What is the probable outcome of pleading not guilty to careless driving ticket in which i was rear ended while making left turn?

Asked over 5 years ago - High Bridge, NJ

I was on a 2 lane highway with U turn Median. I was in the left lane with left signal on, slowed down to negotiate the U Turn and was hit in the rear by other party admittedly "traveling in the fast lane". I was knocked into the median after doing a 180 spin. The other driver told the police that i changed lanes abruptly to make the U turn and due to wet roads she could not stop and hit me. She also said she could not veer to the right as there was traffic in right lane. I did not make an abrupt lane change and was in left lane for some 100+ ft before starting to make the turn. The officer was not going to issue any tickets and i pushed the matter by phone the next day. he responded by issuing both of us careless driving tickets & said let the judge figure it out. no witnesses.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Howard Woodley Bailey

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . I agree with my collegue, that if the matter goes to trial, the judge can decide whether one of you is more credible then ther other. Your position as the car that is struck does help but is not necessarily dispositive. The judge can also decide that neither is credible, and find you both guilty of the charged offense. This is not necesarily a choice of one gets convicted and the other gets dismissed.

    Your choices as I see them from your facts:
    1. Plead guilty as charged. This will result in two points and a fine.
    2. Plead not guilty. Go to trial and the judge can find you guilty. This will result in two points and a fine; or, the judge finds you guilty of a downgraded offense of Unsafe Driving, which results in no points but a larger fine; or, the judge finds you not guilty and dismisses the summons.
    3. Discuss this matter with the prosecutor and see if he will agree to dismiss both, since you pushed for the tickets. On the other hand, since you pushed for the tickets you obviously want the other person held accountable. To do that, you will likely have to take the risk of going to trial.

    Good luck.

    DISCLAIMER
    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is not intended to constitute either legal advice or attorney advertising. Given the nature of this website, it is offered solely for information purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking with a lawyer licensed to practice law in N.J. It is critical for you to consult with a qualified counsel who is admitted to practice law in NJ before making any decisions about your case.

  2. Michael Hassen

    Contributor Level 14

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Your odds turn on which of the two of you is the more believable witness. The judge will have to decide which of you to believe. As a general rule, it is better to be in your position because courts tend to assume that the person who ran into another vehicle should have been driving slower, or farther behind, in order to have sufficient time to stop.

  3. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with both Mr. Bailey and Mr. Hassan's wise observations.

    You might find my Legal Guide helpful "How to Choose A Lawyer For You"

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-cho...

    You might find my Legal Guide helpful " What Do I Tell My Lawyer"

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-do-i-...

    Good luck to you.

    God bless. I am in Chicago and do not practice in your state.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in your state in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an atttorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

Related Topics

Tickets for careless driving

Careless driving is a lesser ticket than reckless driving, charged for disregarding traffic laws, not always deliberately; e.g., falling asleep at the wheel.

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