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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-30-02, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on ticket

I will try to make this story short:
In the state of Colorado it is legal to make right turns on red lights. I was at a light, it was red, I made a right turn. Next thing I know there is a pig...er, cop right behind me with his lights flashing. I get pulled over and he tells me I can't make a right turn at that light and that there are signs posted telling me this. I did not see the signs, I tell him this, he gives me a ticket anyway. I guess at this intersection they don't let you make right turns on red for some non-safety reason, I really couldn't understand what he was saying.

Now, here is the sh!t part. This violation is considered a red light violation which is a violation considered as bad as speeding in a school zone. It requires a mandatory court appearance. This is a biggie. From what the ticket says I am looking at least at 4 points and from $300-$500 fine. Of course it all depends on the judge.

My question is, should I get a traffic lawyer?
Where do I find a traffic lawyer?
How much are these lawyers?
Since it was an honest mistake, and the right turn ban is not for safety reasons, if I tell the judge it was a mistake and it won't happen again now that I know about it, do you think he will let me off the hook?
Think I can wing it without a lawyer?

I was layed off in May, my pockets are not fat to afford a big time lawyer or a big time fine. I figure since it was a mistake I can get by without a lawyer. What do you guys think? I will be pleading guilty of course.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 06:19 PM
 
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It really depends on the judge. Obviously your cop wasn't very forgiving... I would say that you should try your luck by yourself. A lawyer will cost at least $1000, even if you win, and if you lose you'd have to pay the fine anyway...

If you go there by yourself, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, and lose, you'll only be out $300-500. If you take a lawyer and lose, you'll be out $1300-1500. And if you take a lawyer and win, you'll be out $1000. So the cheapest option is to go by yourself and just be a very nice young man, very polite, Yes Your Honor No Your Honor, etc, and you'll be fine. Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 06:20 PM
ken
 
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well i got out of my two misdemeanors in VA for speeding and wreckless driving. they take 100+ as serious as a heart-attack.

my lawyer really helped me out...however it was about 1,000 bucks for him.

keep in mind CL2TLS got a 95 mph charge in the same county about a week later and got his liscence taken away with the SAME lawyer....but different judge.

hate to say it, but it all depends on the judge. good luck dude.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 06:23 PM
 
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You guys had the same lawyer? That's so cute!
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 06:25 PM
ken
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AngelCL
You guys had the same lawyer? That's so cute!
in a county as small as the one we were both pulled in...the odds aren't that amazing that we would each have the same lawyer. besides, since it went so well for me i recommended the lawyer to him.

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 06:38 PM
 
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What county? Not Hanover by chance?
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 07:01 PM
ken
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AngelCL
What county? Not Hanover by chance?
nope. Spotsylvania. south of DC
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AngelCL
If you go there by yourself, throw yourself on the mercy of the court, and lose, you'll only be out $300-500. If you take a lawyer and lose, you'll be out $1300-1500. And if you take a lawyer and win, you'll be out $1000. So the cheapest option is to go by yourself and just be a very nice young man, very polite, Yes Your Honor No Your Honor, etc, and you'll be fine. Good luck!
Consider all the costs; e.g. if you plead guilty, will your insurance rates go up?. If so for how long? Furthermore, do you have any points on your license now? If so, will pleading to this cause a license suspension? If so, in addition to the loss of driving privileges, how much will it cost to have it reinstated (include the cost of any driving school you will have to attend).

Depending upon your circumstances, a thousand bucks for a lawyer could save you money.

lawman
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 07:15 PM
 
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well in CA, if there is no sign saying it's illegal to turn, then it's legal. go back and make sure there were no signs. take pics too.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-30-02, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot guys. Currently I have 2 points on my license, so my license is not in trouble. I believe my insurance will be ok as well.

Based on all of your numbers, it would seem that a lawyer is not worth it. There are signs saying no right turn, in fact there are two of them. However, I believe throwing myself onto the mercy of the court is the best option. I can act pretty good when I need to. Though I will be genuinely scared of the fines that are possible.
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