Can I fight this cell phone ticket?

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lacey23
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Can I fight this cell phone ticket?

Unread post by lacey23 on

I drove to the variety store around the corner from my house today (3 minute drive). On the way back I was stopped at a red light and picked up my phone to check it, then when the light went green I stopped looking at it and drove. As I was turning the corner at the red light I saw some flashing lights.

I ended up with almost $800 in tickets. One for not having my seat belt and another for distracted driving of almost $500. I told the officer I didn't even send a text and was only looking at it while stopped, which he said was against the law and there's nothing he could do.

I don't feel like I did $800 worth of stuff wrong here. I wasn't out endangering people and acting recklessly. The seatbelt ticket I deserve. Even then it doesn't effect anyone other than me, and the place is around the corner from my house. None the less, that is the law.

I was just talking to a friend who's an officer, and he said he thinks there's precedent where you can get off if using it at a light and he'd look into it for me. Still, this sure seems like a lot of money for an officer to charge a student when I'm not really causing any danger to anyone.

Thanks for any help,


screeech
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Unread post by screeech on

Your officer friend is wrong. You can't use a cell phone at a light, or a stop sign, if you are stopped, no matter what you are doing with it. The only option is to pull over, off the live lane of traffic, put it in park and then use it. As well as the fines, there are three points for the cell phone and two for the seat belt...having said that, if convicted of both, you will just get the points for the greatest points violation, the cell phone...If you go see the prosecutor they will more than likely withdraw one if you plead guilty to the other, depending on your record.


lacey23
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Unread post by lacey23 on

screeech wrote:Your officer friend is wrong. You can't use a cell phone at a light, or a stop sign, if you are stopped, no matter what you are doing with it. The only option is to pull over, off the live lane of traffic, put it in park and then use it. As well as the fines, there are three points for the cell phone and two for the seat belt...having said that, if convicted of both, you will just get the points for the greatest points violation, the cell phone...If you go see the prosecutor they will more than likely withdraw one if you plead guilty to the other, depending on your record.
Thank you for the advice.

I have nothing on my drivers record. So, would my best bet be to hire one of those traffic ticket places to talk to the prosecutor or go to court myself? I'm not really sure how this whole system works. The police officer said that there was no wiggle room, the price is the price if you're charged with it. Is my only way to get this lowered by getting them to remove one of the tickets?

Thanks again.


ynotp
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Unread post by ynotp on

Typically you plead not guilty and ask for a court date, when you get one, you request disclosure to see if the evidence against you can support a conviction. From there you can decide if you want to seek out a plea deal or fight it. Possibly, you could potentially beat the charges in other ways such as it taking too long to come to trial, officer no-show, or repeated improper disclosure.


lacey23
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Unread post by lacey23 on

ynotp wrote:Typically you plead not guilty and ask for a court date, when you get one, you request disclosure to see if the evidence against you can support a conviction. From there you can decide if you want to seek out a plea deal or fight it. Possibly, you could potentially beat the charges in other ways such as it taking too long to come to trial, officer no-show, or repeated improper disclosure.
Thanks.

I've heard of getting off by things like officer no-show, but do you have any idea on the percentages on those things working? 2% of the time the officer doesn't show or 50% of the time?

Also, am I capable on my own (or with advice from Police Officer friends) on figuring out if there is enough evidence to support a conviction or should I hire someone?


screeech
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Unread post by screeech on

It will cost you nothing to talk with the prosecutor and attempt to get a deal. It will cost you hundreds to talk to a paralegal or lawyer to do the same for you and likely get the same deal. Once you talk to the prosecutor, you can make up your mind as to whether to take the deal or fight it. If you want to fight it, that would be a good time to seek legal representation. No sense in you asking for disclosure at this stage because you won't know what's good and what's not anyway.


jsherk
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Unread post by jsherk on

Don't hire anybody YET ...

Plead not guilty and request a trial with the officer present. Once you get your notice of trial, then request disclosure (officers notes). Once you get the notes post them back here for us to look at.

Once we have looked at them, then we can advise of your options.




+++ This is not legal advice, only my opinion +++


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