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How would you approach negligent driving to the judge, when i was only reported by a senior citizen and given a ticket.

Spokane, WA |

So we were driving down Sullivan at 43 miles per hour max. We stopped at a Red Light there was a car to the right of us. Once the light turned green we accelerated quickly from the light and was going about 45 miles per hour. We continued to a four way stop, stopped and proceeded to school. Once we got to school we were pulled out of class and the school cop told us the elderly man behind reported us for racing and the officer wrote me up for a ticket for people in the car under 6 months, and wrote me a reckless driving for supposedly racing. We were not pulled over by a cop nor did any cop witness us "race." This was not a race and we were just running late to school. I understand I was speeding, but no race was intended.

Attorney Answers 2


The absence of a trained officer's observations certainly weakens the prosecutions case. However, given that this matter is more serious than a normal traffic matter, I think you would be ill advised to attempt to proceed on this matter without counsel

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You ask a trickier question than you think. This is because attorneys can not help non-attorneys practice law. As such, direct instructions may get an attorney in hot water.

FYI-Reckless Driving is a criminal offense. Negligent driving in the second degree is a traffic infraction. There is a BIG difference in the possible consequences (but little difference is the basic defense strategy).

What would I do? Review the discovery materials to see if there is any chance the State can prove it's case on the evidence. If so, then I would use the court rules and rules of evidence to keep as much evidence out as possible. Then if there was still enough admissible evidence for the State to avoid dismissal of the case we would consider having a trial. Most likely this would involve cross-examining the officer and the witness and allow you to testify on your own behalf.

Thus, as you see, even if attorneys were permitted to help you, there are too many things you have to know to properly defend yourself. An attorney in the State of Washington has attended a minimum of 4 years college, 3 years law school and passed a 3 day bar exam. You have not. An experienced criminal defense attorney has handled hundreds or thousands of cases. You have not. Get legal help!!!!

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