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got advice from lawyer... still unsure.

28 April 2000
SF Bay Area / Boston MA
Ok guys, I wanted to update you guys on what I've learned from talking to the lawyer recently.

I tried to explain to the lawyer about what had happened to me with the police in August. The lawyer advised the best route to take would be to just negotiate the ticket to a plain speeding ticket. The lawyer said she would charge me $1500, and she would take care of all the details from going to the initial hearing to negotiating at the pre-trials. She seemed pretty confident about that, but I think she got the feeling that I would rather not pay $1500 if I didn't have to. (who wouldn't!) She advised that I could go in the first time and try to minimally explain some facts about what happened and say I don't want to admit to driving reckless, but would take a speeding ticket instead. In the worst case if they don't allow me to do that, then I will say that I would like to get a lawyer. I'm not sure if going alone the first time around would be damaging to my case or not. If all possible, I'd rather not pay $1500 for the lawyer to just make up some deal with the DA... I tend to almost agree with whoever posted a reply to my prevoius thread regarding this topic that this is a money making scam... I can't believe how minor the lawyer made it sound. In any case, I am hoping that I can present enough facts and I can present my attitude toward this matter correctly while I am in front of the judge. Do you think I should bite the bullet and let the lawyer handle everything, or should I first go in and try to take care of this by myself first... then hire the lawyer if worst comes to worst?
Originally posted by SNDSOUL:
I have plea barginned my way out many tickets. do it yourself and it will only cost you time(plan on the whole day wasted in court.)

I agree! In my experience, it is almost a given that dealing with the prosecutor yourself will result in you pleading guilty to a much lesser offence and paying a fine. You have to remember that traffic court is about generating revenue not punishing "bad" drivers. As long as the town gets their money everybody is happy. It would be very unusual (and your hard luck) if the cop had some personal axe to grind in your case and proved resistant to a deal. The prosecutor will preface any deal by saying that he has to "speak to the officer" but I have never seen one object. Good luck.

The NSX Model List Page
I think that's BS. I would call around and ask for another lawyer. If all she is going to do is negotiation, then $1500 is way too much.

This is of course based on my all-to-much experience with Redmond Northeast Division court (sigh).

-- Chris


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Shesh, $1,500 sounds like alot of money to just go in and plea bargin a case. I don't remember the facts, but were you charged with a misdemeanor or felony, or just a driving violation?

I tried to fight a speeding ticket once and got screwed by the judge by bringing in written proof that radar detectors can be wrong. Ever since then I've used one of the "Ticket Clinics" here in Florida for $85, gauranteed no points or conviction, only paying court fees.

If all you have to lose is a few points on your license, then I'd say got for it. But first you have to research the charges against you and then figure out how to plea it down to something like no front plate.

Good Luck.
You have to remember that traffic court is about generating revenue not punishing "bad" drivers. As long as the town gets their money everybody is happy.

That depends on the jurisdiction and the politics.

In and around bigger cities, there is usually a huge load of cases, and the prosecutors are often more than happy to negotiate a resolution which keeps the charge off your driving record, especially if it gives them some revenue in the process.

In smaller towns, this does not necessarily apply. Some judges in these areas are strict and not willing to accept a negotiated settlement, and sometimes the prosecutors are constrained as a result. This is also true of jurisdictions where the law enforcement community (police etc), which cares about convictions and sentences, has substantially more influence than the courts (prosecutors etc), which care more about clearance rate and workload.

I'm not about to recommend one way or another regarding an attorney in this case; that $1,500 fee seems awfully high for a traffic case. However, one advantage of an attorney who's familiar with the traffic court in a particular jurisdiction is that he/she can give you a good idea of what you can negotiate it down to, which may even depend on the specific judge and/or prosecutor.
$1500 sounds way to expensive! I get all my speeding tickets dismissed for about $50 bucks here in Houston. And all I do is walk in and out of court. I get about 5 speeding tickets a year. I feel for you man, and good luck!
Kenji, Here's how I got out of my ticket ....

This actually just happened, and I didn't exactly plan on doing it this way... I was out of town and came back from vacation thinking the court date was the next day rather than the morning of the day I got back... So I went in the next day and talked to the clerk about how I wanted to reschedule it...

She may have felt a little more likely to let me reschedule it because the cop didnt even write the speed limit nor the speed at which he clocked me on the ticket...

But anyways what happened was I paid $214. $100 for the fact that I missed the court date, and the $114 for what the county thought I owed them for whatever the cop wrote on the ticket after he gave me my copy... (hah).. The court date was rescheduled for the next tuesday and out of the 250 people that were in court that day, I was the VERY LAST PERSON to get called... they were waiting on the cop to show up. The cop never showed... So I walked, and got all my money back!

My point is, if you wanted to risk it...which I doubt... you could use the system against itself... food for thought

Justin, those were great links!

Has anyone done the contesting through mail before? I would like to do that, but I'm not sure if it can apply to my "reckless" driving ticket. I plan to contact the ticketassasin.com people this evening to get the full scoop. I wonder if the lawyer would actually confirm this honestly if I asked her. In any case, if I show up for the appearance on this week friday (my court date), is it realistic to think that they would allow me to talk and negotiate enough to decide whether or not they would reduce the charge? What should or shouldn't I say to be the most effective? I'm assuming they don't really care about what I say anyways... if the police officer is there telling his side of the story.
Well, I don't agree. The price for the lawyer sounds really salty but if you know 100% that his/her track record is all about results then I would be all over it on a reckless driving charge; which I'm sure as you are aware is considered a fairly serious deal by those whom own minivans and stuff.

I'll be fighting a Negligent II in a few weeks as well- but why? Because I screwed up and did something that was not 1000% cop proof- why are you a betting man?

Keep in mind that your legal defense is always your last defense against any traffic infraction. There is a whole bunch of things you can do to help avoid such things going forward- including pairing up when racing on the street, picking locations more carefully, placing eyes at highway on-ramps, and of course using the full array of technology available to you- such as radio, police scanners, radar/laser jammers, blinders, trafficam, etc...

Bottom line- the more obstacles you place between you and them the less chance your going to end up having to post about your legal issues. Think through all the possible scenerios and only persue the concrete. I'm sure if you think back on X incident you'll arrive at roughly the same conclusion.

Just my 2 cents...
1. This was not a racing incident. Re-read the entire story. Advice on how to avoid a ticket for street racing is not applicable here.

2. ravetek does make one good point, though. Attorney fees DO vary by severity. In my experience, a lawyer may charge anywhere from $100-300 to defend against a routine traffic stop (say, 50 in a 30, stop sign, that kind of thing) but may charge considerably more for reckless or DUI.

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 08 October 2001).]
Originally posted by nsxtasy:

Perhaps you forgot or are not aware of the full story behind Kenji's citation? Go to http://www.nsxprime.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002444.html to read it. You might change your mind about how you feel about this particular incident (regardless about the generalizations that were also discussed in that thread).

perhaps you did not see the humor in todd's post, I read it as pure sarcasm. given how infrequently todd and I seem to agree, I was pleased to find myself laughing outloud. if in fact he was serious it would be par for the course.....
Originally posted by justin hall:

perhaps you did not see the humor in todd's post, I read it as pure sarcasm. given how infrequently todd and I seem to agree, I was pleased to find myself laughing outloud. if in fact he was serious it would be par for the course.....

LOL Ditto for me. I guess some of us have a little more sarcasm than others.
Ken, I was surprised at you.
Hal, of course, you were with me.
Justin, just had to throw in another slam, eh? (par for the course)

But, on a serious side, I'm sure that cops didn't pull guns and cause a scene because he drove normally to his friend's house either.

Todd Arnold

Definitely check your state's laws. I know here in VA and some other states, reckless is a misdemeanor and court appearance (by you or your legal council) is mandatory. Failure to appear is an additional misdemeanor and will usually result in a summons being issued.
Nsxotic... you'd be suprised. I've had sleepless nights due to what happened to me that weekend... I later realized after being told that the cops WOULD pull their guns out if you leave your car. Unfortunately, I didn't even know I did anything wrong... so it didn't strike me that they would do such a thing... I honestly thought something was wrong with my car or something. Its messed up is what it is... If you don't want to believe it, I don't blame you, but I've gotten no reaction such as yours from my fellow locals.
Not that this applies here, but I'm reminded of a situation my friend was in several years ago. He got stopped for 65 in a 45 and went to court trying to get a reduction in fine. Spent all day listening to one lame excuse after another, all of which the judge completely ignored, and in some cases, upped the fine. When it was his turn, he knew he didn't have a chance, so he just told the judge he was wrong,sorry and would try to drive more carefully in the future. The judge hadn't looked up all day, but upon hearing this, he looked up, smiled and said " Mr. Morris, thank you very much for your honesty". He dropped all charges....
Ok, I read the story and it still sounds like a load of crap to me. I would fight that one to the very end. Sounds like he had a bad case of some young newbie's cop going over board.

This reminds me of that road block incident I had in Pennsylvania awhile ago- and it really does go to show how horrible it can be when a cop has no idea WHAT IT IS that he is pulling over. Here are some of the examples that come to my mind:

1) "Could you please move your Ferrari over here Sir?" [Friend's Geo Storm w/Ground FX]

2) "Isn't this a V-10?" [3000GT VR4]

3) "I'm going to need to check all your VIN numbers for stolen parts, please pop your hood for me, ok?" [For a Stock BMW 328i?]

4) "Your license plate light is dim" [SVX]

5) "Do you realize how fast your car acceleted back their Sir?" [never left 1st]

6) "Your tint on your rear windows is too dark" [Stock Lexus SUV]

7) "Your Exhaust is too loud" [Viper RT/10]

The point is, your going to run into a lot of complete moron's that got stuck running traffic patrol and somehow managed to make it though school. There is no escape and they never admit they are wrong.

Grab that lawyer- I'm sure at the minimum (worst case scenerio) you could get this reduced to a negligent II and pay your fine.