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Do I deserve a "Failure to maintain a lane" citation for my situation? read description

Atlanta, GA |

I am 18. I was parallel parking on a small street without a lane divider. I pulled in front of a parked car and side-swiped the front left bumper in parallel parking-small paint damage. An officer working traffic witnessed the scene and told me to write a note with contact info/insurance. The officer said he'd make sure its ok then but he left however told me he called another officer to write a report also saying that i wouldnt get any citations for it. the other cop came, asked me what happened, I told him what happened but didnt mention that i was parking, he took a quick glance at the damage, then wrote the citation, other car owner came out i said sorry, she said its fine very little damage, she just wanted my contact info but officer said that it wasnt necessary what went wrong here?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Do you deserve the ticket? The question as I would frame it would be did the officer have sufficient cause to write the ticket. You hit another vehicle while parking. That is improper. You did not mention to the officer you were parking which means you struck it while you were driving. That is also improper. Whether the other driver cares that you hit their car or not is not necessarily relevant to whether you get a ticket. You can still challenge the ticket and tell the judge it is wrong because you were parking not driving down the lane. I cant tell you what the judge will do. Good luck.

    You should consult an attorney in your State at once. Visit our webpage and tell us what you think.

  2. You have a good shot at getting your moving violation dismissed. I'd appear for traffic court with an affidavit from the damaged car's owner. The affiant should declare that you’ve repaired the damage, or paid an amount sufficient to compensate him for the damage, or that he does not care about the damage you caused. If you offer this evidence, promise to park more carefully in the future, and address the municipal judge with a polite, respectful demeanor (not in high dudgeon!) I'd give you better than even odds of success. Good Luck!

    Mr. Barranco is an experienced litigator licensed to practice law in Texas and/or the federal court system only. The response provided is not legal advice; it does not create an attorney/client relationship. Mr. Barranco’s answer is intended to provide general information only about the types issues referenced in the reader's question. All readers should confer with an attorney licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  3. I agree with the other attorneys. You should get a statement from the other driver and go to court to seek dismissal of the citation. Many times they have a process for reducing or dismissing the ticket if you have a clean record.

  4. I notice you are from Atlanta. If this charge is in Atlanta Muni court, I'm not sure that just an affidavit will do the trick. When you get there, take the opportunity to speak to the solicitor and see if he or she will work with you on resolving the case (what you desciribe is more along the lines of striking a fixed object then FMTL, but I'm not sure which is worse on your driving record. If the solicitor won't agree to something you can live with, plead not guilty and get a lawyer (if you can afford it, it wouldn't hurt to have a lawyer from the begining, but I realize that can be kind of expensive for a traffic ticket. Good luck.

  5. Get the car owner to write a letter to the judge saying that he/she did not want you to be cited, and to please dismiss the traffic ticket since all damages are settled and paid. You then go to court with that letter in hand. If the arresting officer is not there, ask the judge to dismiss the case for "want of prosecution". If the officer shows up and is going to pursue the case, go to the court prosecutor and show him/her the other driver's note. If you cannot get the case resolved --- by some means or plan --- without this being put on your driving history, then demand a trial by jury. That will bind the case over to another court for another day. At that point, you should ask a layer to guide you through the case.

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