I was driving home from work, in traffic ~30 mph under speed limit (65mph limit), and talking on my phone (no Bluetooth). I went to place my phone into my center console and was looking down for 2-3 seconds making sure it automatically hung up and went in the cup holder. An officer pulled me over and said I was looking down for an extended time. They wrote me a ticket for not driving with due care (MN 169.14.1). I took this to court to plead my case to the judge but right after the judge asked me if I understood the charge, the prosecution said they wanted to drop the charge and the officer would reissue a new ticket for Careless Driving (MN 169.13.2) which is a Misdemeanor instead of a Petty. I have a pretty good driving record with no tickets or accidents within the last 9-10 years.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Yes, you should get an attorney and fight the ticket or see if you can get it reduced. Obviously the fact that it was upgraded from a petty to a misdemeanor means someone deemed it more serious. Misdemeanors are criminal and should be dealt with seriously.
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Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Fight it! Especially if there is no driving behavior. I assume the officer could not see your pupils. The prosecutor is usually allowed to amend or even dismiss and reissue additional charges freely before jeopardy attaches at trial. He is trying to bully you into a plea to the earlier petty. Call his bluff.
Family Law Attorney
Hello. I urge you to have attorney counsel and representation in challenging this citation. You are facing a charge with serious repercussions. Some attorneys are available seven days for emergency legal needs. Many attorneys will confer initially at no charge. Then, if legal work is performed, some attorneys will provide a reduced fee for financial hardship. Some attorneys may also assist you in limited scope manner to conserve legal costs. All the best.
Call 612-296-9666 for a consultation: TRAFFIC Law, CRIMINAL DEFENSE, Rule 14 Qualified Neutral, Minnesota Supreme Court Roster Mediator, Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Associates PLLC, Phone: 612.296-9666 EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR until 8 p.m. daily. See www.dwyerlawfirm.net Tricia Dwyer, Esq. & Assoc. PLLC
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