I received a disorderly conduct citation for tossing a soda cup into a person's window after she almost hit me while trying to cut me off. She followed me for over 30 minutes and the police arrived and thats when I received the citation. She was not cited for anything. Over Looking the ticket I noticed on the bottom left that this was a "non-traffic citation" even though the issue happened during traffic and never in person.
Maybe, but an officer's decision whether to issue a citation relies on his or her discretion. When you made the decision to throw a soda cup in the other driver's window you escalated the situation. And that escalation could be why the other person wasn't cited for anything and you were. The throwing of a cup into another driver's window, and the resulting disorderly conduct, are not traffic offenses. So the citation is still valid even though it says non-traffic. Because it's non-traffic.
The officer did you a favor, if he removed these charges from being moving violations, to a non-traffic ordinance charge, since there if far less risk that you will lose your license. You also thereby may not face the 6 demerit points which normally come with reckless driving. Throwing anything at another vehicle from your vehicle is a major disruption on the road, and distracting to other drivers, to say nothing of being in very bad taste. Take a lesson from the opposing driver on how to best handle such a dispute within the law, by first calling for an officer, and then following the other driver at a safe and lawful distance until his is duly located, pulled over, and charged. It sounds to me like you will be lucky if this is the only charge you face before this matter is over. Get a lawyer as soon as possible if you value your right to drive and your freedom, since many judges consider road rage incidents to be gravely serious matters. Road rage often escalates into insanity, and prove that certain people who are unable to control themselves are in need of the supervision and therapy which can be ordered by the court after conviction.
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Who gets a ticket and what sort of ticket (i.e. what law it says was violated) is within the discretion of the law enforcement officer. If we are talking about criminal charges, then it is within the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. It is not a valid defense that the other driver did something wrong and wasn't charged. Depending upon the facts, you could have been charged with a crime. I would say that you probably got lucky. If the soda cup spilled ANYTHING on that person or the person's vehicle, you could have been charged with battery, criminal damage to property and/or criminal disorderly conduct. The fact that the other person drove recklessly would not be a defense. The tossing of the soda cup would appear to be an act in retaliation, not an act of self-defense. "In person" indicates that you were given the ticket by the officer, as opposed to having the citation mailed to you. "Non-traffic" means that disorderly conduct is not a "traffic" offense, even though the disorderly conduct happened while in a vehicle.
This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of the Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.
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