Hi, I just want to thank and appreciate anyone taking the time out of their day to help me with this extremely stressful situation.
I got charged with careless driving due to being super tired from working 2 jobs to pay my bills as a student which made me swerve out of my lane a couple times and drive onto oncoming traffic at one point. I took a nap too before hitting the roads and didn’t feel tired till I started driving. It was also late at night and I was driving on a dark road in the country. The officer was following me for a while and conducted a DUI test on me which I passed. They also searched my car because it smelled like weed from my brother taking my car but found nothing other than some papers and a grinder. I got a $400 fine + 6 demerit points and I’m willing to fight this in court and represent myself. Do I need a lawyer? What are the chances of the charge being dropped? Is there even a less severe charge they could charge me with if the court goes successfully? Any advice?
The fine and demerit points aren't the problem. The insurance is. Long story short, Careless Driving falls into the 'serious' bracket. These are the worst offenses you can be charged with. Any serious conviction and you run the risk of being booted by your insurance provider. Either that or you will pay enormous rates for the next couple years. Serious offenses come with a 100% surcharge against your policy.
This is one of those offenses where the best course of action is probably shooting for a reduced charge. Any reduced charge will almost certainly fall into the 'minor' offenses bracket in terms of insurance. Depending on your history, you're looking at a 5-15% surcharge and you wont have to look for another provider.
The difference between careless driving and a reduced charge is so huge that it's probably worth considering.
If the early resolution meeting is an option on your ticket, you can do that yourself. If you don't like what they're offering, simply request a trial at your meeting and go on from there.
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