Is it legal that I had been given a traffic citation without police witnessing the event?

Asked about 2 years ago - Bakersfield, CA

I had gotten in minor accident where I had completed a left turn and was signaling to make a uturn to park next to the sidewalk in a residential area with no traffic lines. The driver who had hit my car was attempting to drive around my car, while I was signaling, but failed to slip through causing the driver to dent and scratch my passenger side. Nobody was harmed, got our police traffic reports, but I had been cited for unsafe left turn or uturn 2 months later after the accident and have to show up to traffic court. Is it legal that I had been cited without police witness. In addition, I had not yet completed the left turn or uturn so is that also a valid citation? What will happen in traffic court?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. 9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes it is legal. Whether the testimony of the officer will hold up in court is another story . You need an attorney to desk with this as a guilty verdict can have consequences beyond just the ticket. There will be a civil action with respect to the collision .

  2. 9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes that is legal.

    That the reporting officer did not observe the incident goes to the weight of his testimony in the trial against you, not its admissibility.

  3. 9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . An officer does not have to witness a crime to charge someone with it. Even a ticket. I recommend that you hire a ticket attorney. Their fees are reasonable and they will always save your money.

    Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers... more
  4. 8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you decide to have a trial on the matter, it can be harder for an officer to properly answer questions on cross exam if he didn't witness the incident. However, it's not impossible--in NY, an example might be an officer who testifies that skid marks were present after a rear end accident on the highway may be able to successfully sustain a charge of following too close.

  5. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, the officer can issue a ticket after the fact. When the report was filed, apparently you told the officer what happened, your side of the story. You told him that you were making a u-turn after a left. That is an admission. It will be used to prove that you were making a u-turn. Whether or not you were making it unsafely is what is at issue. Just because you were making a u-turn and a collision occurred doen't mean you caused it. You need a lawyer.

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