It had just started raining, went down a hill, came out of the curve around a bend in the road and car started to hydroplane and I landed in trees after going over a ditch into them. I was the only one in the vehicle and there were no other vehicles involved. My vehicle was totaled and I was taken via ambulance to a hospital. First two cops arrived and no citations were made, a state trooper showed up an hour later while I was in the hospital and wrote the citation. He said there were no injuries, etc...however I was injured. How can a citation be made without being one of the first responders and clearly without knowledge of what happened at the time or to myself? I was going below speed limit too just an FYI. what would cost be or should I fight this?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Let's examine your narrative closer using your own submissions:
1." It had just started raining, went down a hill, came out of the curve around a bend in the road and car started to hydroplane and I landed in trees after going over a ditch into them."
Proceeding with such rate of speed in inclement conditions that results in landing in the trees qualifies for ““driving too fast for conditions" under the reasonable person standard,
2. "I was the only one in the vehicle and there were no other vehicles involved. My vehicle was totaled and I was taken via ambulance to a hospital. "
If the above would create any hesitation of any reckless driving your very description quickly dispels that: the force of the impact and your injuries convincingly corroborate "driving too fast for conditions" citation,
3. "How can a citation be made without being one of the first responders and clearly without knowledge of what happened at the time or to myself?”
Corroborating evidence, injuries, skid marks, car damages indicative of the force of the impact, take your pick,
4. "I was going below speed limit too just an FYI. What would cost be or should I fight this? "
In my professional opinion, you do not have a very viable affirmative legal defense, yet you are welcome to assert one.
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
With all due respect to lawyers who are not license to practice law in Georgia (who are only trying to help), be wary of information they post. You may have a defensible case. Georgia law has specific requirements about the content of the Uniform Traffic Citation in cases like yours. If that specific information is not on the face of the citation, the case may be dismissed. Consult a lawyer in your area who handles traffic ticket matters, and let her/him look at the citation. Many lawyers offer a free consultation. Do not simply plead guilty until you let a lawyer review the citation. Good luck.
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DUI / DWI Attorney
Examine your ticket, and see if the officer alleged you were going a certain speed. He probably did not make this allegation. If he did not then this is a defective citation for Too Fast for Conditions. When I was a prosecutor I I remember seeing only one Too Fast for Conditions ticket that was done properly with an allegation of speed. This was maybe one out of several hundred. You can bring this to the prosecutor's attention before trial, but he can amend your charge to something else like Failure To Maintain Lane which does go on your driving history if you're convicted, or you can wait for trial to start and object to the ticket. In either event, the charge of Too Fast for Conditions does not go on your driving history if you have a Georgia Drivers License if you prefer to just pay the ticket. It's probably $100 to $200.
James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.