He there - My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Oregon.
I received a ticket last night for running a stop sign. It was an honest mistake of not seeing the stop sign in an area of town I never go to, and looking for a parking spot during a rain storm. I was crawling along looking for a parking space and never saw the sign. So I'm guilty of running the sign, and am not trying to get out of that otherwise.
What I'm upset about is the tremendous fee of $287 for this violation. I'd like to get this reduced and would welcome any advice you may have on go about this. My plan was to plead not guilty, go to court, and simply state that I would gladly trade this for community service hours, or a reduced fine.
I've read that you could argue a justification defense (i.e. running a sign for a hospital emergency) and although I know that clearly doesn't apply in my case (although a parking spot is pretty precious) I'm thinking that at least allows the court to enforce judgment of fines under certain circumstances. So, blowing through a red light at a busy intersection because you want to get somewhere quick is endangering the lives of others and thus is cause for a large fine. Crawling along and missing a stop sign in the rain in the industrial section of town where stop signs alternate intersections at random intervals, seems like it should be less of a charge.
Any thoughts? And does it make sense to plead not guilty? Or is it better to plea no contest?
Thanks in advance.