I was driving down a hilly street in the left lane at approximately 30 mph. I came to a quite long five way intersection when light changed to yellow. A car in front of me stopped to turn left. By that time I was already in the middle of the intersection. I tried to pass around the car and I was unable to do so, due to another car came at a high speed on my right and whizzed through the intersection. At that same moment the lights turned red, the car in front of me made a left turn, and I went through the intersection relatively slowly. The officer that was parked on the other side of the lights, facing my direction so he could have only seen it in rear view mirror, then decided to give me a ticket. His explanation was: "You came through the intersection last." How should I contest this?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Check the box on the ticket that indicates that you want a clerk's hearing. You will receive a notice in the mail from the court telling when date of the clerk's hearing. Prior to the hearing, take some pictures of the intersection. When you arrive in court that day, pay your $25 at the clerk's office and wait for your case to be called. The officer who wrote you the citation will not usually be at the clerk's hearing, and the police prosecutor will stand in the place of the citing officer. If you are found "responsible" by the clerk, you can appeal the matter to a judge for $50. The officer will have to appear for the judge hearing; if not, you will be found not responsible. Side note: clerk's sometimes are of the mindset that if the defendant shows up with a lawyer, the defendant is taking the matter seriously and/or has paid enough in legal fees, and may find the defendant "not responsible" for the traffic violation on that rationale alone.
DUI / DWI Attorney
The act of entering an intersection is either passing the limit-line or delineation of the perpendicular curbs if there is no limit-line. It sounds as if you "entered the intersection," on a green light or maybe yellow, but not on a red. Coming through an intersection last is not a violation, unless done on a red light. There are jurisdictions that have a separate violation for entering an intersection when the intersection was not clear. Clearly, use of the rear-view mirror to observe a violation is questionable at best. There are attorneys who specialized in traffic cases, and it would be prudent to consult one in your area. There are also several publications on how to fight a traffic ticket which are a wealth of knowledge. Many traffic cases are defeated on procedure over facts, however it sounds as if you have good facts to contest.