Can I win in Traffic Court?
I recently was involved in an automobile accident. It was not my fault, but the liability insurance had to pay the other guy because of how the street was set up. I was at a two-way stop sign, stopped and proceeded because his car was way down the street. But I'm pretty sure he was speeding because I almost made it across, when he slammed right into me. The funny thing is he "swerved to miss me" but he swerved into the direction I was heading, causing my damage to be in the front end. Yet again, didn't help my case because more or less, if you have damage to the front of the vehicle, the fault is more likely blamed to that person. Also, I am 17 and I don't think anyone took me seriously.
Well, I received a ticket for "failure to yield". I asked the officer straight up if the accident was my fault. He said he doesn't know. So I proceeded to ask the officer why I am receiving the ticket for "failure to yield" when indeed I stopped. He said that yes I did stop, but he just has to give it to me "just because". So I asked him is there any real reason to it. and He said no, it "just because". And he said I could go to court if I would like.
So of course, because he said "just because", my urge is to go to court. But will I have a chance to win? Because even the my insurance had to make it my fault because of how the street was set up. I had a stop sign and he doesn't. They said even if he was going 150 mph down that road, it would still be my fault. And the guy that hit me moved his car from the scene too, so the officer also couldn't see how we had hit.
I plea not guilty today, but now I'm worried that I can't win in court. Do I have a chance to? and can I change my plea from not guilty to guilty? It is my first offense, so I can go to pay the fine and go to traffic school to get it off my record. Is it just best to plea guilty and get it over with? or go to court and fight it off. I am still going to go to traffic school since my court date is so far away and I want to make sure that ticket is off my record. Should I might as well pay the fine? and will going to court for a traffic affect my scholarship applications or college applications?
Arkansas Law on Failure to Yield: Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle and every motorman of a streetcar approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop as required by 27-51-601, and after having stopped, shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on the highway as to constitute an immediate hazard. The driver having so yielded may proceed, and the drivers of all other vehicles approaching the intersection shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle so proceeding. If a driver is involved in a collision with a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a vehicle in the intersection after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield right-of-way.
You have the right to hire an attorney (or go pro-per) and the right to go to trial. You need to think if the costs outweigh the benefits. Many times, when you go to court, you can explain your situation to the prosecutor and/or the judge. You may be able to plea to a lesser violation and not have the citation on your record. If you are convicted, then the points stay on your driving record.