Traffic Violations & Court Appearance

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Gryffindorian, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I drive through areas with train tracks five times a week and have never gotten stuck on them. There's no excuse to do so as it puts your own life at risk as well as those on the train.
     
  2. Captain Ice

    Captain Ice Cookie Constructor Moderator

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    That works too.

    Perhaps this video puts it best....

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iuks_zIBkE[/yt]
     
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I have no sympathy for you. We have too many terrible, terrible accidents in my country involving just this scenario. Oh Noes, I drove out onto the tracks and then I couldn't move! Jesus christ, just STOP before you drive onto them. Wait until you know that when you go forward you will have clear space for your car to get past the tracks.
     
  4. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sorry, been busy all day ... Lots of helpful advice. Thanks for the feedback. Am going to bed now and answer question/s later.
     
  5. StolenThunder

    StolenThunder Poster Premium Member

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    This one is five minutes but great fun.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekpD06P7kiI[/yt]
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    comments 2 my butt
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw[/yt]
     
  7. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Not only that, but officer court appearances are usually all scheduled on the same day. The officer won't just have to show up for one ticket, but five or six tickets. So he's not likely to miss.

    I can tell you how it works in Virginia, but I can't really tell you California without more information. It's still technically a criminal charge, so one would think a court date is required. Look at the summons/citation and see if it lists a court date.

    According to this website, you can show up, have the charges read to you, and enter a plea in person. It sounds like you want to plead guilty but give an explanation so you can see if the Judge will let you do that. Alternatively, you could plead not guilty, let the officer present the evidence of guilt, testify on your behalf on your side of the story, and let the Judge convict you with the hope that he reduces the fine. You can also talk to the prosecutor before trial (explain that you are unrepresented by counsel) and see if they offer anything less than what the officer offers.

    You also have an option of Trial by Written Declaration. That means you can argue your case in writing instead of orally. It doesn't sound like this would be beneficial to you.

    All this being said, I'm not sensing any mitigation. It sounds like you did exactly what the statute prohibits. It sounds like the statute is designed to encourage a full stop before the railroad crossing unless traffic is light enough for you to move across it completely before you stop.
     
  8. Opus

    Opus Commodore Commodore

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    If you can prove you were wrongly charged, fight it. If not, is it worth your time off work to head to court, and most likely have to pay for parking as well, to ultimately pay the same fine? Or even a reduced fine?

    I fought a ticket a couple of years back and got it reduced. But it wasn't worth the time off work.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If you can plead the charge down, do it. I have a friend who's been successful pleading not guilty with an explanation but I'd feel silly doing that.

    It helps, obviously, to have an otherwise good record. Ft. The court's more likely to cut you some slack on a single lapse, at least as far as points are concerned.
     
  10. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I don't even know if they have a traffic school option in my state after the age of 18. Between 16-18, you get a "grace period" where they just assume you're a dumb kid and can go to traffic school to get the infraction removed from your record. Once you're an adult, though, I'm pretty sure you're fucked.

    I went to traffic school after my first ticket when I was 16. It as an 8-hour class on a Saturday. Fucking terrible.
     
  11. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    That's a good point about parking, especially since the California website implies that, absent a guilty plea, you're simply arraigned the day you show up to court and rescheduled for a different day at court (but I could be wrong about that).
     
  12. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    That's exactly correct, as I pointed out in my earlier post.

    I've only done it once, but the day I did it I stood in line outside the courthouse for about two hours before getting to the clerk's desk. You don't even see a judge, just the clerk.

    The first actual day in court is the arraignment. If you plead not guilty, you have to come back a third time for your actual trial. I plead no contest, so I did not have to return for that third time.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    At first I was wondering what kind of fools were the police and firefighters in that video to park the vehicles on the tracks. Then they said it was in Detroit and it all made sense.
     
  14. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Ugh. All the more reason why train tracks should never be at grade crossings. In addition to the potential for accidents, they also are a menace to just general flow of traffic.

    There is a train track on my way to work, and without fail every morning there is a freight train that will come to a complete STOP in the crossing in order to allow an Amtrak train to pass on the adjacent set of tracks. Every day. Depending on what time I leave for work in the morning, I will either just beat this train or miss the train, or get stuck waiting for it to start up from a dead stop to full speed pulling 150+ railcars.
     
  15. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All right. I realize that I messed up big time and have no desire in fighting the ticket anymore. I'm going to plead no contest but would like to have the charges reduced and will take traffic school.

    The traffic was stop and go along that road. So when I thought the path around the tracks was clear, I made a move but there were far too many vehicles ahead of me in both lanes. I will never drive in that part of town again.
     
  16. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    Thanks for the update, and for being able to admit that you were in the wrong. I don't think you should stop driving there because of this incident. This type of thing can happen anywhere. Chalk it up to learning how to become a better driver and don't pull forward until you are absolutely certain that not only the car in front of you has cleared, but that there is plenty of space for you to clear the tracks as well.
     
  17. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    You misunderstood my question. My original quote was referencing the fact that you were PULLED OVER by a squad car. Were you currently on the tracks when pulled over? If so, how did you pull over if you were currently on the tracks and unable to pull forward or backward? This implies that you had some available course of action had a police officer not been present.
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    The police almost certainly wait until there's a safe place to pull over. They aren't required to pull you over instantly.
     
  19. Gryffindorian

    Gryffindorian Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I did mention that traffic was stop and go, but not stopped permanently. Of course, when the light turned green, all the vehicles were able to move again. I saw the patrol car signaling me, and I drove farther down to a safe spot. I hope that clears any confusion.