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Old 04-19-2014, 07:38 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
I think I have a fairly good case because of how the relevant section of Georgia
I see your problem right there. Georgia.

I was visiting my parents in Georgia and got pulled over for doing 45 in a 35 on a state hwy with a speed limit of 55. There was a *town* that I didn't see that consisted of one closed gas station with broken windows, no other houses or businesses. I did miss the drop from 55 to 35, I had only been going 45 instead of 55 because it was a gorgeous 75 degree sunny day in March and I was just enjoying the drive. $190 ticket.

South Georgia has areas that are a bit poor and are desperate for revenue.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:58 AM   #42
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There was a *town* that I didn't see that consisted of one closed gas station with broken windows, no other houses or businesses. I did miss the drop from 55 to 35, I had only been going 45 instead of 55 because it was a gorgeous 75 degree sunny day in March and I was just enjoying the drive. $190 ticket.

South Georgia has areas that are a bit poor and are desperate for revenue.
That's the kind of thing - using traffic violations as a "revenue enhancement" - that infuriates people so much. In MD, the fines didn't reach near that level until speeds were 30 mph over the limit and there were two or three reasonable "steps" as the speed over the limit increased, from $30, to $50, and I think $70 at the time. Fines are set by the state.

Except for perhaps $5 of it for the court system for admin costs, all the money went to the state treasury so there was no financial incentive for any jurisdiction to increase the number of tickets.

A bit more reasonable approach, I think.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:08 AM   #43
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Not here... the prosecution can ask for a delay just like OP did....
Let me rephrase that. If the cop doesn't show up, the ticket will normally be dismissed in any large jurisdiction, but doesn't have to be. The courts are overwhelmed and looking to clear up their dockets. Municipal prosecutors rarely ask to reset a hearing for a ticket. They want it over and done with as quick as possible.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:09 AM   #44
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True but it is worth noting that both Walt and Utrecht are retired LEOs.
I have 9 months left before retirement, but thanks for that. It looks really good when I see it in writing.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:17 AM   #45
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Okay, we can agree to disagree, then. Let me explain a bit where I'm coming from. I have two (former) LEO friends (still friends, just no longer LEOs). They have both said at one time or another and in different ways "Give me six blocks and I can find a reason to stop anyone." THEIR point was that it was pretty easy to use traffic laws to stop and check someone out. It could be as simple as a light out (one of more than one) on your license plate for instance.) MY point is that it would be difficult to drive more than a few miles without technically violating some traffic law (do you always make a car-bobbing dead stop at every stop sign - it's the law, you know.) Most LEOs don't stop everyone every time for a 2 mph roll through a stop sign. One of my LEO friends says, "If I see both sides of your face from behind at a stop sign, I won't stop you - unless I want to."

So, the traffic laws are much more often ignored by LEOs than one might think. Blatant violations - especially those indicating aggression - will usually bring swift response from LEOs.

So (if you believe me) it's just as likely the LEO who stopped OP was looking for something else, was having an off day, was under pressure to write tickets, etc. as that OP actually did something dangerous. Now, if everyone were stopped every time for every infraction seen by a LEO, my argument would fall apart. I don't think anyone here would suggest such a situation.

Still, you are correct that the law is the law. My suggestion is that we have judges to sort this stuff out. Let them earn their money. YMMV, and with all respect, ko'olau.
Great point, years ago I was stupid, in a big hurry, speeding, weaved through traffic passed a LEO in my haste.

That officer was really ticked off(furious), said I was speeding(I knew I was), but she couldn't prove it. She offered to write me up for careless and inprudent, but knew that might get thrown out.

Instead she asked me where I was going, my response 'to work 12 miles away'. She decided to follow me, observing my driving those 12 miles, with the promise she would write me up for any violation. Well we both won, she didn't write me up, but made her point on how many traffic laws we routinely break.

That LEO changed my driving habits. Have I been ticketed since then, yes, but not for doing stupid stuff that could have turned out bad.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:13 AM   #46
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Let me rephrase that. If the cop doesn't show up, the ticket will normally be dismissed in any large jurisdiction, but doesn't have to be. The courts are overwhelmed and looking to clear up their dockets. Municipal prosecutors rarely ask to reset a hearing for a ticket. They want it over and done with as quick as possible.

My sons ticket was reset 4 times... but it was not a driving violation.... but a fight at school.... I also thought that they would dismiss at some point in time...
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:22 AM   #47
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Let me rephrase that. If the cop doesn't show up, the ticket will normally be dismissed in any large jurisdiction, but doesn't have to be. The courts are overwhelmed and looking to clear up their dockets. Municipal prosecutors rarely ask to reset a hearing for a ticket. They want it over and done with as quick as possible.
On the last ticket I got back in 1986, I pled not guilty and took a day off work and showed up at court only to be told without any reason, "We'll mail you another court date." So I took the whole day off from work, parked nearly a mile from the courthouse, walked 10-15 minutes in the heavy rain on a 40-degree December morning, just to be told by a clerk outside the courtroom, "Come back another day." I was pretty pissed. I mean, if the cop wasn't present, shouldn't my case have been dismissed?

At least when I had to postpone the court date the following year, I had a good reason (I was going to be on jury duty, pretty good excuse LOL!) and let them know a week ahead, when I was already in the courthouse area.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:23 PM   #48
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We've actually had success in GA just talking to the prosecutor and saying hey, what sort of plea bargain could you do.

Got a reduced fine and the violation downgraded to something that wouldn't affect insurance that way. Prosecutors can be pretty cool. Trying to fight to prove you're innocent probably is tougher and gets you less leniency.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:42 PM   #49
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I read a lot of people are 'letter of the law' here... I think there is a lot of grey....
Let's say that he was two cars back and just eased into the lane at a slow speed... only two tires 'over the line'.... is he guilty?? I do this all the time...."
Now, suppose that traffic is backed up 5 lights deep... and the center turn lane is clear (turn lane for both directions).... if he drives down that long line so he can turn without waiting for 5 lights.... is he guilty
OR, another one that I do.... the speed limit is high.... the turn lane is short... I will get over before the 'no passing' paint and slow down in the turn lane.... it makes it safer to not slow down all the other cars... still, this is guilty
OP isn't saying "what if", he/she got caught and ticketed. Many people do things that are illegal. Using a cell phone to make calls or texts while driving, drinking alcohol then driving, throwing snow out in the street (for city dwellers), going through red traffic lights. If they get caught they'll get a ticket. Side note, wish they'd throw away the key on drunk drivers.
Now, suppose, I take my corvette out on the interstate and go "fast" if there's no traffic around. I'm guilty but not if you don't catch me.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #50
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Some places in MN let you pay the fine, and if you do not get another in a year, it drops off your record.

What you are actually paying is a fee to put the ticket 'on ice', and you are not really guilty.

Try that.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:18 PM   #51
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In my money-starved county (Nassau, New York), they hit you with court costs ("surcharges") even if you challenge the ticket and win, getting the ticket dismissed (even parking tickets). That means as soon as you get ticketed you are already going to shell out some money no matter what, in addition to any personal costs such as taking off from work. Very unfair.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #52
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I tend to obey traffic laws fairly robustly, though once on an open interstate, I'll drive with the traffic (or maybe a tad faster...). Did I say that out loud?

I respect the folks who "protect and defend", or whatever. I sure wouldn't want to do it. But the arbitrary enforcement of traffic laws, speed traps, "revenue enhancement" et al just breeds disrespect and contempt for both the laws and the LEOs.

There is a well-known speed trap near a couple of schools in my area, and, if the urge strikes, LEOs could write tickets all day, every day. But a random sampling of who gets stopped includes beat-up old pickups and cars, but rarely the Euro cars who almost always drive however the hell they want to, because, well, they're much to important to be bothered with traffic laws...
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:57 AM   #53
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There is a well-known speed trap near a couple of schools in my area, and, if the urge strikes, LEOs could write tickets all day, every day. But a random sampling of who gets stopped includes beat-up old pickups and cars, but rarely the Euro cars who almost always drive however the hell they want to, because, well, they're much to important to be bothered with traffic laws...
When you refer to a "speed trap" are you just talking about a quick reduction in the posted speed limit?
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:30 AM   #54
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When you refer to a "speed trap" are you just talking about a quick reduction in the posted speed limit?
Not precisely... It's a six-lane, divided street, with 40MPH limits most of the way, but a 35MPH limit in one stretch. Can catch one unaware, certainly, but it just seems unnatural to have that low of a limit on such a wide, busy street.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:37 AM   #55
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Not precisely... It's a six-lane, divided street, with 40MPH limits most of the way, but a 35MPH limit in one stretch. Can catch one unaware, certainly, but it just seems unnatural to have that low of a limit on such a wide, busy street.
I noticed some big cities are like that. 3 lanes in each direction with a speed limit of 35-45mph. I try to not go more than 5 over even though some people are going 20 over and I never seem to see anyone get pulled over. I usually use my cruise if the traffic isn't too heavy but it recently stopped working
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:26 PM   #56
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[QUOTE=HFWR;1440686]I tend to obey traffic laws fairly robustly, though once on an open interstate, I'll drive with the traffic (or maybe a tad faster...). Did I say that out loud? QUOTE]
This made me laugh out loud!
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:46 PM   #57
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Question to the OP that I did not see addressed in the original post or any subsequent posts...the location of this left turn lane, is this the first time you ever traveled this route? Or, is this in an area you routinely travel?

If I were the judge I would try to determine whether this was a good distance from your home or work where it would be plausible that you were truly not aware of the length of the left turn lane, or if you were just looking for an excuse, (faded paint stripes), to get out of paying the fine.

Not trying to be judgemental at all, but I know I frequently could be ticketed for some sort of traffic violation but seldom do. So when I do get ticketed, I normally figure I am way past due and just pay the ticket.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:30 AM   #58
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Question to the OP that I did not see addressed in the original post or any subsequent posts...the location of this left turn lane, is this the first time you ever traveled this route? Or, is this in an area you routinely travel?
It's about 5 miles from my house, and I go through that intersection occasionally. I hardly ever make a left turn there, and the few times that I have I didn't really notice the yellow striping. The lay of the land there makes it difficult to see the striping until you are almost on top of it. I remember thinking on the day that this happened, right as I passed over the yellow stripes, "Hmmm, I guess technically I wasn't supposed to do that." So it wasn't like I deliberately and recklessly barreled through the stripes with no regard whatsoever to the traffic laws.

I am going to try to meet with the prosecutor before my next court date to see if he's willing to reduce the fine and (most importantly) keep the citation off my driving record. I hate the thought of this raising my insurance rates by potentially hundreds of dollars, so keeping a clean driving record is my main concern. If all else fails, I'll probably just plead no contest and pay the fine.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:36 AM   #59
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My sons ticket was reset 4 times... but it was not a driving violation.... but a fight at school.... I also thought that they would dismiss at some point in time...

A ticket for a fight at school? Was it melee? They just got the 3 day boot here. Never any encore rematches either. It used to be the boys fighting here but I guess school has emasculated boys so much now that 90% of the few fights occurring here are the girls.


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Old 04-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #60
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A ticket for a fight at school? Was it melee? They just got the 3 day boot here. Never any encore rematches either. It used to be the boys fighting here but I guess school has emasculated boys so much now that 90% of the few fights occurring here are the girls.


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Not a melee at all... I finally got to watch the video and I think there were 3 punches from each side and a couple of tripping... the district has a big police force and some schools have a very low tolerance... some do not...

I was fine with the suspension... but the ticket
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