You certainly should not go at this alone. Call a local attorney !
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If you hit the car in front of you, then you were following too closely, or simply failing to pay attention. You may need the help of a lawyer if you want to have the ticket dismissed. In any event, you should report the incident to your insurance carrier today. The carrier will hire a lawyer to defend you against any claim for money damages.
If you plead not guilty and they schedule a trial, the prosecutor could call the other driver. If the other driver is served with a subpoena to appear, they must appear or possibly be arrested. Whether or not there was damage to the other car is irrelevant to your guilt or innocence regarding the traffic violation. You may want to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney if you are trying to have the ticket completely dismissed.
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A local traffic court lawyer can work miracles. Most traffic courts are pretty unsophisticated, and if you show up with a lawyer, more often than not, the charges get dismissed without getting into the facts, however, the lawyer will be prepared nonetheless.
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I do not think the extent of damages will be relevant to the charge of following too closely. You are supposed to drive in a manner so that you can stop without hitting any other object, if any vehicle in front if you stops.
I doubt there will be any jury for your ticket hearing. Usually these things are heard by a local judge. If the other party does not show up, you should ask to have the ticket dismissed for lack of prosecution. It is questionable what any officer, coming to the scene after the fact, can testify to. However, to play it a little safe, I suggest you retain counsel to represent you at any hearing.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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You should get a defense attorney.
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