, and you're not going to go to jail for an improper driving charge.

Good luck man.


R.I.P. Eric "TheIrishGuy"

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With your tears and cold hands shaking from the weight
When you lower me down beneath that sky of gray
Let the rain fall down and wash away your pain"


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June 11, 2007, 12:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CFIGixx600
HFam - How did you find the attorney? I've never been to court before (3 speeding tickets, all fines paid ahead of time) and so I'm new to this. Thanks.
I didnt. There will be a court attorney (for the court). They represent the county/state. You are the defendant. Before you plead, tell the judge you need to explain your case or talk to the courts attorney. They will give you a chance. If they dont then at least plead not guilty.

I didnt know so when I went in, I said guilty. The judge says are you sure? you might need to talk to the attorney to understand your plead. I said ok, not guilty. The judge smiled and said ok. We recessed so the attorney could talk to everyone. I explained what happened and the cop was right there. It was agreed between all parties as loss of control. 3 points. They had my driving record with them. I had +3 (good) points. I got 3 points for the charge. Total 0 points. No remedial class, no nothing. I put the guy I hit in the hospital so he wasnt there. I paid a 50-100 fine (court cost included).

Worse thing that happened was I was dropped by my insurance. F'n bastards. 15 years and I change their profit margin with me and they drop me. To hell with them. :finger:


Quote:
Originally Posted by vonstallin View Post
Stinky:
.........
Im so excited im about to pre-blast in my pants.....then....it hits me...
I smell her arm pits and i damn near threw up!!!!
..........
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Quit moving!
 
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June 11, 2007, 01:38 PM

In accident cases, Police Officers can only write you a ticket for Reckless Driving (and other things) and can't write you a ticket for Improper Driving. Only a Judge can find you guilty of Improper Driving (a law may change that July1st giving officers the power to write for Improper Driving at the scene of accidents) Anyways, when you go to court this is what most likely how things are gonna play out: Scene 1. Lights, camera, action! Judge: "CFIGixx600 you have been charged with Reckless Driving. What is your plea? Guilty, not guilty, or no contest?" You: "Well you're honor, I admit that I ran into the back of her and the insurance have taken care of all the damage, but I wasn't intentionally trying to hit her. I also told this to the officer who came out to the scene who was also very helpful" Judge: "Oh Officer, tell me what happened." Officer: "Well you honor...on such and such date at such and such time...blah blah...I feel this is a case of Improper Driving" Judge: "Ok, well I find you guilty/notguilty" It's whatever he may feel at the time. End scene. You don't need a lawyer for this, I'm surprised the Officer didn't write you for just following too closely, but to each his/her own. Before court starts, (get there at least 30min. early) try to talk with the Assistant Commonwealth Attorney (CA's office) who will be handling the traffic cases that day. You can usually find him/her in a separate room with all the other Police officers coming in and out and lawyers trying to make deals for their clients.

If you decide to plead Not Guilty, then they'll just coninue the court date to the Officer's next date and subpeona the person that you hit to testify against you. Here in VA the other party/witnesses don't show up to the first time the case goes to court just to save time in case the defendant pleads guilty. They don't wanna have to waste peoples time comming down and stuff.


Soooo, to hit on some key points:
1. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your court time.
2. Don't dress like a scrub. Go in with dress clothes.
3. Address the Judge as "Your Honor" or "Sir/ma'am"
4. Try to speak with the CA's office before court starts and try to get it dismissed, saying that the Insurance has paid for everything, or get a plea agreement for Improper Driving.
5. If you plea "No Contest" you're just saying that basically you don't want to admit guilt, but you are aware that the CA has enough evidence to find beyond a resonable doubt that you are guilty.
6. For a Reckless Driving charge, there IS a possbility of Jail time...but I've never seen it happen on a traffic accident, so don't sweat it.
7. If you have a good driving record, then bring that up to the CA and the Judge
8. Umm, that's all. Good luck!!
9. Edit: Use my advice at your own risk. I'm not gonna be responsible for bringing you smokes in Jail

Last edited by MPSniper; June 11, 2007 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: Disclaimer
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June 11, 2007, 01:52 PM

I don't feel like reading all the posts above so I just read yours Tim. Plead not guilty and explain. Be carefull how you word things and it will be reduced to something like "Failure to show full time and attention". I had the exact same thing happen to me when I wrecked my Mustang and thats what mine was reduced to.


God Speed Jeff! You'll never be forgotten.

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