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.
Class Action Attorney
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.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
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.
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Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
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"
You might find my Legal Guide helpful " What Do I Tell My Lawyer"
Good luck to you.
God bless. I am in Chicago and do not practice in your state.
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