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Traffic Court...Need Advice (Carpool Hours Changed On Me)

MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
So last Thanksgiving I was driving home to meet with my family. I had been up at college and hadn't been driving for a while, so I didn't think twice about carpool hours being like they always were, 4pm - 6pm. I was pulled over on my way home for violating the lane rules.

Apparently they had changed the hours to 2pm - 7pm, and I never found out, so I was pulled over and ticketed. The officer wouldn't even hear me out, but it was holiday rush so I'm guessing he was just pissed off.

Anyways, I'm going into court to try and plead my case. I've had the ticket put on hold since I haven't been able to make my way into court and had them set a later court date. I was on "probation" after having paid a little extra on my last ticket to have it kept off my record, but if this ticket goes through, that's completely void, which is kind of annoying.

Any ideas on what I can do? I understand I'm basically pleading ignorance of the law, but I really don't want two tickets on my record...

THE END.
Mertzy on

Posts

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Why did the hours change? That doesn't make sense. I don't know. The judge might drop it.

    Slider on
  • MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I'm guessing it was to address increasing traffic around rush hours, but I never heard anything in the news about it, really.

    Mertzy on
    THE END.
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Mertzy wrote: »
    I'm guessing it was to address increasing traffic around rush hours, but I never heard anything in the news about it, really.

    was their signage on the roads indicating the new hours?



    (and what is up with all the traffic court H/A posts recently?)

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  • MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah I went back and looked and there were signs...I just didn't look at them because I had been used to the old hours for years. Not a very good case I think...

    Mertzy on
    THE END.
  • proXimityproXimity Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Most likely you'll get it at least reduced or something for bothering to come in and contesting it. Just admit how you were wrong, and how it won't happen again.

    proXimity on
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  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Althought 'not knowing' is not a valid defense against a law violation, do speak to the judge about it. Odds are it will be quashed.

    Awk on
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You know, the best, well, often the best course of action is to hire a lawyer.

    My sister was driving through Arizona and got pulled over for going 100mph. She hired a lawyer and, boom, ticket gone.

    Most cities are hoping you don't do this and just pay the ticket. Considering that it will likely affect your insurance, it's usually better to hire a lawyer.

    Slider on
  • MidshipmanMidshipman Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    You know, the best, well, often the best course of action is to hire a lawyer.

    My sister was driving through Arizona and got pulled over for going 100mph. She hired a lawyer and, boom, ticket gone.

    Most cities are hoping you don't do this and just pay the ticket. Considering that it will likely affect your insurance, it's usually better to hire a lawyer.

    Obviously you want to check on the traffic laws in your area, but in California carpool lane violations are not moving violations and have no impact on your insurance rates. The fine is usually very steep, but not steep enough to make it worthwhile to hire an attorney. If the officer fails to show, you automatically win. If he does show, you can plead no contest and ask for mercy from the judge for a reduced fine. While your ignorance of the law doesn't absolve you of the violation, it may make a difference that you were not willfully breaking the rules in the eyes of the judge.

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  • DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Make sure to dress nice.

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    completely depends on the judge.

    ignorance of the law is never a defense - but if a judge is having a good day you might get it reduced... on the other hand, if he's having a bad day, you'll get full fine + court fees :D

    illig on
  • MertzyMertzy Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Update - it was really impersonal so I didn't really get to speak much one-on-one. I basically waited in line with others to meet with a case-worker or something like that. I decided to plead guilty with a reduced fine, so it was knocked down from $178 to $98. I really just want to be done with the whole thing, so this works out I guess.

    Thanks to everyone who posted.

    Mertzy on
    THE END.
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    You're probably past this point, but it's worth remembering that a carpool violation is not a moving violation, so don't let them try to talk you into going to traffic school.

    Also, you're lucky on the fine! I had something like this go down a year or so ago, and got hit for about three times that.

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