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      09-10-2007, 05:41 PM   #1
uabimmer
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Angry Red Light: TICKET!!!! WTD????

Well here's the deal. I'm driving around with my friends on Friday night and i need to turn left at a traffic light. The sign says "no U-truns 9pm-6am" and two cars in front of me do a U-turn. The light turns yellow and i decide to go for it ... and this was a close one but according to me and my passangers my rear axles were probably ON the line when the light turned red. edit: he didnt stop the Illegal U-turn cars!!! WTF

So everything is fine until 10 seconds later i see flashing lights in my rear view.
The cop asks me why i ran the red light and i very politely reply that i though i made it. then he asks who is in the car with me ... i reply my friends... anyway "license & registration" ... so i get the ticket.
In California a red light is $375.... that is one big ticket. I havent got anything in the mail yet but i am planning on fighting it cause i didnt run it!!

Anything I can do?? Its basically the cops word verses mine and we know how that works out.... police officer > 19 year old ...

I cant even take traffic school cause my last ticket was 12 months back....

Does anyone know of a way to get out of it.... PLEASE

I thank you in advance..
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      09-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #2
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Your friends can testify as witness...
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      09-10-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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^ Yeah i thought about that... so should i get written statments from them and come to court with those?

And do i plead "not guilty" or "guilty w/ explination"
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      09-10-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uabimmer View Post
^ Yeah i thought about that... so should i get written statments from them and come to court with those?

And do i plead "not guilty" or "guilty w/ explination"
Not Guilty, and try to bring your friends to the court room. If this is not possible, please have them write a statement and sign on it.
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      09-10-2007, 05:54 PM   #5
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his friend/passenger cannot testify. Only a 3rd party, i.e. bystander, can be an impartial witness
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      09-10-2007, 05:58 PM   #6
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I'm not sure how they do things in California, but in Georgia, if you entered the intersection while the light was yellow, you did not run the light. I wouldn't proceed without an attorney. It is worth it to have someone explore any possible defenses you may have, negotiate a decent plea if possible, and then represent you if you plead not guilty and move on to a bench or jury trial. Don't find someone that'll simply help you enter a plea. Having a clean record is a wonderful thing. My 2 cents.
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      09-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #7
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If his passengers/friends has no direct family relationship with the OP and they are willing to testify under oath, I believe this is possible.

One caveat though, your passergers/friends can be charge with perjury if they lie under oath.

p.s. welcome back canucklion, haven't seen you posts on this forum for a while...
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      09-10-2007, 06:00 PM   #8
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^ what about a friend in another car - in front/back - who can say they saw the whole thing..

Pleading "not guilty" will set up another court date with the officer, right?
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      09-10-2007, 06:01 PM   #9
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You could try to video and "recreate" the scene. It might help but you run the risk of getting another ticket and it would be hard to do. If the cop was anywhere behind you his on-dash camera might have it on tape as well.
If you sped up to make the light you will loose. If you maintained speed you have a chance. Tell the judge you where soooooo distracted by the 2 other cars that make illegal U-turns that you did not see the light turn yellow
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      09-10-2007, 06:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklion View Post
his friend/passenger cannot testify. Only a 3rd party, i.e. bystander, can be an impartial witness
A witness is a witness. They can testify. What you mentioned goes to bias and affects credibility. Totally admissible.
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      09-10-2007, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklion View Post
his friend/passenger cannot testify. Only a 3rd party, i.e. bystander, can be an impartial witness
+1

I'm not 100% sure but i don't think your friend can be a witness or send in a statement but its been 4 years since I've had a business law class so i might be wrong...
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      09-10-2007, 06:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
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A witness is a witness. They can testify. What you mentioned goes to bias and is for the trier of fact to decide.
honestly I think it depends because everyone knows the friend is going to favor his friends side.....
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      09-10-2007, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uabimmer View Post
^ what about a friend in another car - in front/back - who can say they saw the whole thing..

Pleading "not guilty" will set up another court date with the officer, right?
Yes, as long as they are willing to testify under oath. All of your witnesses will be cross examined by the prosecutor, so be prepared.

Yes, given the nature of the ticket, you should expect the officer to show up.
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      09-10-2007, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uabimmer View Post
^ what about a friend in another car - in front/back - who can say they saw the whole thing..

Pleading "not guilty" will set up another court date with the officer, right?
I'm not giving legal advice and do not know California's rules, but in GA, they will reset the date for your hearing if you plead not guilty. And if you want a jury trial and you're already in the municipal court, it'll be bumped up to state court. ou need time to retain counsel, or not, and to get discovery and prep witnesses if needed.
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      09-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #15
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DUDE! I just got one too in Culver City! First time ever, sucks! I have to laugh though because I JUST got back from a 1,500 mile road trip in my brand new 335i (No plates yet). I decided to drive my Civic that night since I just put a bunch of miles on my lease and as soon as I get 3 blocks away.. SNAP. I admit it was my fault, I wasn't totally paying attention. I was trying to explain to my buddy how to rev match and when I looked up and it was too late. Fortunately it was 1am and no traffic, but I still feel stupid about it.
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      09-10-2007, 06:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejazbmw View Post
+1

I'm not 100% sure but i don't think your friend can be a witness or send in a statement but its been 4 years since I've had a business law class so i might be wrong...
Damn near anyone can submt an affidavit if they want. Whether any testimony is admissible as evidence all comes down to relevance. The judge in a bench trial and the jury in a jury trial will decide if any of it is believable.
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      09-10-2007, 06:21 PM   #17
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Well at least you didn't get 2 tickets, 1 for the red light and 1 for the illegal u-turn... I believe in CA, you have to be through the intersection before the light turns red, or halfway through it, or something like that.

Honestly that's a tough one to fight and the cop will show up to court. Might be worthwhile to just chalk that one up as a lesson learned.
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      09-10-2007, 06:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uabimmer View Post
The light turns yellow and i decide to go for it ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by uabimmer View Post
edit: he didnt stop the Illegal U-turn cars!!! WTF
Sorry to be that guy, but dude, you rolled the dice and you lost. You had time to stop, you should know that it can be tricky on a left turn especially because you are going slower. It is going to be damn hard to prove that your car was 10 feet ahead into the intersection than back behind the line.

That being said, you could measure the duration of the yellow cycle on that particular light and compare it to the state standards and see if it is out of range. People have used that defense on red-light camera cases and they have found the yellow cycles to be too short for the speed and intersection.
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      09-10-2007, 06:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigslickak View Post
Sorry to be that guy, but dude, you rolled the dice and you lost. You had time to stop, you should know that it can be tricky on a left turn especially because you are going slower. It is going to be damn hard to prove that your car was 10 feet ahead into the intersection than back behind the line.

That being said, you could measure the duration of the yellow cycle on that particular light and compare it to the state standards and see if it is out of range. People have used that defense on red-light camera cases and they have found the yellow cycles to be too short for the speed and intersection.
This is the reasoning of the police/prosecution as well. Remember, it is THEIR job to prove you broke the specific law they cited you for. While an officer's testimony is usually sufficient, a lot can be done by a competent attorney. Request video if there is any. It may be exculpatory.
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      09-10-2007, 06:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonPaul4Prez View Post
I'm not sure how they do things in California, but in Georgia, if you entered the intersection while the light was yellow, you did not run the light. I wouldn't proceed without an attorney. It is worth it to have someone explore any possible defenses you may have, negotiate a decent plea if possible, and then represent you if you plead not guilty and move on to a bench or jury trial. Don't find someone that'll simply help you enter a plea. Having a clean record is a wonderful thing. My 2 cents.
375 for a ticket or 200 for a lawyer..I'd take the lawyer..dude it's all a big ole plan states need money cause all our money is in Iraq...fight the power cops are getting scary...I was home in May, and I looked at a cop he rolled down the window and goes..you got a F^&&cking problem I was like..WTF asshole, but on the flip side I hadn't been home in so long asked this sexy black cop for directions and she smiled and gave it to me.......fight the ticket.
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      09-10-2007, 06:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Honestly that's a tough one to fight and the cop will show up to court. Might be worthwhile to just chalk that one up as a lesson learned.
Never underestimate the ability of the government to screw up. There are a number of reasons why an officer may not show up to a hearing. But they probably will, and if it is your word versus theirs (no video, etc) good luck.
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      09-10-2007, 06:35 PM   #22
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-thanks for the replies guys

uhmm does anyone think i have a chance of winning this one... keep in mind most of my witnesses are not even 18 so wouldnt that cause a problem with the signed statments ?? do you think a judge is gonna believe a bunch of teenagers??

and yeah i definatly sped up to get over the line cause i knew it was gonna be close...


maybe i should just plead "guilty with explination" and at least try to reduce my fine instead of spending costs just to realize I'm screwed
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