Making a left at an intersection, He said it was Red...

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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:00 pm

Making a left at an intersection, He said it was Red...

by: ahucal on
Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:46 pm

I made a left at an intersection and the light was amber when I passed the line, it then turned red as I was waiting for the vehicle in front of me, that was already in the intersection, to turn left and get out of the intersection. The other vehicle in front of me could not proceed to make the left because he was waiting for the oncoming traffic to stop for the now red light. Once it was clear, the vehicle in front went to complete his left turn when a cop came rushing out to pull him over. The cop then let him go and told me to pull over. He mentioned that I went through the red light. I know the light was amber when I went over the line before the turn but the cop claims that it turned red before the line. At this point it's his word against mine and I know how that usually goes in court.

My question is, if the prosecutor starts asking questions about the circumstances around this, I would like to be sure what the "Rules of the Road" is before they get me on something I wasn't aware. Are you OFFICIALLY allowed to be in front of the line when waiting to turn left at a green light? If so, can two cars be in front of the line when waiting to turn left at a green light, or is only one car allowed in front while waiting to make the left turn in the intersection? Like I said, I don't want the prosecutor to surprise me with anything before I go in to plead my case. By the way, the cop did write down my wrong birth year on the ticket, he wrote 1985 instead of 1965, but I was told that they won't make a big deal of that, although it might help with the incompetency of his actions when he said that he was sure that I was behind the line when it turned red. Obviously, his mind wasn't 100% there if he could make a mistake on my birthdate when writing out the ticket??? I know I'm reaching but I'm trying to find anything I can use.....

thanks in advance
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by: racer on
Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:39 pm

If there are oncoming vehicles, you may cross the line prior to making the left turn and wait until the turn can be done in safety. If the light changes, oncoming vehicles are supposed to stop, and you should be able to complete the turn in the 3 seconds or so while there is a red facing both ways. If you ran an amber, that is a slightly different story, but it should not warrant a "red light" ticket.

To have the ticket dismissed, you need to raise reasonable doubt as to officer's testimony. Example:

You: "Where were you when I supposedly ran the red light?"
Officer: "The street you turned on"
You: "Then you could not have seen the light that I was facing, could you?"
Officer: "..."

Most people are fixated on trying to beat the ticket based on evidence, ignoring all other, much easier ways. See how long it takes for the trial, whether the disclosure is incomplete, what the fine is, any mistakes on the ticket... All of these are much easier ways to have the ticket dismissed then going to court. Not that you should not prepare for the trial just in case.
"The more laws, the less justice" - Marcus Tullius Cicero
"The hardest thing to explain is the obvious" &
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